Quite a bit has happened since we last posted…last time we wrote we were on our way to a Buddhist temple on the top of a hill near our home. Needless to say in classic Nepali fashion, plans changed. Instead we found ourselves at a place called Poshipati (transliterated for English). Very few words could describe this place. Poshipati is a Hindu temple used for cremation.
This place is the main temple in Kathmandu for the worship of Krishna. As you walk into the temple grounds you are overwhelmed with the darkness that surrounds it, all along the river are areas for cremation, a couple of the spots were actually burning pyres of what was once a human body, out in the open for all to see. We were told by the locals that many times people there who are dying or severely injured are burned alive in hopes of being reincarnated as something better. It’s interesting thing when the things you have studied about a religion of hopelessness is there glaringly staring you in the face. Perhaps some of you have experienced such things in other parts of the world. In the US many religions and practices are not ever in your face so much as they are practiced in private. Throughout the temple grounds were many different shrines to various idols all with offerings strewn beneath the idols. As I said, words cannot discuss the feelings of being in a place of such hopelessness and despair. The more we are the more we begin to see a glimpse of Hinduism that no book could ever do justice to. Hinduism is a demonic religion…I am convinced now more than ever that the idols and “gods” worshiped in Hinduism are indeed demons. The pictures and statues of this religion are utterly horrifying. I have never been in a place where oppression seems so tangible and real. It is almost as if you can touch it and feel it. Pray for these people, pray for this area of the world, an area where Hinduism is more than religion, it is a way of life. There is little or no difference between religion and culture here…they are one in the same.
I must say being here has strengthened our faith more than ever. Against a backdrop so drastically different than our own, it is easy to see how true and real our faith is. Against the ritualism of Hinduism and Buddhism a faith so reliant on love and grace and hope is so utterly beautiful and refreshing. Our God reigns as the one true God, the creator of the universe!! Hallelujah! I could write and write and write about our experience at the temple, there are so many things that we saw, from the Hindu priests to the monkeys everywhere, this place had it all…We will more than likely be going to a temple that is the main place for sacrifices in the next couple of days…I am excited yet very disturbed at the thought.
There is much more that has happened, and God has been good, we have met wonderful people here and have had many opportunities to speak to nationals and interact with other missionaries. God is at work in this place, it is amazing to see the Gospel of Christ lived out on a daily basis, and it is so exciting to see the men and women who will be reaching this lost and utterly blinded country learning and growing in their faith. We are blessed to get a glimpse and to be able to be a part of such a work. Our hearts are broken for the people of these hopeless religions. I have learned much talking to one national in particular. His name is Raj. Please pray for him as he is trying to go to the states for a year or so to learn and grow in discipleship. He has an interview with an American counselor on Aug. 4, they will decide whether he is allowed to go or not. He has been my translator for my class and is an amazing man of faith. He shared with me many different aspects of the conflict between Hinduism and Christianity here in Nepal. I am fascinated to see how the Christian faith is looked at in this cultural context. Let me just say it is not viewed fondly. Again I could write a great deal about the way Christianity is viewed, but for now I will leave it as, Christianity is a religion of a weak god and for the lowest caste system here in Nepal. It is quite interesting.
Now for things of less importance but more-so facts. Nepal has terrible drinking water…I am pretty sure it is one of the worst countries in the world as far as water quality is concerned. Many of the nationals themselves often get sick from the water. Perhaps it is because they dump anything and everything in the water…yes even the ashes of cremated bodies. Also, Nepal during the monsoon is suspiciously like Seattle most of the year…rains almost everyday, clouds over almost always, with sun breaks here and there. In that regard its like being at home. I just realized I have to go and get ready to play a little football in like 15 minutes, I must go…