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04/11/2017 – 04/16/2017
The night before Easter I was staying at Silas’ family’s house with Amit, although Silas had left to go home for America last Monday, Amit was gracious enough to offer me a place to stay when I visited their church Saturday. They told me that their church was waking up and meeting at 5:30 Easter morning, and that we would be meeting with some other church branches in the morning at a park in central Kathmandu. I had heard that Silas had a few other churches in the valley, so I was excited to meet them.
In Nepal, you don’t move out of your parents house when you get married, the wife moves in with the family. Amit’s house is four stories, and houses 15 people. Him, his wife, his sister, his mother, his uncle, and many of his cousins. The bottom floor has three rooms full of bunkbeds where the kids stay, and there are maybe 8 of them. There is also a guest room where I am staying. It’s really cool.
Early Easter morning I walked with the kids to church, which is a twenty or thirty minute walk. We arrived to meet the rest of the church members, and then had boiled eggs, bread and tea for an early breakfast snack.
At about 7 we gathered into a line and I saw that we would be carrying a banner with our church’s name, and they began singing and dancing as we marched through the alleys of the neighborhood towards Kathmandu. People stared from their balconies and their yard in amazement to watch the commotion.
After a while of singing and dancing as we walked, another church joined us from behind, with their own banner. It was really cool. They also sang and danced.
Then another crowd of Nepali Christians joined us from behind making us into quite a large group. I was really excited to see all the Nepali’s singing and dancing because I wasn’t expecting there to be so many of us.
Then we ran into another crowd that was five times as big as ours, and we all attempted to walk in neat lines as to not disturb traffic. I realized that this wasn’t going to be a small gathering.
As we approached a major roundabout I saw from the right an infinite line of banners and people merging with our group. I couldn’t see the front of our line, and had no idea how far it stretched, either in front or behind. The streets of the city were full of Christians singing, dancing, and proclaiming Jesus. Everyone near the crowds had gospel literature in their hands, and some looked like they were reading it out of curiosity. Others had blank faces.
Every round about we came to had Christians marching from every direction to merge with our line. All the streets in Kathmandu must have been full of Christians who were marching. We walked for about two hours like this. As we approached the heart of the city from the Southwest, lines from the Southeast and Northwest merged all merged into a massive line in the Northeast quadrant, and we marched into a large space where a stage was set, and thousands had already gathered.
In all, once everyone arrived, the number of Christians was several thousand. This video was taken right when I arrived, and people were still pouring in throughout the city. The whole space was nearly shoulder to shoulder, with all of the empty spaces being filled.
Nepali Christians are about 1.4% of the population, but are one of the fastest growing Christian communities in the world.
At around 10:00 some of the crowds dispersed, but it went strong until noon when the program ended. The crowds were full of dancing, singing, and happy Nepali people, glad that Jesus has risen. It was the most emotional, overwhelming, amazing, inspiring moment of my life.
I walked to a book store and picked up a more comprehensive dictionary, and a book of Nepali folk tales. I then walked to rest at a coffee shop because I had been walking or standing for like 9 hours already by 2pm. I then walked to meet the church at the Bible College at 3:30, and their church was packed full, and overflowing. Many of the Nepali’s who came for church had never heard the Gospel.
I fellowshipped for a while afterwards and got to know the guy who started the bible college. I’m really glad to have met these people and am sure I will run into them in the future.
I caught a packed local bus back to Amit’s house and am trying to find out what to do on my last two days here.
I wanted to start off this post with Easter, but I skipped a few days which I will briefly summarize. I left Pokhara Thursday, which happened to be the Nepali new year’s eve. Kathmandu was quite busy for new years. I stayed at a super cheap hostel for the first two nights, on Friday I visited the bible college for a Good Friday Service, then on Saturday I visited Amit and Silas’ church in Bagdol, which is how I was invited to stay with them. I also visited the bible college again for their Saturday service. It has been a busy time.