We’re republishing this as part of our 25th anniversary series featuring favorite stories from our archives. This story by Pastor Harold Bare appeared in ANM’s Adnamis magazine in 1995. Enjoy!
For the last several days Prem Pradhan has been a guest in our home. He lives humbly, sleeps on the floor (by choice), never complains, can be found reading his Bible any hour of the day or night, does not watch TV, eats whatever is set before him, smiles a lot, and is always ready to go to church. He speaks matter-of-factly of praying for the dead and seeing them come to life: “If I ask my Lord Jesus, He will do it.”
Prem was raised and educated as a Gurkha, a member of a Hindu people in Nepal who formed regiments in the British army. During World War II he served as a fighter pilot in the British Royal Air Force. Following the war, the newly formed Indian army hired him as a tank commander. While still a soldier, he was introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ.
God called Prem to return to Nepal to share the Gospel to the world’s only Hindu kingdom. As one of the first Christians in Nepal, he walked the mountains and valleys for almost two years sharing the precious Good News before he had one convert. Finally, there was one believer, then two, a dozen, a hundred. Through simple prayer and the power of God, dear ones were healed of dreadful diseases. Small churches were begun in village after village, and Prem established a routine of visiting each church to disciple and strengthen the new believers.
The law of Nepal punished anyone baptized as a Christian with imprisonment for one year. The person baptizing faced imprisonment of up to six years per convert. In obedience to his heavenly Father, Prem baptized believers. Once he was sentenced to sixty years.
Nepal’s prisons required inmates to furnish their own clothes. A cup of rice and two pennies were given each prisoner daily. With the money they could buy wood so they might cook their rice over an open fire. Nights were spent in cells ten by fifteen feet long and shared with twenty other inmates, all sleeping on the dirt floor.
During one imprisonment Prem was placed in a special ward with mental patients. Realizing that many of the mentally ill were demon-possessed, he began to pray for them. As soon as someone was healed and saved, he or she would be re-examined by the authorities. No longer mentally ill, the person would be released. Without knowing it, the government was releasing born-again children of God to begin new churches throughout Nepal!
Several times Prem was moved to another prison because so many guards and prisoners came to know the Lord Jesus through his ministry. Each new prison became a new mission field. Altogether Prem spent about ten years of his life in fourteen different prisons.
But God heard his prayers. The king of Nepal finally pardoned Prem. Now the king has given him a national honor for his work with orphans, and the queen has exempted the orphanage from taxes.
Even after years of imprisonment for being a Christian, Prem has a love for Nepal which is so compelling that I want to go there. He talks of the Nepalese in idyllic terms—shepherd girls singing to one another from distant hillsides, the excitement of a walk through the jungle. He has convinced me that the Nepalese men are among the bravest and most excellent soldiers in the world. And he speaks of the king of Nepal in kindness, even with affection, as though he was never imprisoned for the cause of Christ.
I had heard of Prem before he came to our home. Now he is more than a legend. He is a statement of what God can do with someone who will walk in the footsteps of Jesus.
Prem Predahn passed away in 1998. ANM still partners with the ministry he founded in Nepal, now led by his protégé Philemon Chhetri. We have the privilege of introducing many missionaries like Prem to American Christians.
Twenty-five years after we started partnering with native missionaries to reach the unreached, the work continues, and we are closer than ever to seeing the Gospel proclaimed and lived out among every people group in the world. Thank you for your partnership in the Gospel!
There’s more to be done, and just $25 a month can equip another missionary. Learn More.