following is a testimony of God's abundant grace and love
toward us written by Pastor Thomas Rai.
My name is Thomas Rai. I
am from a Hindu background, one of the Rai tribe
in Nepal. This is middle class castes, who worship
different ancient cultural gods and goddesses,
as well as idols of our own ancestors, lands,
stones, rivers, big trees, and mountains.
In 1972, a German Christian Brother, K.P
Kugler, came to live in our village for 4 Years
to teach the Gospel of God, and to learn our language.
I came to know the Lord as my Saviour 30 years
ago. Before I come to know the Lord, my mother
was very sick. My father allowed the practice
of the traditional healers for a long time, but
she was not recovered. I was so sad at that time
because I used to think that I would become an
orphan if she died. It was then that I heard the
Gospel from this German brother. I accepted the
Lord as my Saviour.
Pastor Thomas & His Wife Gyani Rai
I prayed for my mother and she was healed. After
this, I really experienced Him in my daily life.
At the beginning, there were six of us who believed.
We started to gather every evening to worship the
Lord under the tree outside the village. We were
very active in the village. Many villagers believed
in Jesus Christ and joined with us to pray. We preached
the gospel from village to village. The number of
Christians increased daily. We were terribly persecuted
for living a true Christian life and preaching the
gospel. The first time I was arrested, they found
me in my house. They bound me cruelly with ropes
and began to beat me badly in front of my crying
parents and wife. I was then taken to the police
station. That night a drunkard police officer came
and called me to another room. There he began to
swear at me and beat me up every badly. I was afraid
when he said that he would beat me to death with
stick. As he was beating me, I suddenly became very
thirsty and I cried loudly for water. Then a 13
years old believer, Simon Rai came in with a glass
of water. He had followed to help me as far as police
station. The officer did not allow me to drink.
As he continued to beat me, my scream alerted another
neighbor, a non-Christian boy whom I did not know.
He came into the police station and tried to take
away the stick. In the struggle, the officer broke
that stick and he had to go out to get another one.
The boy took my hand and dragged me outside and
pushed me out to escape.
K.P & Doris Kugler
The officer returned with another stick
and began to beat me again. That boy again struggle with
the officer. The beating boy was so sever that I almost
fainted. When the officer left because the second was
again broken, the boy took my hand, dragged me outside
and pushed me out again. Then I escaped into the dark
night barefooted. When I was very far from the police
station, I stopped to consider what I was to do where
to go. I prayed to God in my heart, and I felt that God
said, "Don't go back to your village. Go to Duncan
Hospital to meet the Christians." Since that hospital
was in Raxaul, India, I decided to walk. The route was
very narrow, hilly, forested and inhabited by many wild
animals. It was very dangerous in the night and I fell
down many times. That night I crossed many villages and
hills. Next morning I was very hungry. As I was wondering
where to get food, since I had no money, I recognized
an edible plant in the ground to see it was very large.
It came out easily.
As I was walking and eating the root,
I met two people on my way. They were surprised to see
me eating such a big root. When I told them my story,
they were very kind to me and wanted to help me. They
asked me to carry their small rice bag for them. When
we reached Hetauda City, they fed me a plate of rice with
meet at a small restaurant and thanked me. But since I
needed money to go on to the hospital in India, I asked
them if they would buy the new shirt I was wearing. I
had another older shirt on as well. With the money, I
was able to cross the border by bus, and walk the rest
of the way.
With much difficulty, finally reached
Duncan Hospital, there I found Mr. Rishi Raj Acharya,
who I had met before at Bible Training. He was very kind
to me and arranged a job for me as bookseller in Hospital's
Christian Bookshop. He also encouraged me to preach the
gospel to Nepalese patients staying in the hospital, and
he also provided place for me to stay there. Through his
help, I was able to inform my grieving family of my whereabouts.
I was also able to visit my grandparents who were living
in the neighboring district. They were happy to see me,
because they had already heard that I was killed by the
police and my body was hidden somewhere.
After some days my elder brother visited
me at the hospital bookshop. He told that everything was
fine now and that I could return home. But now that I
had a job, I didn't want to go back. My brother prevailed
on me, that as the first Christian being persecuted, I
had to be an example to other Christian and the Hindu
villagers. So, I decided to return with my brother. For
the following two years, I was able to preach the gospel
and lead the village church. As more and more villagers
believed, the Hindus became angry with us, their Hindu
practices. Again they reported to the police, political
leaders and District Officers. Many times the police came
to arrest other Christians and me. But, they did find
One day, the military came and arrested
my elder brother. In the army camp, he was put into the
well for two hours. The next day they handed him over
to the Pradhan Pancha (an Elected Political Leader) who
drove all the Christians of the Rai caste to lower caste.
They ordered all Hindus not to eat, drink, talk or live
together in the village with us and not to marry us. As
a result, even our relatives did not dare to talk us or
help us. In all these difficult times, God was with us.
Even though, we were not allowed to fish with the villagers.
One day I saw in a small river many fish swimming. So,
I decided to make a bamboo trap and cover it with branches.
The following morning, I was surprised that the trap was
full of these large fish. I had never caught so many large
fish before. As we dried these fish on fire, the news
spread to the villagers.
The following night, some of our Hindu
relatives' came secretly to ask for some of the fish.
Slowly, more and more villagers started to visit us, and
later even helped us to built house and ate openly with
us. Some even believed in Jesus and moved in with us.
There was calm for about a year, and then the persecution
once again came upon us. Many Christians (including my
family) were imprisoned and severely beaten. Some were
forced back into Hinduism. After enduring much suffering
and difficulties, my parents asked to leave for Kathmandu
in 1976 either to study or work. I was there for three
years. I finished high school at night while working in
a mission office.
Then I left for Terai to work as a school
teacher. Every weekend, I would go back to my village,
where my Pastor uncle would ask me to preach the word
of God (because he said I was more educated than he was
). He encouraged me to consider getting training to serve
the Lord in Bible Collage, since there is such a great
need for trained leaders in Nepal. In order to prepare
myself for Bible Collage, I left teaching and completed
my studies for 4 years of IA and BA degree at night while
working for the Mission during the day. Someone suggested
that I should attend a short-term Advanced Leadership
Training (Haggai Institute) for one month in Singapore.
After this I got an opportunity for two
years of Bible Training in Hong Kong, where I learned
a lot of spiritual teachings from the word of God, which
changed my life more and gave me right directions to serve
the Lord. After I came to Nepal, my Lord led me to start
"His Church" in Nepal. So now I am serving Him
as a pastor in the Church. In this way, "Grace Church"
came to exist. Praise the Lord. Now, I want to lead my
church wisely according to Lord's will and leading by
being Holy Spirit in order to shine into the darkness
in this world and into the dark society. This is my goal
in my life, burden and my vision in the Lord. I am not
perfect yet but I am in a learning process. I try my best
to fulfill HIS will and to make God the center of my life.
I'm serving God from my heart. Please remember us in your