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GRN Nepal director, Barnabas Shrestha, tells of his efforts to help the Thami people of Nepal to know God.
A short while ago, we were distributing our message tapes in a Thami-speaking village. All of sudden a very angry man started yelling at us. "You are destroying our culture and attacking our religion," he shouted. We explained that we had a message from God in his language and played a few sentences on our TapeTalk player. He listened for just one minute and then walked away.
We continued giving out cassettes at a few more houses when we saw him returning. He was walking very fast and had seven other men with him. Fearing that we were going to have some trouble, I asked the Lord what we should do. When this man got to us he said, "Where is that thing?" Once again we showed him the TapeTalk and started playing a Thami tape. When these men heard their language big smiles appeared on their faces. The once-angry man asked if he could play the TapeTalk. As he began he said to his companions, "Sshh...listen, this is our language!" So they listened - to the whole tape! Before we left, we gave them several cassettes to share around the village.
On a later trip I returned to this village to see if there were any results from the previous visit. I rejoiced to find that three churches had since been started among the people! The Thami people were so hungry for teaching and asked me to stay to teach them for a while. I taught them in Nepali which they understood. I was able to baptize twelve new believers in the river.
On the evening before I was to leave, I had taught for eight hours and was tired. I told them I must stop but they kept asking questions. Finally at midnight I said that I must get to bed as we had a four-hour walk early the next morning to go to the place where I could get the bus back to Katmandu.
As I began walking, a man came up to me and begged me to come to his village to teach them God's Word. I told him I was too tired and was on my way back to Katmandu. The man grabbed my pack and started off very fast towards his village. What could I do but follow. He had my pack?
As I caught up with him he told me his story. He had been Hindu when his wife became very ill. She was dying and all the Hindu priests and sacrifices were not helping. Someone said that he should find a Christian to pray for her since their God had great power. He asked where could he find a Christian and someone said that he had heard that there was a lady living in a village six hours up the mountain.
So without a name or address he started to trek up the mountain. After climbing for six hours he came to a village where a woman was outside her home. He asked if there were someone in the village who was a Jesus follower. At first she feared him suspecting his reasons for trying to find Christians. After he explained that he needed someone to pray for his sick wife she told him that she was the only Christian there.
Barnabas baptizing some of the new Thami believers
He convinced her to come to his home and pray for his wife which she did. This lady was a new Christian and didn't really know how to pray. But she sat beside the wife and prayed as best as she knew how.
Very soon the wife began to feel better and in response to this lady's prayer was completely healed! Then the man and his wife wanted to know how to become Jesus followers too but the lady said that she didn't know how to tell them. She told them that they would have to find a more experienced believer to teach them.
They had no idea how to find such a person and started asking people in the town for the "Jesus office!" They were told that there was no such place until someone figured out that they wanted to find a church.
The determined man finally found a pastor to come to their village and tell them about Jesus. Now there is a church of about 40 people in this village. They too were very hungry for teaching which is why this man had come looking for me when he heard I was in the area!