I recently had the privilege of sitting down with Pastor Robin Rai from Nepal, while he was in Malaysia for an extended visit, to hear his incredible story.
Ps. Robin was raised in a Hindu/Buddhist background in East Nepal. The eldest of ten children, Ps. Robin was elected to be a priest at the early age of seven. His grandfather was also a priest, and Ps. Robin became his disciple.
Whenever people were sick, they would go to him, and he will call upon the spirits to heal whatever was wrong with the person. Even though he didn’t know anything about religion, he would carry out rituals and make sacrifices to the spirits to cure people’s ailments.
Ps. Robin did not go to school for most of his growing up years and could not study. Even when he eventually went to school, he had to walk four hours every day to get there. Due to finances, he did not complete his studies.
During that time, Nepal was going through some political transitions. At fourteen, Ps. Robin was recruited by a political party to work with their entertainment crew. “When they come together for meetings, we have to go sing and dance for the public, and I was the leader,” he said.
Due to political unrest, Ps. Robin was forced to flee Nepal. Without any money or food, he and his friend walked for two days to the Indian border. The dug up potatoes on the roadside and ate that for nourishment.
When Ps. Robin reached India, he met an elderly Indian woman and her husband who owned a small shop. He told her that he did not have anything and had just run away from Nepal. She said, “Come. Sit with me.” She treated him with extreme kindness and he was very touched.
“My dear son, you can sit here,” she said. “In the night time, you can rest.” They cooked a good meal for him and served him. Then, “she told me about Jesus Christ and prayed the whole night for me. I’d never seen Christian people pray before in my lifetime.”
In the morning, she told him, “Son, a man will come and take care of you.” About three hours later, a man from the army came and asked him where he was from. “You ran away from your house?” he asked. “Yes, boss!” Ps. Robin replied. “I ran away because there is a big problem.” The man told him, “Don’t worry,” and the woman who had cared for him told him to go with the man. “He is a very nice person,” she said.
Ps. Robin worked with him for two years after that. “He had a big house. I helped him carry things, I washed his car, and carried food from the jungle for him.” He also learned Hindi while he was there. After two years, he decided to return to Nepal.
When he got back to Nepal, he found out that his grandfather had become a Christian! “Some of my friends told me, Robin, some religion has come to our place. This is a western culture. It is not our way. We have to stop them. You are our leader.”
“So how can I stop them? First I have to read the Bible!” Ps. Robin read through the New Testament, hoping to find something wrong so that he could point it out and put a stop to Christianity in his village. “But I didn’t find anything wrong.”
A month later, a pastor from another village came to preach. “I wasn’t feeling so well at that time. I felt so sad in my heart. I couldn’t have any peace. People were shouting, ‘stop this foreigner religion!’” So he took his friends and siblings and went to the place where the Christians were gathering.
“I sat in the corner in the back, listening for something wrong so that I could correct them. But nothing was wrong with their teaching. Then they started singing.” His brothers were urging him to stop them. But at the moment he decided to stand up and say something, he felt a spirit—a different spirit from the kind he was familiar with—overcome his body.
“I wanted to speak, but I couldn’t speak. My tongue was speaking another language. I thought I was dreaming. I thought these Christian people had put a spirit inside me.” But he felt peace. His previous experiences with spirits had been painful. “I would feel so worn and be filled with so much sadness. But with the Holy Spirit, I felt real peace. Not just in my body, but in my heart also.”
After a few minutes, Ps. Robin was able to speak again. The pastor came up to him and told him that if he wanted to believe in Jesus Christ, he would have to pray and ask Him into his heart.
“I didn’t look at my friends,” he said. “I just knew I was a sinner. I’d done wrong.” So he told the pastor, “I want to accept Jesus.” And they all did. That day in October 1999, he and all his friends and siblings who were with him gave their lives to the Lord.
“When I accepted Jesus, the Holy Spirit filled me and changed my heart. Then, we had to ask, what’s next?” He was new to this. What was the process? How did they pray? How did they read the Bible? “I threw away the idols in my house and burnt them. And the people were angry with me. People were shouting at me, ‘You are not a good man!’ My mom was scared and she said, ‘Go away from here.’”
