Charles was no stranger to prison life. This was
the third time he had been incarcerated in less than 2 years. The police
knew him well.
Sharing a cell with drug users, thieves,
rapists, and murderers, Charles was considered, according to Nepalese
law, the worst of criminals. He had been arrested again and again for
converting Buddhists and Hindus to Christianity. Anyone who was caught
baptizing a new believer would be sentenced to death.
On the king's birthday, Charles was
released from prison and he returned to his small house nestled in the
foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. His American friend Rick arrived
as planned. They sat over a rickety table enjoying their bowls of rice
with steamy vegetables, and gave thanks to the Lord for Charles' deliverance
once more from jail. Then they discussed their next mission to bring
the light of the gospel to the darkness of souls.
At daybreak, the young men drove to
the end of the existing road. Then, by foot, they walked to the path's
end. They walked through rice fields and pulled themselves up the steep
sides of the hilltops, then dipped back down into lush green valleys.
The following day they walked through three ice cold rivers, holding
their knapsacks above their heads.
Before them lay the village. Rick
and Charles preached, ministered to the needs of the people, and baptized
the new converts. At the end of the few days, they went deeper into
"This is going to be the hardest
village," Charles explained. "Its stronghold here is a witch
doctor the people revere and fear."
Before beginning any work, the men
prayed and fasted in the humble home of one of the few Christians who
lived in that part of the country. On the third day, Rajen the witch
doctor called for them. Speaking through Charles as an interpreter,
he told them, "I know you have come to preach and to convert my
people. Please eat this wonderful food I have prepared for you."
Not wanting to offend him, Charles and Rick ate until their bellies
were full. Rajen sat watching them for a long time before speaking again.
"You may tell my people about
your God but you must not convert them to Christianity," he warned.
"What if they want to become
Christians?" Rick asked.
"You may tell them about your
God and how He has worked in your life, but nothing else."
That night all the village people
gathered around the smoky fires and listened to the two young men speak.
They fascinated with the Nepalese man and with how fair the young white
American looked. Rick and Charles spoke for a long time about a Baby
that was born in a far-off country, and how this Baby grew up and performed
miracles. The village people thought this Jesus
must have been a good man.
The next day the witch doctor called
for them again. Once more a meal was spread out before them and Rajen
pointed to it. The two young ministers sat cross-legged on mats and
ate until they were full. Rajen watched them carefully.
"You may tell them more about
your God tonight. If anyone wants to become a Christian it is all right.
No harm will come to them in this village."
Rick and Charles rejoiced. Through
prayer they had battled many strongholds; now they prayed for a harvest
of souls in this village. That evening they continued telling about
They explained that He was the Son of God and that because of Him no
more blood sacrifices were necessary, because His blood atoned for all
When Rick and Charles had finished
sharing the gospel, people came forward, forsaking their gods for the
one true God. Rick noticed Rajen watching from the shadows, beyond the
light of the fires. Charles and Rick prayed through the night for God
to soften the witch doctor's heart.
On the third day they were summoned
again to Rajen. They sat and ate, and again the witch doctor touched
nothing. But he was quieter and seemed withdrawn. When they finished
eating, Rajen in a raspy voice that shook said, "You may do whatever
you would like to do."
Once outside, Rick hollered, "Yahoo!"
and clicked his heels together as Charles laughed at him. They knew
that God had answered and removed the enemy's stronghold from around
the village. That night after Charles and Rick preached, nearly every
one in the village came forward to accept Jesus
into their hearts.
The next day Charles and Rick spent
hours baptizing the new converts in the river. "This will be known
from now on as a Christian village and other preachers will follow us
to do more work here," Charles explained to Rick.
Before them in the water stood Rajen.
His cockiness was gone and his eyes were dark and empty. "I
want your God," he proclaimed.
Rick and Charles prayed with Rajen
and he became a new creation in Jesus
Christ. Then they baptized him in the cold mountain river.
"When you are finished here,"
he said, "come to see me."
This time there was no food spread
before them. "For the past 3 days you have eaten my food,"
Rajen began. "With my own eyes I watched you put it into your mouths."
From a large box Rajen pulled a huge
dead rat. "I put poison in your food. See, it killed this rat.
But it does not kill you. It did not even make you sick. Your God is
much more powerful than my magic. And your God loves you and protects
you. I want this God and this love inside my heart."
Rick and Charles began to rejoice
and thank God for this miracle.
"But before I decided I wanted
to know your Jesus,
I sent a man from the village to get the Nepalese police. The message
said you were converting and baptizing. You must flee for your lives.
I am truly sorry for this. But I did not realize at the time that your
God was the one true God." Rajen wept.
In an hour Charles and Rick had packed
their belongings and were ready for the trip down the mountainside and
said their good-byes to the people. As they walked through the clearing,
Rajen stood with a small knapsack, ready to accompany them. "I
want to come," he told them, "I want to learn more about Jesus."
The three Christian brothers
walked in single file along the dusty path, moving quickly, saying little.
They crossed two icy rivers and didn't stop to change or even to dry
off. Charles would be killed this time if he were caught, and Rick would
be jailed and then expelled from the country.
The road widened, but down the mountain
they saw troops walking steadily toward them. There was no place to
run, nowhere to hide. They began to pray. Suddenly a fog grew around
the side of the mountain and covered them and the soldiers. Charles,
Rick and Rajen walked with their shoulders scraping the side of the
mountain as the Nepalese soldiers passed within inches on the other
side of them, never seeing them through the heavy fog.
This was an impossible mission from
beginning to end. But Jesus
is a Master of the impossible. All things are possible with Him. Since
that time, Charles and his family have had to leave Nepal. But their
work has not diminished; instead it has grown. A Bible school has been
established in India and from there young ministers go into Nepal to
continue the work Charles started. Where there was once only a handful
of Christian ministers there are now dozens walking through the mountains,
preaching and baptizing believers in the cold rivers. Rajen is one of