Nepal revival reports with Pastor Raju Sundas
Our friends Bob and Jill Densley from the Renewal Fellowship worked with the United Nations in Nepal for a few years. They encouraged many pastors there, most with small house churches, facing hostile opposition. Holding church meetings in Nepal was illegal until the 1990’s. Most pastors have been imprisoned, many of them severely beaten.
During several visits to Nepal from 1996, usually with a team from the Brisbane Renewal Fellowship visiting and working with Bob and Jill, we had meetings in Kathmandu the capital, in East Nepal with Bhutan refugees and churches, and in Maoist dominated West Nepal.
During some meetings in West Nepal, we walked the 20 minutes from our accommodation cabins to the church, past unfriendly or suspicious villagers. The two pastors sent to collect us in a jeep took another route and missed us. They panicked, thinking we had been abducted. After that they insisted that we wait to be collected each time!
In Kathmandu, on that same visit, we stayed in a Buddhist retreat house, because that was a safer location than hotels we had used previously. Some hotels had been bombed. Even there, in that Buddhist ‘safe house’ we had a night watchman on duty all night. He walked around tapping his stick loudly so that nearby soldiers would not mistake him for a terrorist!
Pastor Raju Sundras organized most of our visits. We first met him as a young evangelist who had already been imprisoned and beaten severely many times. Raju, with his wife Samita, began Hosanna Church in Kathmandu which grew to over 800 by 2009, one of the large churches in the nation. Each time we visited them we found they had expanded their premises. They planted other churches in Nepal, Tibet, India, and refugee communities from Bhutan and networked with 240 churches by 2009. Ten years ago it took a decade to add 100 people to a church. That now happens in six months or less.
Their church prays. A lot. They have a 24 hour prayer room where many of their people go to fast and pray. They believe in miracles, and see many. Their outreaches include feeding hundreds of street children in their ‘Jesus Kitchen’.
We saw many leaders filled with the Spirit, many people healed, and many gifts of the Spirit poured out, including revelations and visions. I heard a young man in East Nepal, and an older man in Kathmandu, both pray eloquently in English, although neither of them spoke English. That was a beautiful gift of tongues, which blessed me profoundly.
Here is Raju’s report of our team visit at Easter 2000:
Revival among leaders
Greetings in the name of our Almighty God Jesus Christ from the land of Himalayas! The Lord continues to do great things in this land, we have not much to do but to praise Him and thank Him for every good gift raining on us from Him and only Him.
It was a great blessing from the Lord to send us a team from Australia mid April. The fellowship, the Word from God, the mighty touch of the Holy Spirit, the love of Christ flourishing from our Australian brothers and sisters, the awesome presence of the Lord throughout the rushing schedule of conferences, trips, and visits, overwhelmingly expressed the great love of our Lord Jesus Christ towards this nation. During the short stay of about two weeks with the team of eight people we had the privilege to see the ministry of the Holy Spirit through them in several occasions.
Some of the group along with me had a short trip to the Tibetan border. We started early morning and arrived there about noon time. The towns of Liping on the Nepali side and Khawsa on the Tibetan side are connected through a bridge on Bhotekoshi river and right in the midst of the bridge is the border white line showing the boundary of each country. At the end of the bridge on the Tibetan side is the entry gate which is controlled by Chinese guards and immigration officials.
After praying on the bridge we approached the Chinese officials to get a permission to enter Tibet. The first official refused but the second one nodded approvingly, taking the four Australian passports from my hand as security, and let us go free of charge! This could happen only by the supernatural intervention of our Almighty God, Hallelujah! We had good prayer inside Tibet especially on those individual shopkeepers whom I would grab and pray on without any resistance from them!
On 21 April all the eight of Australians and I had a trip to Gochadda in west Nepal and held a three days conference over there at Easter. While driving toward the destination I shared the Word with the driver of the private bus and during the inauguration of the conference he approached the altar and accepted Christ as his personal Saviour. On the same day a Christian brother whose hand was partially crippled for six years was touched by the Holy Spirit and healed absolutely. He was shaking in his whole body and raising his hands, even the crippled one already healed, praising the Lord with all his strength, he glorified the Lord for his greatness, Hallelujah!
Out of about 200 participants in the conference by the grace of God 100 of them were baptized in the Holy Spirit praising the Lord, singing, falling, crying, and many other actions as the Holy Spirit would prompt them to act. About ten of them testified that they had never experienced such a presence of the power and love of God. Some others testified being lifted to heavenly realms by the power of the Holy Spirit, being surrounded by the angels of the Lord in a great peace, joy, and love toward each other and being melted in the power of his presence. Many re-committed their lives to the Lord for ministry by any means through his revelation.