Ps. Robin went to live with his pastor. He worked with him on the farm during the day, and in the evening, they would go out to preach the Good News. “We would walk for two to three hours, and he taught me to preach.” Ps. Robin witnessed many miracles. Sicknesses were healed, and evil spirits were cast out. Within a month, the whole village was converted.
Problems arose again in Nepal and Ps. Robin once again had to leave the country. So he decided to go to Bible College in India. But he had no money with him—not even one Rupee. “There was a group of other people who wanted to go to Bible College. They told me, ‘If you want to go, you have to pay fees.’ I told them that I will work, and I will study.”
Ps. Robin took a seven-day bus ride across India to the Pakistani border. There, he conducted tuition classes for young children and eventually earned enough to start studying. God later led him to start a church in Himachal Pradesh where he got married and started a family. Again, he witnessed God’s power among the people he worked with. Over the course of seven years there, seventeen miracles took place.
Life in Himachal Pradesh was not easy. The winters were harsh, and the cost of living was extremely high. Ps. Robin began seeking the Lord about returning to Nepal. At the end of 2012, God provided a way for him and his family to move to Sikkim, close enough to the Nepali border for him to pay regular visits to his parents.
Ps. Robin and his wife started a small food business as well as a small church. But the people in Sikkim did not accept him. They would ask why he was there, leaving him very discouraged. “For a whole year, I did not lead a single person to Christ. I preached, but people wouldn’t listen.”
Then 2015 came around, and at the end of March, a miracle took place that turned things around. Ps. Robin was helping his wife in the kitchen one day when a man came to him. “Ps. Robin, you have to come to my sister’s house. Her son is going to die. Come, quickly.”
“I wasn’t ready to go,” Ps. Robin said. “My wife said, ‘Go. You are the pastor; you have to go.’ I said, ‘How can I go? I didn’t pray about this. I didn’t even read my Bible today.’ She told me, ‘Just go.’ I was afraid. What if I prayed and he didn’t wake up? I was scared.”
Thankfully, the house was far away. As he walked, he prepared himself. “I prayed, ‘God, if you would, you can heal that boy.’ I didn’t have any idea what was going to happen. I just prayed and prayed.”
When he arrived at the house, the boy was sleeping. The mother, a dedicated Hindu woman, was sitting by the bed. Many people were present, watching. Ps. Robin touched the boy’s hand, and the boy’s mother said, “Pray, Pastor! You worship the true God.”
“So I prayed, simply… ‘In the name of Jesus, wake up.’ I said, ‘Amen,’ and went to sit down. I told them, ‘He is going to die.’ But then, the boy suddenly woke up. Crying, he said, “Mom, I’m hungry. Give me some food.”
“I was surprised!” Ps. Robin said. “I was the only believer there. Everyone else was Hindu. The boy’s mother told me that he was born with a heart problem and that she had been praying for her son since he was a baby. She said, ‘This day, God has healed my son. I want to accept Jesus Christ.’”
“This is real,” Ps. Robin said. “I have seen it with my own eyes. I thought the boy would never wake up, but he’s attending school now. They took him to the hospital later, and the doctor said there is nothing wrong with his heart. He is completely healed.” The whole family attends church now, along with everyone else who witnessed the miracle that day.
“These are the things I have experienced. Jesus Christ is truth,” Ps. Robin said. “Even though I see it all the time, how He loves people, how He works… sometimes it’s still hard to believe.”
Ps. Robin recalled the days when he used to call upon the spirits of the dead. “Spirits need a body,” he said. “They will use our body to do wrong things. They cause trouble for people. They are not peaceful spirits.
There is no doubt that the devil is powerful. “But when I compare, the devil’s power is limited. It is confined to one place at a time. But Jesus’ power is unlimited. Everywhere we go, it is the same Spirit with the same power. The devil can take our hearts,” Ps. Robin said, “but he cannot give us life!”
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