Today I was so blessed with one of those moments that I have been waiting for since I got here. In fact, it is the very reason I came to Nepal – to share Jesus with the lost! My good friend Sandeep brought one of his school friends, Soven, to the football fields this afternoon. I like to sit out at the fields and watch our boys play with many others from the neighborhood. Everyday boys pack the field and play from end of school until dark. Most days I sit in the sunshine to read or write, or just think and pray. Today I was sitting, writing in my journal as Sandeep came over and introduced me to his friend.
Soven, who has not interested in playing football, sat down with me and we started chatting. He told me he went to school with Sandeep and liked to visit the church (right next to the football field) with Sandeep and play the guitar. Our conversation continued as he asked why I came to Nepal, what I liked to do, and why I would sit and watch the boys play football. We then talked about deeper issues (which I love talking about!) as I shared I came to Nepal to help people. This young man is very intelligent. I enjoyed our conversation very much, as it included some of my favorite things – politics, social injustice, and religion.
He asked me if I was a Christian, like his friend Sandeep. I told him yes. He then asked me why I followed Christianity. I delighted in telling him what the Lord has done in me and how Jesus has saved me. Soven told me he has seen a change like this in the life of his friend Sandeep. At that moment I was so proud of Sandeep and the life he lives. People are seeing Christ in him, which is something we are going over in Bible study!
Even though Soven has seen God in his friend, he explained to me his trouble with religion. He said that he has seen much turmoil and violence between the Hindus and Christians in the name of God and Hindu gods. It does not make sense to him that Christians are called to love others, but in Nepal they are fighting with Hindu people all the time. This is a very true and sad case in this country. But, my prayer is that in time God will break down these barriers in Soven’s heart!
We also discussed the poverty issues in Kathmandu. Soven is from Pokhara (a different city in Nepal) and he said that Kathmandu is dirty and abused. People are living in poverty and filth. He sees that other nations like the U.S. send money and aid to Nepal, but he said, “Where has it all gone? Look around. This place has not changed.” Unfortunately, I see his point. We discussed the corruption within the government and the people’s lack of concern to make a difference. With this in mind, Soven said that he has no hope. He doesn’t see the country improving, he doesn’t see foreign aid helping, he doesn’t see the people rising up to make a change. And my heart breaks to hear this, especially from one of their own.
He mentioned that this is not the life that he wants. He knows we aren’t supposed to live this way in poverty and filth without care or concern. I told him he is exactly right. That God has created us for more. This is not the world that God wants for us, but this is the result of our sinful actions. I also told him that I only had hope because of Jesus, that I know Jesus will return one day and He will make things right again. How they are supposed to be! Oh that Soven could find this hope in Christ too.