During our trip to Melaka in Oct.2016 we met our old friend Danny Chiew whom we remember fondly as a little boy who tagged along with his older brother Benny and sister Catherine. Now Danny is a graduate of a Bible School and is ordained as a Pastor of his childhood church. Our good friend and mentor Gan Chui Peng told us Danny loves the Nepalese foreign workers in Melaka. So we made an appointment to meet him to hear about his ministry. We met in the Wesley Methodist Church office with Poo Kok Chong and Felicia Kwong, his co-workers in the Nepalese ministry.
Thousands of young Nepalese are contracted by agencies to work as unskilled labourers, factory hands in Melaka, Malaysia. Danny visited them in their cramped factory dormitories, bringing them food to supplement their meager diet. He recruited a few liked- minded Christians to minister to them. They started small Bible study groups and arranged car pools to church meetings. From there he gradually discipled them and trained them. After their two years stay, these young Nepalese returned home. Like Paul the Apostle visiting his converts these are some of the remarkable stories …..
By Danny Chiew
In March 2015 I spent time in meeting up and connecting with people who had returned home after their working stint in Malacca. It was such an encouragement to meet up with the returnees who are currently serving well in Christian ministries in Nepal. During the short time, I managed to meet up with Rupak Rai, Narayan Shrestha , Kul Bahadur Tamang, Muluk Limbu, Durga Bisanke and Ram Chandra Ale Magar.
Rupak Rai is currently undergoing bible training in Kathmandu and upon completion in 3 months’ time, he will be back in Malaysia to serve as a full-time Nepali pastor in one of the local churches in Subang Jaya. Narayan Shrestha was converted in Melaka in 2005 and went back in 2007. He is currently a church deacon in Lalitpur, Nepal and is actively conducting discipleship classes for his home church. Kul Bahadur Tamang from Bukit Rambai left Melaka in 2007 and is currently serving with a Korean NGO as a pastor and coordinator in the slum areas in Manohara area in Kathmandu itself. Manohara is a squatter area along a river bank in Kathmandu.
Muluk Limbu who went back in 2008 is now a full-time pastor with his home church in Morang situated in the far eastern part of Nepal. Both Durga Bisanke and Ram Chandra Ale Magar are also assistant pastors in their home church in Udayphur (Far-East) and Dhading (Central Nepal) respectively. Then, there were two others whom I met together with the team members. They have planted churches and an orphange in Sindulpalchowk. It was particularly encouraging to meet up with people like Rajesh Gurung, Rajesh Rai, Som Tamang, Santosh Tamang, Dipen Choudery, Dijendra Choudery and Susan Gurung. All of them are doing well in their spiritual walk.
Presently, they are attached to their local churches in Kathmandu and their respective villages. It was indeed a time of praise and thanksgiving when I finally met up with Susan Gurung. He became seriously ill about 3 years ago when he was in Malacca (later transferred to Sungei Buloh). As a result, Susan Gurung was sent to a detention centre in Malaysia because of his illness but somehow, he miraculously found his way back to Kathmandu and was finally reunited with his family. We lost contact with him for about two years. God’s grace was really with him. It was a joyful and emotional encounter when we reconnected again.
Besides the two earlier groups of people, God was also good in allowing me to meet up with others during this short period of time. They include Shrawan Bomjan, Durga Ale Magar, Rohit Ale Magar, Daniel Rana, Krishna Tamang, Pastor Santosh Basnet, Pastor Nar Gurung, Diwan Choudery, Nar Tamang and Prithibi Budhathoki. Pastor Santosh Basnet was a Visiting Pastor to our Melaka Sang was a Visiting Pastor to our Melaka Sanggati from 2011-2012. In our planning discussion, he has agreed to visit us in 2016 in order to conduct leadership training. The parents of one returnee, Santosh Tamang came all the way to Kathmandu to meet up with me and I thank God for being able to spend some time with this lovely couple in their 60’s. They came from their village in the Far East and had to travel 2 days and 1 night just to reach Kathmandu. Such are their heart-warming ways in response to our friendship.
Playing Our RoleAs I reflect on the trip, I am reminded of Jesus’ words in John 4: 35-38 that a continual harvest awaits to be reaped. Let us not delay in reaching out to those who have yet to hear the Gospel regardless of race and nationality. All of us have different roles to play in reaching out to those in the harvest fields as pointed out by Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:6. Some of us may be called to plant while some may be asked to water but it is God Himself who will make it grow. So let us do what God has asked us to do and let God do the rest.
Note: Danny went on his 6th trip to Nepal on 30 Oct. 2016