On the second day of the conference the trend continued as the people seemingly would fall down, repent, minister to each other in the love of Christ, enjoy the mighty touch of the Holy Spirit, singing, prophesying, weeping, laughing, hugging, and all the beauty of the Holy Spirit was manifested throughout the congregation by his grace and love. One woman of age 65 testified that she never had danced in her life in any occasion even in secret, but the Lord had told her that she should now dance to him and she was dancing praising him with all her strength. For hours this outpouring continued and the pastors of the churches were one by one testifying that they had never experienced such a presence and power of God in their whole Christian life and ministry.
Some 60 evangelists from Gorkha, Dhanding, Chitwan, Butwal declared that they were renewed in their spirits by the refreshing of the Holy Spirit and they are now going to serve the Lord in the field wherever the Holy Spirit will lead them to be full fledged in His service. In the last day of the conference while praying together with the congregation and committing them in his hands, many prophesied that the Lord was assuring them of great changes in their ministry, life and the area. While the power of God was at work in our midst three children of 6-7 years old fell down weeping, screaming and testifying about a huge hand coming on them and touching their stomachs and healing them instantly. After the prayer all the participants got into the joy of the Holy Spirit and started dancing to the Lord, singing and praising Him for His goodness.
Before leaving Gochadda while we were having snacks in the pastor’s house a woman of high Brahmin caste came by the direction of the Lord to the place, claiming that she was prompted by a voice in her ear to go to the Christians and ask for prayer for healing of her chronic stomach pain and problems, and that is why she was there. We prayed for her and she was instantly healed and we shared the Gospel, but she stopped us saying, “I need to accept Christ as my Saviour so don’t waste time!”
She accepted Jesus as her personal Saviour being lifted in spirit, and even the body as she said she didn’t feel anymore burden in her body, and spirit, Hallelujah!
On 25 April we held another conference in Nazarene Church pastored by Rinzi Lama in Kathmandu. Ten churches unitedly participated in the two days gathering where about 100 people participated. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit continued in this conference refreshing many in their spirits and bringing much re-commitment. Some cases of healing were testified. In one case the brother testified that he had received healing from the Lord and his swollen feet and the high Uric Acid had disappeared from his body, confirmed by the Holy Spirit.
We showed the Transformation video brought from Australia. All committed themselves for constant prayer to bring transformation to their cities too by God’s power.
On 27 April we held a one day conference in Hosanna Church where the touch of the Holy Spirit was tremendous and people blessed by the Holy Spirit and his might were manifesting his power and presence in the place. While people were worshipping and praising the Lord, a prophecy came and the Lord said, “What happened to the vision given to you six years ago? You have forgotten to pray about it but I have not forgotten what I have promised to you through the vision!”
I was reminded by the Holy Spirit that I had seen a vision where I was taken over the highest mountains in this country with a few of my foreign friends and some of our evangelists and as we put our step on the top of the mountain it started shaking and melting and my friends and the evangelists started disappearing, then I cried out, “Lord where are my friends?” And He said open your eyes and see, and I saw all my friends and the evangelists were scattered all over the mountains and they were coming towards me with multitudes of people behind them. I started weeping and with a feeling which words cannot explain I was thanking the Lord for His goodness, I was laughing in the Spirit for the repetition of the vision which I could see again. Hallelujah!
I have to thank the Lord for His great outpouring of the Holy Spirit and I have to thank the Lord also for my Australian brothers and sisters who took up the burden to come over to this place and minister to our people.
Raju also reported on further developments the next year:
During the past two months in 2001 we have experienced a new wave of outpouring of the Spirit on the congregation. Many instant healings of people suffering from fever, flu, unconsciousness, blood discharge, boils and tumours, stomach problems, chronic headaches. The fame of the healings in the Church has reached many unbelievers through the congregation and numbers of unbelievers are coming to seek the healing, most of them ending up saved!
The Church is growing rapidly in the Spirit, many standing in faith are experiencing prosperity, good health, spiritual satisfaction, close intimacy with the Lord and moreover a hunger and thirst along with zeal of God to know Jesus intimately and to do his will whatever it may cost. This new wave of revival in the Church is another assurance from the Lord that in the days ahead he has got great and marvellous plans to be revealed and carried out by the people he has called to fulfil his purposes.
This revival is quite a new movement of God in the Church and the leadership of the Church is waiting on the Lord to receive revelation if there is anything to be done or just let it grow to maturity as it is growing by the Holy Spirit. Since the start of the year 2001 the leadership of the Church is busy to pray on almost every individual of the Church for receiving the gifts of the Spirit as well as counselling them in the Word and praying with them at the time of need.
In December 2007 the Prime Minister invited Raju to speak at a nationally televised Christmas Day service in their International Stadium. Hosanna Church musicians led the 2,500 people there in singing their Nepalese version of Carols by Candlelight, as they held their candles: Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to Jesus, Happy Birthday to You.
The following year in 2008, for the first time in Nepal’s history, the government proclaimed December 25-26 a national public holiday.
This brief account is included in Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival, by Geoff Waugh (Chapter 8: Revival, pages 194-200)