Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Lost Boy Found

I was sitting here in my prayer room, asking God what he wanted to show me this morning. I often write something in response to my daily reading of Oswald Chambers but today nothing from my reading jumped out at me, so I turned to "Prayer #3: Acts 2:17" on the Dwayne Roberts CD "Apostolic Prayers 2: Let us Pray," and sat in quiet meditation, listening for what God might want to tell me.

As often happens, it was difficult to keep my mind still and I kept looking up at the world map on the wall in front of me. A family from my church congregation is currently living in Kathmandu, Nepal and the husband of that family left yesterday with one of the Vineyard pastors to go to Gadlang, Nepal, high up in the Himalayas--an eight-hour drive over narrow, bumpy, winding (probably very scary) roads, followed by a three hour hike--all uphill (up mountain?). He needs prayer because he's not well.

After my time of distracted meditation, I googled for what I could find about the village of Gadlang and came across a couple of heart-wrenching stories. I want to share the story of Hari Magar, a boy who ran away from home when he was five years old because of the beatings from his step-father. For the next five years, he lived on the streets, arrested and thrown into jail six different times. One day a woman offered him some food. At first he refused, thinking it a trick but eventually he began coming daily to the church to be fed.

He finally became bold enough to approach the head pastor and ask if he could live permanently at the church compound. "Seven years on, Hari is a beaming, handsome, polite, generous guy, immensely musically talented, and doing well at school." He has forgiven his parents for their abuse and visits them monthly with the hope that they will also choose to follow God. You can read more of Hari's story here.

There are far too many children in this world whose lives are as Hari's once was. Where is the mercy? Where is the justice? It is there when people like Noel Isaacs (the pastor who provided Hari with a place to live, not knowing how the church could afford it) say, "I can't help all of them but I can help one." Today the Kathmandu Vineyard church houses, feeds, clothes and educates many former street kids and more have been adopted into people's homes.

Have I said yet that I love this church I've decided to call home? The Kathmandu Vineyard and 13 other church plants in Nepal are our sister churches and they are as much a part of our congregation as those of us who live in Winnipeg. I feel richer in spirit, connected to that not-so-small body of believers in the tiny country high in the Himalayas. I'm so grateful that we partner with them to help children like Hari and so many others.

Jesus, you came to set the captives free. You welcomed children and said that the kingdom is made of such as these. There are so many who need your freedom and your kingdom. Oh Lord, have mercy!

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