Set Apart to Serve a Different Master
May 08, 2014
Bible college graduates have planted hundreds of churches in villages throughout Nepal. This congregation in a Mondol community is grateful to have their own church building.
Shakya’s* parents were devastated when the son they had groomed to become a Buddhist monk told them he had other plans.
“Something wonderful has happened,” the 14-year-old Nepali announced. “I have become a follower of Jesus.”
At first the teen’s father stared at him, trying to make sense of this startling revelation.
“You speak foolishness. Don’t you know this will bring shame to us?” his father asked, genuinely hurt.
Shakya breathed a silent prayer for the right words. Fighting back tears, he told his parents how much he loved them and that he wanted them to know the Savior too.
Finally Shakya’s father could no longer tolerate what he viewed as his son’s insolence and deliberate disrespect toward the family. He pushed the boy against the wall and struck him repeatedly. Shakya’s mother pleaded for him to stop, but he ordered her and the other children standing nearby to go outside.
When the beating was over, Shakya’s face was bloodied and both of his hands were broken.
The young man knew there was only one place where he could turn for help and not face rejection—the believer who had led him to Christ. Concerned for Shakya’s safety, that believer brought him to Kathmandu and introduced him to a Christian couple who operated a children’s home and a Bible college.
That meeting ultimately plotted a new course for Shakya’s life—and dozens of others whose lives he has touched.
Shakya comes from the Newar (Newa) ethnic group. Because they are in the clan of priests, by tradition Shakya’s family expected their second eldest son to eventually commit to service in a temple.
But Shakya received a different calling when Jesus Christ—not Buddha—became his Teacher and Master.
After arriving in the capital city, the Christian couple welcomed him like a son and provided for his material and emotional needs. They encouraged him to finish high school and pursue God’s purposes for his life.
Shakya thrived in this nurturing environment. the young man desired to further his education and go into full-time Christian service, so he enrolled in the couple’s Bible college.
During the three-year program, Shakya immersed himself in church administration classes, evangelism training, and Biblical studies. He also completed his internship at a church. Upon graduation, he received an assignment to serve at a church in Kathmandu. Those five years provided a great training ground for him, as he worked with children and youth and experienced the joy of leading people to Christ.
A brilliant scholar, Shakya took classes at the local university while he continued working at the city church. Now the 29-year-old holds additional degrees in journalism, law, and English.
What is most impressive about Shakya, though, is his heart for the Lord and the Nepali people. He works as the office secretary at a large church in Kathmandu and serves the ministry run by his “foster parents” by equipping others to plant churches. He has also translated Christian evangelistic materials into the Newari language.
As for his family, Shakya makes periodic trips to their farming community to briefly visit his parents and now grown brothers and sisters. Sometimes he brings a basket of fruit or other small gifts. It grieves his heart that his father has disowned him.
There is a glimmer of hope, however. Shakya’s sisters, once reluctant, now welcome his visits. They have even attended his church’s Christmas and Easter programs. Although they have not yet received Christ, his sisters are open to hearing the gospel. In time, they and other family members may commit their lives to the Savior and seek reconciliation. That is Shakya’s daily prayer.
“His is a wonderful story, one of many examples of how the Lord is using our Bible college graduates to be salt and light and to establish the kingdom of God in Nepal,” said the ministry leader.