I hope the brakes don’t go out, I thought to myself as our bus drove up the winding mountain road with a sheer cliff on one side. However, my anxious heart was calmed by the powerful testimony of the older gentleman sharing the small bench seat with Diane and me. He was recently retired from working as a teacher for 35 years in Nepal and the States. Now he spends most of his time translating literature into his native Nepalese and sharing the gospel wherever he goes. Bhaju is his name, and he lives in the hills outside of Kathmandu at a place he named “Adventist Point.” Bhaju has a thick Nepalese accent, but his English is fairly good. Through our bus ride together as we travelled to Kaping, Nepal, the epicenter of the terrible 2015 earthquake, I saw Bhaju’s heart for sharing the good news of Jesus.
Bhaju is about 5 feet 7 inches tall and has a stocky build. Despite the cultural norm in Nepal of dying one’s hair black or red, Brother Bhaju leaves his a natural gray. I noticed he walks a little stooped and uses his hands to grab onto things to pull himself along. I found myself feeling protective of him as we climbed broken cement slabs on vertical walkways.
At the beginning of our journey that day, Bhaju shared about his deceased wife and the childhood problems he endured growing up Hindu in Nepal many years ago. He told me he has two sons living in the States. I asked why he chose to stay in Nepal, and he said the people needed to know about Jesus. He has translated Steps to Christ and parts of the Bible into Nepalese. Bhaju translates Sabbath School quarterlies as well.
The more I learned about this older man, the more I admired him. His eyes brightened and misted over as we gave him some money for his translation work and the Bible lessons he has done. The children and adults who get these lessons will certainly be blessed. We will never know the full value of Bhaju’s work until we get to heaven.
We went on a two-and-a-half-hour trip to the countryside with Bhaju to see the earthquake devastation. There were landslides, demolished cement homes and broken roads. People now live in makeshift homes cobbled together from salvaged metal roofing. Fear still grips their hearts as rumors circulate of the “big one” still coming. Despite the lingering devastation, the beauty of the valley was magnificent. Nature seemed to be recovering faster than man.
There was a small Adventist Church in Kaping at the top of this mountain, and we marveled that the pastor, whose house was destroyed in the earthquake, was diligently working to restore the church. What a joy it was for us to be able to give him money to start the foundation of a new home for him and his family. The whole village there used to be Adventist, but arguments split the church, causing great harm to God’s work in this mountainous region. Though retired, Bhaju visits these people monthly to minister to them and work at reconciling them. He knows a united church is one of the greatest witnesses to the power of God.
Thank you for giving to AFM missionaries around the world and the relief funds established. Please pray for the people in Nepal who are still suffering from the effects of the earthquake. Please also lift up Bhaju as he continues to work diligently after his retirement. His longing for the soon coming of Jesus is evident in everything he does at “Adventist Point” and beyond. May we all live in the same state of readiness!