Caught in God's hand
Posted by Mission Catalyst at 14:58 on 25th May 2010
Pastor Narayan runs the 24-7 prayer tower in Kathmandu, Nepal. This is Narayan’s remarkable story in his own words.
I was born and brought up in the Hindu culture and always observed the Hindu culture as an adult. However, I was confused about three things:
• how there are so many gods and goddesses
• life after death – as Hindus go through 84,000 rebirths and still don't know where they'll end up at the end of that
• I didn't know who I was – during high school I knew that Hinduism had no truth but I went to the temple and wore a suit but then just went back to the same old ways. I thought of religion as a dry coconut; I couldn’t find out what is really inside me.
I went to university but, at the end of the second year, had a quarrel with my uncle who stopped supporting me. I dropped all my plans and gave up studying. I was so sad about life, wanting to do something but had no opportunities.
I ran away from home, not planning to return. I contemplated suicide. But conscience – which I believe is the God of judgement – told me I should not kill myself because it’s a sin and not a solution. I was caught in the hand of God.
I thought, ‘I have hands and feet, why not use them and go somewhere else?’ So, I picked up my stuff from my university room and went to the railway station. I got on the first train that came along, without a ticket, and was ready to go wherever it took me.
I got off the train and paid five Indian rupees (about 8p) and got on a rickshaw. I found a group of people going to Mizoram to work for the government, building roads. I told the leader of the group about my life and was offered some work but only for three months.
I stayed with 35 to 40 people during my job and it was very hard labour. After four months I didn’t know where to go to get money. I met three Nepali guys who had a business basically carrying wood up a hill. I would get three rupees for one trip and it was very hard work. This started at the end of 1977 and I did this for five years. I felt like I couldn't die but also couldn't live. I was living with drunken Nepali men in a jungle who gambled and hated it.
In 1981, I went to a Nepali village and met three guys. One was married and I stayed with him for a week. In this time I was invited to a three-day Christian music festival. I went with a positive attitude and on the first day I noticed how the young people there were so happy and realised that these people have something that I don’t have.
While watching I started to ask questions... Who are these people? Who are Christians? Who is Christ? There was a good message from God – Jesus is a loving God! I began thinking: will Jesus give me what I am looking for? I thought I must try and test and see; trust and see what happens.
Day two of the festival went well and I began to think about life, Hinduism and how I wanted to marry but had no education.
I decided that I wanted to follow Jesus, although had no gospel. I spoke to my friend who was a pastor and asked: “I want to follow Jesus. What shall I do?”
On the Sunday night, the question was asked whether anyone wanted to give their life to Christ. There were more than 1,000 people there. I felt the Holy Spirit calling me but knew that one day I would go back home and would be thrown out of my home if I told them I’d become a Christian. Still, I decided to face my fears – it was like jumping in a fire. But I knew that whatever I chose to do, I had to go with it.
Fearfully, I went forward and accepted Jesus. They asked me questions like: “Jesus died for your sin: do you believe this?” I answered yes to six out of the seven questions, and then they asked, “Would you like to follow Jesus till death? In all circumstances?” I thought for a while and then made a commitment to follow Jesus.
It felt an electric shock and like I'd found freedom and happiness inside! I slept so peacefully that night – better than I'd slept in such a long time! The next morning I woke up with a sense of pride, thinking, “I am so precious”.
After 15 days, I got hold of a Nepali New Testament. It was the first time I'd ever seen one! I read it with hunger and thirst. I found that John 14: 8 (‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us’) had a very special meaning to me I realised that Jesus is God and he provides life after death, eternal life.
After six months I decided I wanted to serve God, so joined the home mission gospel team in Mizoram, preaching the gospel. I gained more experience about evangelism and then joined Operation Mobilisation for four years from 1983. I had to live by faith and lead the team.
From 1987-89, I went to Bible College in India for four years and, in 1990, the Lord guided me to Nepal to live in Butwal. I was a pastor there for four years.
I then decided I wanted some cultural experience in the West so went to Belfast where I got the opportunity to work with the BBC.
In 1996, I spent time with a British friend in London and began thinking about a prayer tower. I was inspired by the thought of 24-hour prayer; I knew it was important. I didn't know what to do about it so prayed and studied.
I couldn't sleep between the hours of 10 and 3 because I thought, ‘Look at the world without 24 hour prayer... it can't manage. In the same way that hospitals and emergency services are 24 hours, so prayer should be!’
Pastor Narayan was speaking with the Jo, Annie, Hannah and Laura – the BMS Nepal Action Team.
Read about Narayan’s experience at the prayer tower in the issue of Mission Catalyst focusing on ‘mission and prayer’.