The Christian testimony of WO2 (Retd) Lalit Bahadur Gurung
While I was on intensive and hard training in the Training Depot Brigade of Gurkhas, Hong Kong, one day I received a letter from my parent saying, ‘My son, we have found the true and loving God who is known as Jesus Christ. If you get opportunity, please read the Bible and go to church’.
I was really shocked knowing this and had no peace at all. I was thinking, ‘Why have my parents gone to a “foreign religion”, forsaking all our tradition?’ I did not reply to them and three years later went home on leave. There my parents told me how marvellously the Lord Jesus had healed my two sisters from a terrible sickness.
But still I could not believe, because for me Jesus Christ was just a man who was crucified on the cross by the Roman soldiers. Simply, he seemed not as mighty as Hindu gods. But one day when I had an opportunity to go to one of the churches in Nepal, there I realised that Jesus Christ is not an ordinary person. I wondered, looking at the congregation, who as far as I knew none were born as a Nepalese Christian. So they must be converted, but why and how? So I began questioning them.
Everyone had a beautiful experience of receiving Jesus in their lives. After hearing their wonderful testimonies, my faith increased but still I found it difficult to give up old things. My mind was troubled and I could not decide what to do. So one day I knelt down and said to Jesus, ‘Jesus, I do not know who you are; if you are a true God then please guide me and show me things so that I can trust on you’.
As I prayed in that manner, slowly Jesus led me in different ways and paths. As the days went on, my faith increased and he actually confirmed it in many ways. He proved to me that he is the real and true Son of God and there is none like him. He opened my eyes of understanding and knowledge of his words.
Test of faith
After then God led me in ‘the path of wilderness’ to test my faith. There was a time when we were not allowed to practise the Christian faith openly in the Brigade of Gurkhas. We had to follow our Hindu customs and traditions, including worshipping idols (Hindu gods).
There was an incident while I was in the training depot, as a corporal. I had to take soldiers to the temple. I used to lead them up to the main entrance and wait outside for them to return. My action was brought to the attention of the commanding officer as I was refusing to follow Hindu tradition. But I stood boldly for the love of Jesus and the truth.
God gave me grace to stand fast to face any circumstances. As I surrendered myself and prayed, he answered my prayers. God spoke to me through the Bible, ‘The Lord shall fight for you, ye shall hold fast your peace’ (Exodus 14:14).
God provided a man of God from SASRA [The Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association], Lt Col. (Retd) Ken Sear OBE. He has been a great support to me. He took this matter to a higher level through prayers and at the end God granted victory. A great change took place in the Brigade of Gurkhas.
The authority has been granted across the Brigade for Christians to practise their faith. I thank God and am so grateful to SASRA for Lt Col. Sear. Since then, on many occasions, I have experienced that if we stand for righteousness, God will bless us abundantly.
God in his mercies poured out his grace upon me to let me win Her Majesty the Queen’s Medal (Best Shot) in the British Army Shooting Competition at Bisley three times. I believe that it’s not only by my skills and hard work but by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Likewise, during my 22 years of service, God led me in various paths. My last operational tour was on OP Herrick 09 (Afghanistan) for 7 months in the Officer Candidates School, Kabul. On the very day of deployment, as we landed in Kandahar Airport, there were two big explosions heard in very close proximity.
Later, we were told that it hit the empty hangar just a few yards away from us. During that OP tour, several incidents occurred but I felt that the Lord Jesus was always beside me to help and protect. He comforted me with the verse, ‘Fear not, I am with thee’ (Isaiah 41:10).
Finally, on 3 February 2009, I completed 22 years of service in the Army. Many friends and colleagues have been injured and lost their lives but he has always been a good Shepherd to me. One verse always reminds me that, ‘You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you’ (John 15:16).
I want to praise and thank God’s holy name and also to thank Sqn Ldr (Retd) Colin Woodland, General Secretary of SASRA, who encouraged me and gave me this opportunity to write this testimony for the glory of God.
First published in Ready, the journal of SASRA