From Darkness To Light
By Linda Cloud - Sat Feb 09, 10:10 am
I was born in Kathmandu (the capital city of the kingdom of Nepal) in the year 1976. I still remember the bygone days of darkness. This is the story of how I turned from darkness to light.
My mother loved worshipping the goddess Santoshi Mata. My mother fasted every Friday and believed strongly that she would receive the things she asked for. Not only that, but she never got tired of fasting for and worshipping the god Ganesh, whose temple was near our house. As my mother’s son, why shouldn’t I mimic the things I saw her doing? Whatever temples she went to, I followed behind. I wasn’t an atheist; I believed in God. I fully believed that God existed. Because I believed in God, I went alongside my mom to Manakamana Temple where we sacrificed ducks and chickens. At Dakshinkali Temple we sacrificed a goat. Those days were enjoyable. Like a trusting lamb, I went wherever my mom took me. Not only that, but because my school was near Pashupati(It is one of the most important Hindu temples in the world. Religious pilgrims from around the world flock to Hindu festivals held at Pashupati.), I would walk around Pashupati temple once with my friends before we went to school.
In this way time passed happily for me. While I was small, all my needs were met by my family. I had no worries about anything.
But one day, my father became very ill. All of a sudden he had to be taken to the hospital. My mom spent a lot of money and energy for his treatment. Not only that, but thinking the gods might make him well if they could be made happy, she made promises to them and worshipped them and fasted. Those gods and goddesses couldn’t hear the sound that was coming from my mother’s burning heart. My father died. We children were without comfort. My happiness transformed into grief.
My mother finally understood that those gods and goddesses could do nothing. She finally realized that they have ears, but can’t hear. They have mouths, but they can’t speak. She decided, “From now on I will never bow down to these gods that can’t hear or speak.” After a few years, some people came by on their way to visit an old neighbor of ours. These people asked my mom to come to church. She started going to church. At church, she began to hear about Jesus Christ. There, she found the answer to the questions: “Who is the true God?” “How is it possible to obtain salvation?” She believed on Jesus Christ as her own Lord and Saviour.
When my mom was an unbeliever, if she got angry with someone she would hit them. She wasn’t afraid of anyone. All of our neighbors would get scared as soon as my mom started shouting. But after she received the Lord, these things left her life. Her formerly harsh behavior changed into more humble behavior. After she found the Lord, our neighbors began to say many things. When she was on her way to church, the neighbors would say she was on her way to a hotel to make money. They said, “She’s getting foreign dollars and that’s why she’s wearing nice clothes.” “She left the religion of her ancestors and is following a foreign religion.” Even so, my mom wouldn’t treat our neighbors the way she once had. Instead, she would cry after coming home.
After worshipping the idols, my sister, to show how religious she was, used to wear a tika(a mark worn on the forehead as a sign of devotion to various gods.) not just on her forehead, but also on her neck and ears. After coming to know the Lord, she was completely freed from such disgusting things, and as a result, her friends became very angry with her.
As for me, I didn’t care anything about Jesus Christ. I went to church now and then, and had the opportunity to hear many things from the Bible about Jesus Christ. But because I was at the age where life was just fun and games, I didn’t pay attention to Jesus Christ. After my mom believed, my older sister also believed. She tried hard to get me and my older brother to come to church, too, but we both had no desire to go. I didn’t think seriously about my life. When I was in tenth grade I was fifteen years old. By then I was starting to feel a little fear. That fear came because of things I heard from the Bible. From time to time I went to see the bodies being cremated by the Pashupati Temple(The Bagmati river, the most religiously significant river in Nepal, flows through the Pashupati area. Bodies are cremated on its banks, and the ashes thrown into the river.)
And a question began to rise in my mind: “If I die, where will I go?” While walking, I though about this. While resting, I thought about this. I had heard from the Bible that the wages of sin is death, and also that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Death isn’t just physical death, after all, but there is another death that forever separates us from God. I had the opportunity to understand that all whose sins have not been forgiven will receive eternal punishment (hell). I thought about my past and realized that I, too, was a sinner. I had heard that Jesus Christ himself is the way to Heaven. I became sure of the fact that if I didn’t believe on Him I would not reach Heaven. Jesus died for the sins of all, and on the third day rose from the grave where He had been buried. Because He arose, He had life. Praying, I repented of all my past sins and all the religious works I had done that weren’t pleasing to God.
Now I don’t have to go to hell, because I have believed in my heart on Jesus, who is life. I accepted Him as my Lord and Saviour; He who gave His own life to save me from Hell. In the Bible Jesus said, “God so loved the world (people) that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus Christ), that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” For this reason, I can say for sure that I have eternal life, and the punishment of hell is not for me. Do you also desire to believe on Jesus Christ and be saved from Hell? Satan is smart. But trapping me into worldly habits after I believed, he tried to keep me far from personal fellowship with God. I enjoyed watching TV more than I wanted to read the Bible or pray. The unclean things on TV made my spiritual life grow darker and darker.
I wasn’t able to grow in the Lord spiritually because I didn’t read my Bible or pray. as a result, there wasn’t constant peace in my heart. The Lord kept speaking to me, “Rajendra my son, you’re making a mistake; Rajendra my son, you’re making a mistake.”
In 1996, during my second year studing commerce in college,the Lord was really worked on my heart through His Word. I had friends who were bad influences on me. I realized that their influence was keeping me far from the Lord and I finally realized that I should stay away from them.In this way, the Lord helped me realize my mistakes. After I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Commerce,I learn this lesson: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wontonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”
I realized my mistake, and decided, “I can’t keep hurting the God who loved me.” After leaving behind things that aren’t good, I’ve been able to rejoice in the Lord’s presence.
It is written in the Bible that, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” No one can be saved by religious good works. These are man’s efforts. Not by human efforts, but only by God’s way is salvation possible. God’s way of giving salvation to mankind is Jesus Christ alone. By believing on Jesus Christ, I have obtained salvation and new life. Thanks be to God for His wonderful salvation.
It became my strong desire to tell others about the great love of Jesus Christ. As a result, beginning in the year 1996 I began to go to the churches that are in various villages. In my heart grew the desire to remain in those villages and serve the Lord, being of one mind with the believers. I went to churches in many villages. Even so, because of my home situation, and for other reasons, I wasn’t able to do as much as should be done. I was praying to the Lord about this. Seeing the situation of the village people, I have compassion for them. Many are living without Christ. My life goal is to always serve the Lord here in my own country, Nepal. I love my country, and I want to show the people of my country the true way of salvation. To help me in this, the Lord is about to give me a friend for life who has the same heart and same goals. She is American, but she loves the country and people of Nepal, and she wants to live in Nepal and serve the Lord here; Jyoti Cloud is ready to go to the villages and work for the glory of the Lord. May the Lord be greatly glorified by our lives, and may His will be fulfilled through our lives.
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