By David Kho
Today I want to talk about the Christians in Nepal and how, despite coming to encourage and serve, my own heart has been encouraged and served.
There’s nothing quite like singing praise to God with a Nepali church, whether large or small, in Kathmandu, Battar, Tikapur, Hetauda, or in a guesthouse, whether understandable to the Western-ear or not. I want to paint multiple pictures for you of just the passion that Nepali Christians have and the undeniable evidence of God in their lives that shines through their worship. Whether I will succeed in this painting or not, I don’t know, but it has moved me so much that I want to try anyway.
It’s dark, save for the electronic glow of the laptop screen resting on top of one of two beds in the small, square room. The power has gone out and sweat runs down over my closed eyes, but I neither notice it or the light of the laptop. Xiwan and Abel play guitars and I beat on the bed, all three of us praising God and singing to His heart.
The songs go on ceaselessly and prayers in song form comes effortlessly from within our hearts. “I could sing of your love forever” becomes, for us, not just a song lyric, but instead a mantra for our soul, for our life, for our desire.
It’s bright. The light shines serenely through open windows and doors into the long, white rectangular room, the multitude of ceiling fans on full blast. The worship band sings in Nepali from the front, a crashing crescendo whipping hundreds of God-lovers into praise. Prayers rise from every inch of the room, some lightning-fast, some thunderously loud, some thanking with tears, all with great passion and emotion. Arms are raised, people are knelt down, and I sing my own praise to a foreign-but-familiar tune.
The team sits in a badly drawn circle across several mattresses on the floor. Xiwan and Abel are leading worship for us and our words have already passed simple singing and into emphatic prayer. “I lean not on my own understanding. My life is in the hands of the maker of heaven. I give it all to you God, trusting that you’ll make something beautiful out of me.” All track of time is lost as every repetition of the words cements our desire further in our soul.
After church one day I turned to Xiwan and asked if he wanted to know what my favorite part about Nepal is. I told him, “It’s the passion that Nepali Christians have,” and he replied, “Do you know why? It’s because God has shown up real in their lives.” And thinking back to my own times of impassioned praise I begin to understand why their praise moves me to praise, why their tears move me to tears, and why their love for God encourages my own heart.
Their passion is a reminder to myself of how God has shown up real in my life and seeing all my brothers and sisters proclaiming how God has moved in their lives reminds me of how great our God truly is.