Udaya Bhatta’s life and ministry are perhaps best summed up in one word: love. This love is seen most clearly in his deep commitment to the message of Jesus and his unwavering care for the children of Nepal. Udaya first encountered the message of Jesus as a teenager. Raised in the mountains of west Nepal, he worked on his family’s farm alongside his father. The hardships of rural farming began to take their toll, and his father became gravely ill. When all hope was lost, his father found physical and spiritual healing in the good news of Jesus. This experience was so powerful that the entire Bhatta family began following Jesus, and Udaya’s life would never be the same.
After completing a degree in ministry, Udaya began a journey of sharing the hope of Jesus and caring for children in need. He became a vice-principal at a local school, overseeing the dorms where many of the children stayed. This time gave him invaluable experience in caring for and educating children. While at the school, he also started Bible studies that helped others understand the way of Jesus. Local authorities took issue with Udaya’s studies and street preaching, and began threatening him. He was beaten, threatened at gun point, and eventually thrown in jail for nearly a month. After over a year of appeals, the charges were dropped.
While this period was incredibly taxing, it led to something beautiful: a vision to care for the children of Nepal. In the midst of fighting the legal system, the next step of their journey became clear to Udaya and his wife, Bhakti. “We began to pray to seek for our Lord Jesus Christ’s guidance for what to do in future,” Udaya reflects. “Suddenly, one day He has put a thought as a vision in both our hearts to help orphan and destitute children in Nepal.”
Years of civil unrest in Nepal left thousands of children without families, and Udaya and Bhakti felt called to provide love, care and an education for as many of them as possible. Despite having little money and caring for two children of their own, the Bhatta’s took a step of faith and brought two orphaned children into their home. One step of faith led to another, as Udaya and Bhakti began caring for more children.
In 2004, Udaya and Bhakti began a partnership with ServLife, and the Kathmandu Children’s Home was founded. Over the last 13 years, their ministry expanded and dozens of children have been cared for by the Bhatta’s and their staff. Today, through the support of child sponsorships, 53 children are cared for throughout three children’s homes in Nepal, and an additional 250 are given access to education through scholarships.
Today, when Udaya looks back, he still feels the same love that has marked his journey. “The downtrodden and the destitute children are not getting any opportunity for their future,” he reflects. “Because of that, we had compassion.” That love and compassion has empowered and changed the lives of hundreds of children.