Missionary to America: Gagan Garung,Nepalese Evangelist
The Making of a Nepalese Missionary, in India
Dr. Robert Scudieri, President
Mission Nation Publishing
As a young adult, Gagan Garung decided he would never become a Christian. Growing up in a Nepalese family in Bhutan, he was on the receiving end of discrimination known by many Nepalese. He did not want to give his Bhutanese Buddhist neighbors another reason to make his life difficult.
In time, Gagan’s family fled Bhutan to return to Nepal. They left on a bus in the deep darkness of night and arrived in a refugee camp in Nepal. They spent the next twenty years in that refugee camp. In one way, at least, this was a blessing. An Indian Christian pastor began a church in the camp. When his brother, sister-in-law and their children were baptized, Gaga refused to be included. Instead, he ran from the river where the baptism was supposed to take place and found refuge in a Hindu temple high in the mountains. There, Gagan could not escape the love and concern of a pastor who kept in close touch. This Christian pastor refused to give up.
Light of Understanding
At one point the pastor suggested Gagan should attend a Bible College just across the border in India. When he arrived at the Bible College, even though he could understand the language of the Indian teachers, the words in the Bible just did not make sense. Other young men from Nepal had the same experience and many left the school. Gagan thought of quitting. Then, a miracle happened.
The school headmaster called for a 24-hour prayer vigil. Gagan was assigned the midnight to 1 A.M. time to pray. Arriving at the prayer room, he folded his hands, bowed his head, closed his eyes and was shaken to the core of his soul. A brilliant white light blanketed the skeptical, fearful, young man. This light brought understanding. He found that now when he opened his Bible, it all made sense. It was the light that converted Gagan Garung, the light of God’s Holy Spirit.
After twenty years in the refugee camp, a door opened for Gagan to come to America. He is now an evangelist in St. Louis, Missouri. Gagan Gurung, the man who ran away from baptism, has led more than fifty Nepalese refugees in St. Louis to baptism. But that is not the only thing that is important about Gagan’s experience “in the light.” God brought Gagan here to share an ancient insight with rationalists in the west.
Accepted Truth in the Western World
In the western world, we rely on the cognitive process of logical reasoning. In order to be real, the western mind wants to verify and make repeatable. Westerners work from a scientific, mechanistic viewpoint. We like to think of ourselves as rational. But everything does not obey human reason. In fact, the primal sin, the sin of Adam and Eve, was thinking they knew more than God.
Western culture believes everything is knowable. We should know better than that by now. At one time we were certain that leaches could cure disease, that heavy objects fell faster than light objects and that the universe had been, and would continue to be, infinite. All of these were shown to be wrong. We simply do not know everything that is or is not possible.
Gagan Garung became a Christian after a bright light blanketed him, and, as he believes, made it possible for him to understand and accept the message of the Bible. My rational mind does not accept this. The light of the Holy Spirit tells me it is true. Perhaps our culture will someday learn truths not understandable to the human mind. Perhaps we need more accounts of miracles like the one from Evangelist Garung.