26 Mar Find out how a former witch doctor turned into a church planter in the Himalayas
Pastor Prakash Bahadur, a witchcraft practitioner, spent many years doing shamanism and fanatical devotion. He was born and brought up in the remotest village in mid-south Nepal as a well-known witch doctor for healing many severe sicknesses. Deep inside, he was known to himself for demonstrating his fake powers to receive big offerings of chickens, vegetables and other foods but to other people, he was like a god to them.
One day, he went to cut down leaves for his cattle in a forest. While climbing down from a big tree he fell breaking his ribs and banging his head on a rock which caused bruises in his head. He was hospitalized for 3 months. Since the medical treatment was so costly, he had to sell most of his livestock and land. When he was discharged from the hospital, he was still having difficulty speaking due to the severe injury to his head. This brought sadness and despair in his life.
He then started worshiping and doing the shaman rituals to cure himself. Nevertheless, nothing helped him. Many villagers questioned about his potential. Gradually, everyone knew he was faking. To prove everyone wrong and maintain his previous fame, he invited the supreme witch doctor from his circle to come. With his colleagues, they worshiped their gods and goddesses for many days. He had lost all his land and properties for such activities. After attempting everything he could afford, he felt powerless deep inside and realized that he was about to die.
He was anxious to explore the most powerful spirit in the whole universe above all his shamanism. For many days he tried speaking out the names of different gods and goddesses. But he discovered no positive changes. While living a life of distress and overwhelmed by all his sorrows and fears, one day, three evangelists came to his house. He struggled to ask them where had they come from? They replied saying that they were sent to his house to pray for him. Continuously for three days, they kept on sharing the Gospels to him, but he denied accepting Christ. They put an anointing oil in his mouth and asked him to drink some water. Then, the three evangelists taught him one word sound on the first day, which was ‘Ha’. The second day, they asked him to speak the word ‘le’. On the third day, they asked him to speak ‘lu’. And on the fourth day, they asked him to repeat after them saying ‘Jah’. Finally, on the fifth day, they asked him to speak the whole word. And then he uttered ‘Hallelujah’. He felt a warmness in his throat and began to speak other words also.
He realized he needed Jesus in his life and believed in Him. He threw all his shaman worshiping tools out of his house and burnt them. Today, he struggles quite a bit while speaking but he experienced and understood that the most powerful name above all, was only ‘Jesus Christ’.
However, he was afraid of the fact that due to his faith conversion in Christ, he would be exiled out of the village. And eventually, they threw him out of the village. Having nowhere to live, he migrated to a governmental National Forest and was living there. He then evangelized many local people sharing his testimony. Slowly one after another, the local people started accepting Jesus. He then, became the first believer to start the underground house church in his area.
However, he was again persecuted by the government and got exiled from that National Forest place and got shifted to a slum area at the end of the one year. Many homeless people along with him were granted a certain area by the government nearby a river but without electricity, water, and other facilities. Ignored by the government but loved and cared for by God, Prakash didn’t question once of God about going through such trials and tribulations even after accepting to do His ministry. He and his wife courteously and patiently accepted the decisions and plans of God which brought drastic changes in his ministry. God miraculously worked like in the Book of Acts. Due to his preaching and sharing the Gospels, miraculous things were happening. The number of new believers started increasing daily.
Pastor Prakash and his family are struggling a lot here in this village. We were full of tears to hear their stories of houses being swept away by natural calamities and migrating to shelters made of bamboo poles covered by banana leaves and straw with leaking roofs in the rainy seasons. Often, they had no dry space to sleep due to much water coming from leaking roofs soaking their bedding during storms and in the rainy seasons. Their shelters were often attacked by wild elephants. It was quite scary and heart-pounding to hear about a wild elephant forcing its trunk through one side of the house and they had to run to the next side of the room for a little safety. They had no option but to cover their small children and have faith in the Lord. Also, we learned of children that were attacked and eaten by tigers while coming to church for Sunday school. We heard only a small part of the family struggles.
They are facing a lot of difficulties to run their family without any jobs and proper source of income. Despite persecutions and oppression, Prakash and his wife are still excited to do the ministry with love, giving their full dedication. No matter what struggles and difficulties they must go through, they are committed and determined to praise the Lord and thank Him in every circumstance.
In their struggles, we supported them with some relief with provisions like food, tents, and clothing. They used to run fellowships in a small wooden cottage having holes in every corner which was a reason for the difficulty in winter and rainy season. But praise to the Lord because today, God has provided them with a very beautiful church building, which has become a lighthouse to these beloved destitute people.
Recently, 28 people acknowledged their belief in Jesus and accepted Him. Demonic spirits fled due to their faith and healing through Jesus Christ. They took training and are now ready for water baptism. God is doing miracles in south Nepal! Hundreds of souls are being saved and coming to the churches and new house churches are being established. However, it’s not over yet. They are still encountering a lot of persecution from the side of the government and local people. As a matter of fact, in Nepal, the government here does not concern itself with the developmental activities in such remote places. But when it comes to religious conversions, due to their misinterpretation and misjudgments, our brothers and sisters in Christ are facing a lot of problems by the government and non-Christians. Religious conversions can bring harassment, beatings and, sometimes, imprisonment for Christians. We thank our heavenly Father, who has given courage to his people to build their faith and let them know all things are possible in Him.
Right now, Pastor Prakash Praja has more than 300 believers in his church. But he regularly travels to different and distant villages to win more souls. He is not satisfied yet! There’s still so much burden and zeal in him and continues to do more for the Lord.
Due to your prayers and support, great field leaders of God like Prakash Praja haven’t given up on God and are still serving Him in their harsh situations. Thank you for partnering with us to reach the unreached and change the lives of people in the Himalayas.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for bringing the Gospel to people who have never heard. If you are already a partner with us, we want to say a HUGE, THANK YOU. If you have not been involved yet, we encourage you to prayerfully consider becoming a co-laborer in spreading the Gospel where the name of Jesus Christ has not been heard? Thank You! We appreciate you!