Pastor Anand serves in two growing churches in west Nepal. He recently took the time to tell us about his life, ministry and the hardships God has brought him through for the sake of the gospel.
Tell us a little about your background and how you came to faith.
I was born in a small Nepali village and came from a very poor Brahman family. In my early childhood, I was taught the principles of Hinduism by my parents and elders. As I saw the wonder of creation, I began to think to myself, “There must be a God.” When I began to notice how vast the world is and considered the process of human life, I started thinking about birth, death, and life after death. Thinking about these things led me to believe in God as creator of the world.
Not long after that though, I started believing in the gods and goddesses of Hinduism. My fear of death drove me to worship these gods. As I read the Hindu scripture that says, “Wherever I incarnate the world, in that time I will destroy the sinners and save the righteous people,” my fears grew worse.
Then, in 1991, I first heard the good news. I read Matthew 9:12-13 and John 11:25-27. After a life of hopelessness, these verses filled me with hope. It was then that I surrendered my life to Jesus.
According to Hinduism, belief in Jesus made me unholy, not to mention it was against the regulations of my forefathers. Even though my mother led me to Christ, she soon turned away from her faith. She began to persecute and abuse me. This left me speechless, but because I knew that Jesus is the Son of God, I committed to follow him and endure all for his sake.
In May 1996, a meeting was held in my house. I was given the choice to leave Jesus or leave the house. My wife and I decided to follow Jesus. At midnight, we took the few bags of luggage we had, left the house, and went to our local church. Since then, our challenges have only grown, but through it all, we have realized that God is trustworthy.
Coming out of Hinduism, what would you say in unique about Christian faith compared to other religions?
Many people in the world believe that we can experience redemption by performing religious works and rituals. Many also believe that God and religion are the same. I have found that Christianity is not religion, but life in Jesus through faith. People can start religions, but redemption only comes from God. No one can call out to his own righteous works or religion in the way that we cry out to God and say “Save me!” As the prophet Isaiah confessed, “All our righteousness is like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).
I agree with the prophet Isaiah, which leads me to serve the God who created the heavens and the earth. Now I am serving as the pastor of a church where nearly 55 believers gather together to worship the Lord on Saturday. I have a wonderful family – my father, my wife, and my daughter and son. Please remember them and my ministry in your prayers. Pray for victory in the many problems we face in the days to come.
Can you tell us a little more about your ministry?
I serve the Tharu people as a pastor, which involves leading times of singing and preaching the word of God. I preach in the Tharu language, which has taken some time to learn.
We normally have about 15 children get together for child fellowship on Saturdays. We also just had seven people receive the Lord and currently have five believers ready to be baptized.
Our church is made up of more women than men. Some of these women are coming from Brahman families and face incredible hardships. Please remember them in your prayers.
We have been getting together in a rented house since 1999, but recently started construction of a church building. The foundation has been raised, as well as some of the pillars. Unfortunately, the building process has been postponed due to lack of money. Despite this challenge, we have been blessed with excellent church leaders who are well trained in the word and equipped to pastor.
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