We recently recieved this report from Ted, a Christian worker serving in Nepal who connected with one of our VOM workers and participated in a day of VOM ministry outreach:
The day began with a monthly prayer meeting for pastors. Approximately 60 pastors traveled the rough roads of Nepal and gathered for a wonderful time of worship, prayer, and fellowship. We prayed not only for Nepal, but also for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. The VOM coordinator shared testimonies of recent persecution, and after each account, we prayed for that country and for those who were persecuted for their faith. It was a very humbling experience to be in the presence of so many faithful men and women, many of whom face their own persecution, lifting up our Christian brothers and sisters around the world. As blessed and humbled as I was by the prayer meeting, what came next had an even more profound effect on my walk with the Lord.
After the prayer meeting, the VOM team and I loaded into vehicles and traveled on a rough and dusty mountain road to a small church in a remote valley. Upon arrival, we were met by approximately 300 men, women, and children of all ages. Many of them, including senior adults and young mothers carrying infants, had walked three or four hours across the mountains, in 95 degree heat, to receive their very own copy of God’s Word. How amazing, I thought, is the power of God’s Word to draw so many people together in such a remote location.
Everyone soon gathered inside the small church and sat on the floor, with men and women on separate sides and children in the front, as is customary in Nepal. As more people arrived, everyone slid closer together, pushing the children onto the platform with the team members and me. The stifling heat had no effect on their passion for worship as they sang praises to God with more intensity than I had ever witnessed. I understood very few of the words, but the presence of the Holy Spirit, which transcends all cultures and languages, was unmistakable.
After a short time of worship, the moment for which everyone had traveled finally arrived. As the boxes of Bibles were opened, the sense of anticipation was palpable. Every person, regardless of age, eagerly awaited their very own copy of God’s Word. Stepping through the crossed legs, which covered every inch of floor space, the team members and I handed each person a brand new Bible, still wrapped in its clear, plastic covering. As they unwrapped their Bibles and opened the pages for the very first time, the sense of awe and reverence for God’s Word was overwhelming. How many times, I thought, had I taken my Bible -- my several translations of the Bible -- for granted? How many days had I been “too busy” to read from God’s Word? How often had I read a few chapters as if ticking off a check-list rather than prayerfully meditating on the inspired words of Almighty God? Father, forgive me!
For the second time in one day, I was humbled by the presence of God among a group of people who I thought I was there to encourage. Once everyone received their Bible, they were asked to hold them above their heads. Understanding the nature and sensitivity of VOM’s work, I refrained from taking any photographs, but the sight of 300 Nepalese crowded into a small church, faces beaming as they joyfully lifted their very own copy of God’s Word towards heaven, is a sight I will never forget.
Thank you for sharing this very special day with me. I was truly blessed and humbled to be in the presence of so many faithful witnesses. I pray that God will continue to bless your ministry as you “remember… them which suffer adversity.”
YOUR TURN: How will the excitement of these Nepali believers at having a copy of the Bible affect the way you read your Bible?