By Matthew Castro
I am sitting here at my favorite spot near the guest house. It is a coffee house called Kairos Cafe. Last year, I came here enough to fill my coffee card, so I received a free cup. It was one of my goals for the trip. I now have three stamps, and I only need seven more for my free drink. Kairos Cafe or 514 is a business that looks to help provide employment to Nepali students. They have great coffee and breakfast.
We finished our first full day here in Nepal. Lisa and Cindy taught at the women’s conference yesterday. There was 31 women, who attended the conference. Lisa and Cindy taught the Nepali women how to study the Bible and be more hospitable. The men visited Buddha Stupa, which is one of the most important Buddhist sites in the world. People walk around the temple clockwise to receive good fortune from the Buddha. Others light candles to attempt to earn prosperity in the life and the next..
I spoke with a Buddhist monk while visiting the stupa. He offered to submit a prayer to Buddha for me. I informed him that I can pray to God and he will hear my prayer. I asked why the Buddha needs us to burn incense to pray if he has eyes to see and ears to hear our prayers. The stupa has two eyes and two ears depicting the universal gaze and knowledge of the Buddha. Yet, Buddhists or worshippers of the Buddha must perform several different actions for the Buddha to hear their prayers. They must use prayer beads for Buddha to give them good fortunate. I spoke with a man, who was selling prayer beads. I asked if the Buddha has eyes and ears, “Why must we use prayer beads to be heard by him?” I hope this man and the monk consider the errors of their beliefs. May God send them a friend, who is a Christian, to continue to share the truth of the gospel. They would know that God is the invisible God, who knows all things, sees all things, and hears all things. He does not need man to build him anything. Paul said in Acts 17:26-27, “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us.” Pray that these men would feel their way towards God and find him.
We spent the rest of the day preparing our sermons for Saturday. I am preaching on the theme of faith as exiles and strangers from 1 Peter, which our brothers and sisters in Nepal experience everyday. They are surrounded by Hindus and Buddhists. The government is filled with those who are opposed to the Christian faith. Our brothers and sisters are unable to preach the gospel openly on the streets. Pray that God would give them boldness to preach the gospel to those walking in darkness.