United Vision Nepal (UVN) is an organisation that is striving to plant churches in unreached communities across the nation of Nepal. This story is a profile of one of the UVN area representatives that was shared with us by Andrew Bleakley, an Elim missionary in Nepal.
“UVN has shaped and molded me!!”
Born in the lap of the Himalayas, Pastor Chudamani Kumar Sunuwar grew up surrounded by nature in a rural Nepalese village. However, even in such idyllic surroundings, something was missing. An inner joy continued to elude him until the day that he gave his heart to Christ.
Before meeting his Saviour, Pastor Chudamani remembers his youthful days and the struggles that he faced with alcohol, cigarettes and getting embroiled in gang fights. At this time, he worked as a khalasi (helping on a local bus) in Dharan. His battles with addiction made him feel terrible about himself and he longed for something more in life.
One day in 1979, a colleague invited him to church, sharing that he knew of someone who could fill the emptiness within and could help him in overcoming the harmful addictive practices that were destroying his life. With little to lose and much to gain, he accepted Christ as his personal savior. With God’s help, he was able to overcome his reliance on alcohol and tobacco and fighting became something of the past.
However, on being called to return to his village he faced a new problem, one that would lead to him spending 29 years wandering away from God. The issue was that there wasn’t another believer within his community, no one who could disciple this young man who was new to the faith. He grew cold and slipped away from the One who gave him life.
During this time, the nation of Nepal was going through a period of unrest with insurgents gaining ever more sway. He was forced to join a militia and later became an area commander of a rebellion group. He was detained several times at checkpoints but on each occasion didn’t have a weapon with him, and was therefore released to go on his way. Had his true identity been known to the guards, he would have been in serious trouble.
When the revolution ended, again he felt emptiness within and longed for the peace that he once had. It was at this time that he was given the opportunity to participate in a Discipleship Training Programme in Kathmandu, organised by United Vision Nepal. The training was another turning point for him as he repented and surrendered the rest of his life for Christian service. “I had a vision from God of seeing other villagers come to Christ”, Says Pastor Chudamani. With great boldness, he shared the gospel with his wife and son who both accepted Christ. He then started to minister to his relatives and neighbors, especially those who were sick and towards the end of their earthly lives. Amazingly, miraculous things started happening as God anointed his ministry and many sick people were healed leading to many villagers turning to Jesus.
In 2014, he was brought into the United Vision Nepal team as an active representative, focusing on church planting. Trained in the Sowing Seed Church Planting method, he started a church in his own home. Today, he is the pastor of Prabhu ko Mandali (The Lord’s Assembly) in Ramechap District, a vibrant and growing body of believers. Much time is spent and many miles are walked in reaching out to the communities round about.
Once he was told by a non-believer, “You should not travel every week but rather once every two weeks or even once per month.” Indeed, today he does travel in those hills only once each month, not because of what he was told, but because he has raised up leaders in that area to minister, freeing him up to travel to other places and bring the Word of God to new communities. Everywhere, villagers are calling him to pray for the sick, domestic animals and many other things that people struggle with in daily life. As the gospel is shared, many are being drawn to Christ.
During the earthquake relief distribution programme that UVN ran in his district, he spoke powerfully sharing the good news. On seeing his transformed life, the local villagers are seeking to see him nominated him for the next election and are ready to vote for him. As God works through Pastor Chudamani, he continues to make a positive impact is seeing many added to the Kingdom of God. Four more churches have recently been planted in neighboring villages and in some of those areas, he has already been able to hand over leadership while he maintains involved in a mentoring capacity. This has freed him up to focus on other areas that are still unreached. “I am able to do this because of the way that God, through the work of UVN, has molded and shaped me.”
Chudamani Kumar Sunuwar.