Until recently, Nepal was the only Hindu nation in the world and they were proud of it. The power of the gospel has been so overwhelming that the nation could not stop the salvation of souls in spite of various laws. Though the gospel reached Nepal way back in 1800, assembly work had its beginning only towards the end of the 20th century. In the mid 1980s there was a work in Dharan, East Nepal, but this ran into difficulties.
It was during this time (1987) that Raghu and Lydia who were in Thane near Bombay, India were called out to serve the Lord in Nepal. Raghu - a Hindu Brahmin convert was challenged by the Lord to take the gospel to the proud Hindus. Since Nepal was closed for the gospel, they were led to stay in Siliguri, on the eastern border of Nepal. The Raghus migrated to Siliguri in September, 1988 and are continuing the work of the Lord. It has pleased the Lord to use them in preaching the gospel to unsaved Hindus. The Lord has used them to gather three assemblies in the eastern region of Nepal, Aiyyabari around 120 kms. from Siliguri, Furkettar around 150 kms from Siliguri, and Dharan around 160 kms from Siliguri.
In the initial stages, the Lord provided a co-worker and translator to Raghu named Hari Shresta (a Hindu convert). He was faithful to his call to serve the Lord. He contributed immensely to the growth of assembly work in Nepal, Sikkim, and the border areas like Belgachi near Siliguri.
Aiyyabari is a village in the plains of Nepal. The work here started with one contact in the year 1988 and has now flourished into an assembly. In the beginning, the work was very difficult because of opposition to the gospel. Raghu and Shresta used to enter the village only after the night set in. The meetings were always indoor and very quiet. Baptisms were conducted in secret places at nighttime because Baptism was considered as conversion of religion. It is a punishable offence even now. No one could stop the work of the Spirit and souls were saved. The Lord gathered the first assembly here in 1990. The first Breaking of Bread with just 10 believers has now grown to more than 100. The assembly initially gathered in a small room of Bhim Bahadhur (the first believer of this village).
Furkettar. From Aiyyabari one has to travel to Kanepokhri in the west and take a diversion to the north to reach Latang a village on the foothills. From Latang, Furkettar is about 8 hours trek. Birka B Limbu an ex-serviceman from the Indian army who was saved in a gospel meeting in Kalimpong, India had association with T B Limbu in Dharan. Raghu met him in 1988. Birka was following the truths of the Scriptures and serving the Lord, so Raghu decided to associate with him. Birka is the one who introduced Shresta to Raghu. The gathering in Furkettar was very small in 1988 with no proper knowledge of the Scriptures and especially the gospel. It became the responsibility of Raghu and Shresta to start from scratch. Apart from Birka and his brother Look Hang no one else was clear about salvation. The work started and it pleased the Lord to save souls. The first gathering of the assembly was in 1990. Many with wonderful experiences of conversion were added to the fellowship. However, the enemy was working and the assembly was reduced to a handful of believers. Since then the work has been continuing in spite of many setbacks.
Dharan. Raghu and Shresta worked in this town from 1991. Dhanendra, one of the oldest believers, went home to be with the Lord in 2010. The assembly initially gathered in small houses of nearby villages and thereafter shifted to small rooms in the town. In 1992 Raghu met a young man called Vikram in a village Kechawna near Aiyyabari at a meeting. This young man, saved by the grace of God - was keen in the Word and things of God. In October 1992, Vikram came to Siliguri to stay with Raghu and traveled with him. Shresta wanted Vikram to be trained by Raghu, so that he could assist Shrestas work in future. Vikram was found faithful at the young age of 15. He learnt the Scriptures and the New Testament truth. During his stay with Raghu, he met Mr William S Penfold, who recognized him as a potential servant of God. Vikram migrated to Dharan in the year 1998 after the death of Shresta. He has been continuing the work in Dharan since then.
Dhamak is a town about 20 kms before Aiyyabari when you travel from Siliguri. A new work has just begun. Bhupal Rai a believer commended a few months ago from Gangtok, Sikkim, India, has stationed himself to do the Lords work here. We shall value much prayer for this new work.
Katmandu - the capital of Nepal. We have been praying for this city since 1990. In 1997 Mr Hyun Woong Lee from South Korea came here to serve the Lord. Initially he was here on a student visa to learn the language. The assembly grew and now there are four assemblies in Katmandu: Katmandu, Lalitpur, Machegaon, and Kappan.
In the initial stages of work there was always a burden to have educated and capable young men who could contribute in building literature work and in the ministry of the Word. The Lord showed to us that from Sikkim, India, He would raise men to contribute to the work in Nepal. In 1990 there was a couple in Gangtok (the capital of Sikkim) called Sunny and Jolly Mathew. They were of south Indian origin, born and brought up in Madhya Pradesh, India. Keeping their house as a contact, we started door-to-door evangelism. It has pleased the Lord to save souls and gather an assembly there since 1992. Now there are about 40 believers in fellowship. The assembly in Sikkim has been a good contributor to the development of the work in Nepal in the recent times.
By the grace of God we have been able to produce our own gospel tracts and we have a magazine in Nepali called Samdhan (the Lamp Stand), which is widely circulated among mainline churches. There have been some who have contributed immensely to the growth of the work. Notable among them was William S Penfold. He had been visiting us almost every year since 1992. Though we were not able to provide much comfort and modern amenities, he never complained. He was ever ready to help with the work.
It is our earnest desire that all of us, including the assemblies, which have come up through the pioneering work, should remain faithful to the Word of God and contend earnestly for the faith and the truth. No doubt, we find it very difficult at times, but our confidence is in Him who has shone the light into our lives and redeemed us. We shall value the readers continued prayer support for us.