It’s hard to imagine living in a country with no religious freedoms. It’s even harder to imagine the foundation of that country based on Hindu beliefs and systems, with leaders who oppose and persecute Christians and their beliefs. Imagine, though, an opportunity to revisit and revise those original documents that have barred the Gospel from reaching the people’s hearts for so many years. Nepal, a country that has operated on traditional Hinduism for years, is meeting to create a new constitution. All twenty-five political parties are involved, as well as a new and somewhat surprising committee founded three years ago.
“The Christian Advisory Committee to the New Constitution” was formed to represent the Christian population in Nepal. Their goal is to incorporate Christian-based laws and rights into the new constitution.
Lazarus Thulung, Director of ServLife’s new registered organization in the nation, ServLife Himalaya Development, is an active member who has been building relationships with political leaders re-writing the constitution, including the Prime Minister of Nepal.
“The Christian Advisory Committee to the New Constitution submitted our agenda with our President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav (see photo top left),” said Thulung. “Our committee also went to meet with the prime minister and the other 25 offices of the political parties involved in creating the new constitution.”
The Committee also hosted a tea party, connecting with over forty members of the government who are in charge of revising the constitution. The Prime Minister has already promised to provide Christians with certain rights, one being as simple as graveyards, a right not previously afforded to believers. The foundations of this country are slowly being changed.
One huge step in this process occurred in one of the constitution meetings. Philemon Chhetri, a man in ministry with New Life Mission, had the rare and incredible opportunity to distribute four gospel tracts to leaders present at the meeting, including the President of Nepal. These members were also invited to and attended a Christmas celebration, where they watched as Nepalese believers worshipped and praised the Lord for the birth of His son. The Committee has been able to advocate on behalf of the sick in a recent epidemic, and has persuaded a new “Prime Minister Relief Fund” for emergencies. The Nepalese government is not only acknowledging Christian leaders, but is giving them rights and freedoms, and responding to their requests. God is faithful. He has brought the Christians in Nepal hope.
Udaya Bhatta, Director of ServLife’s Children Home in Nepal and director of another ServLife birthed organization, AS Nepal, said, “Here many people usually do not like Christians but little by little people are getting influenced from the way that Christians’ are living their life…It was a different thing seven or eight years ago as I suffered a lot, but now it’s quite nice.”
The years of seemingly fruitless toil, the persecution, the martyrs, the pain are now bearing fruit. Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” Penetrating secular countries often seems impossible, leaving missionaries and native Christians feeling defeated. Many times, all they can do is live a life of service and love in hopes that the people will see the life of Jesus in them. The return for their hard work is often unseen and unnoticed by outsiders. And then, all of a sudden, lives are changed, nations are affected, and the Gospel is spread.
(Source: ServLife News by Sarah Buckner)
(Posted: March 1, 2010)