Prasad is a SOON reader from Nepal
I come from the beautiful country of Nepal. It is famous because it has the highest mountains in the world. The lowest land is 75 meters above sea level and the highest is 8,848 meters (nearly 9km). This is the tallest mountain in the world – Mount Everest.
High class family
I live with my wife and two children aged 12 and 10. When I was a child, life was very different for me. My family is from a high class group in the community. I learnt about the rituals of my religion from my parents. They taught me about the many gods that they worshipped. But as I grew up, I found it very difficult to believe all I had been taught. Then something happened that convinced me that I could not believe in many gods – an idol was stolen from the temple, just a few meters from my house. How could a god be stolen? This question was in my mind as I finished high school and went to study at a college in the big city.
"I thought he was just one of our gods"
It was there at college that I heard the name 'Jesus Christ' for the first time. To begin with I thought he must be just one of our many gods. So I asked myself, "Why should I know about Jesus? I already have thousands of gods and I don't want to worship any of them."
One day a man who lived nearby came to visit me and told me more about Jesus Christ. He gave me books to read and invited me to a Christian meeting at his house. I wanted to please my friend so I bought a Bible (the Christians' holy book). But I did not want to read it. However, I did go to that Christian meeting every week. There I met other followers of Jesus. They told me about their lives and what Jesus Christ had done for them. I thought, "They are making up stories to make me believe in Jesus".
They were different
But as time went by, I noticed the way they lived and behaved was different from other people. They had a joy and peace that others did not have. I could see that the stories they told were real. I even saw people healed from illnesses after they had asked Jesus to make them well. One day I went to a Christian meeting in a public place for the first time. This was a very big step for me to take. Christianity is seen in my country as being for low class people, not for those of high class like me. Going to such a meeting would bring shame on me and my family if people knew about it, so I was very careful. I did not tell anyone where I was going.
I began to read it
At the meeting, I learnt more about Jesus. I began to realise that he loves me. The Bible that I bought to please my friend no longer stayed on the shelf – I started to read it. There I found out about the one true God, who made everything, who loves us and who wants to be my friend. He came into the world as a man – Jesus Christ – and lived a perfect life. He was judged by the leaders of that time and sent to die on a cross – the punishment for bad criminals then. After he died, he was buried in a cave with a big stone across the entrance. But three days later, the stone was pushed to one side and Jesus' body was no longer there. That day, many of his friends saw him alive. He was seen by many others who all knew that he was alive again. I also read in the Bible about why Jesus died. He had not done anything wrong. He died because we have all done wrong things and we feel bad inside with shame and fear that we cannot escape from by ourselves. When Jesus died on the cross, he took the punishment that we deserve. Now God forgives everyone who asks him to forgive their wrong doings, and wants to start a new life with him – a life that will last for ever. He takes away our shame and fears, and gives us peace and joy instead. When we die we will go to live with him for ever in his home called Heaven. He does all this because he loves us.
Not an easy thing to do
I thought about all these things. It would not be an easy thing for me to ask Jesus to forgive me and become his friend. My family might never speak to me again; they might never let me come in the house again. But after a year, I knew that this was the very best thing I could ever do, even if I lost the love of my family. As soon as he knew that I had become a Christian, my father expelled me from home and disowned me as his son. But God helped me at that time by showing me that he loves me so much. The wonderful thing was that, after three years, my father took me back as his son!