Australian Visit by Nepalese Pastor Rabindra Das
While the number of professed Christians in western nations is in decline, many churches in Asian countries are experiencing consistent growth as the Gospel is preached to the poor and marginalised. For over 20 years Asia Focus Australia (AFA), a not-for-profit volunteer mission society founded by Pastor August Fricke, has supported churches in many Asian countries who share God’s love in their local communities – often in situations where open evangelisation is outlawed or made difficult.
Pre-COVID, AFA conducted mission tours to churches which received financial support, strengthening connections and understanding between donors and recipients. Until these tours resume, the AFA organising committee decided to bring key recipients to Australia, to share their passion for mission and how God is working in their community. AFA has been generously supported in this current venture by Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Tuggeranong (Canberra) and Creative Word Fellowship (Adelaide).
During March, Pastor Rabindra Das spent four weeks visiting Lutheran churches and schools in Queensland, Canberra, and Adelaide, sharing how God is working to build His church in Nepal; a mostly Hindu country which has anti-conversion laws targeting only Christians in order to stop the growth of Christianity.
Pastor Rabindra was born into a Hindu family, a member of the lowest caste (Dalits) with little prospect of advancing himself in a caste-centred, mostly Hindu society. His parents were manual workers with minimal income and he experienced hunger many times in his childhood. His father and mother effectively gave their lives to support their children and help give them an education.
When Rabindra was about 14 years old he found a discarded pamphlet based on the book of Matthew. Subsequently, he received a book named “Message of Love” from a friend, although he did not know it was the Bible. This led him to attend a Christian church where he accepted Jesus as his Saviour.
Amazingly, after two months of attending Church, he started sharing the Gospel with groups of people and there felt the power of Holy Spirit moving in him as he shared God’s Word – even though the Bible was new to him; the audience being “amazed with the truth”.
At that time he was challenged as to whether Jesus could heal. He accepted the challenge which led him to the house of a person waiting to die from Leprosy. After three days of prayer and a reading of the Bible at the man’s bedside morning and night, he was able to get up; fully healed.
Some years later after various roles in the church and in aid agencies, he gave up his dream of studying medicine as he felt called by God to become a Pastor. From small beginnings holding church in his own home, he is now Mission Director of Livingstone Ministry Nepal (LMN), with oversight of 94 Nepalese churches. These churches are characterised by
- A long experience in church ministry and mission outreach
- Active and motivated pastors and missionaries
- Different gifts of Spirit
- A vision to reach out to more unreached people and groups in Nepal
- A vision to reach out to neighboring countries and also across continents
Pastor Rabindra’s shared experiences were inspirational and an example of how God’s love can be shared via an wholistic ministry, where serving the needs of others opens the door for the reception of God’s grace in Jesus Christ. Churches in the western world can learn a lot about ministry from our brothers and sisters in places such as Nepal, and we thank God for Pastor Rabindra’s visit.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 5:3
To find out more about Livingstone Ministry Nepal (LMN), you can view a video here.