After Dr. Mishra realized the Bible was the source of truth, he accepted Christ as his Savior. "I still had a lot of spiritual maturing to do," he said, so he found a Christian man who mentored him and later became his father-in-law. During his late teens, he led his parents and other family members to Christ.
Bhutan went through a period of political upheaval in the 1990s during a movement for civil rights. The Bhutan government responded violently, especially toward the native Nepalese people. Many were raped or killed, and large numbers fled the country. Dr. Mishra and his family are a part of an estimated 125,000 refugees from Bhutan living in eastern Nepal. As Dr. Mishra lived in the midst of the refugees, witnessing their poverty and suffering, he felt called to pursue a medical education so as to be better equipped to help them. While attending medical school in northern India, Dr. Mishra and his wife, Rebecca, took a nine month class in evangelism training from Campus Crusade. He knew that wherever he would be practicing medicine, he would also be a minister for Jesus. "All over Nepal, no one is by birth a Christian," he says. "Whoever are Christians, they are new converts only. So I knew the need of taking GodТs saving message to as many as possible."
Upon his return to Nepal, Dr. Mishra formed a medical mission to aid the people in eastern Nepal. He now provides health education, basic medical care, and the saving knowledge of the Gospel. It is illegal to spread Christianity in Nepal, and Dr. Mishra has been taken before the local police several times because of his activities. He says, "I didnТt deny what I had done, nor did I say I wouldnТt continue. So far they have just let me go!"
According to UN statistics, Nepal is one of the 50 poorest countries in the world. The life expectancy in Nepal is only 60.6 years, and the infant mortality rate is 63.7 deaths per 1,000 live births. In comparison, the US life expectancy is 78 years, and the infant mortality rate is 6.4 deaths per 1,000 live births. A shocking 48% of children under age five in Nepal are considered moderately or severely undernourished.
Although the country does not have an official state religion, the government has declared Nepal to be a Hindu kingdom. Officially one can practice his faith freely, however conversion is against the law. The Christian population in Nepal makes up only .02нЦ.05% of the population.
As the statistics suggest, Nepal truly is filled with hurting, needy people. It is a country filled with people who live in physical and spiritual poverty. The Luke Society began a new ministry here in 2006 with Dr. Mishra. He has a great desire to act as a servant of the Lord, and with His leading, he wants to reach out to those in need in Nepal.
Currently, Dr. Mishra and Rebecca live in Damak. "It is easy and effective to work in our own town because we know the language, culture, barriers, and plus points," says Dr. Mishra.
In eastern Nepal there are seven Bhutanese refugee camps run by UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) with a total population of approximately 100,000. The residents of these camps live in extreme poverty, and the neighborhoods are often violent. Various watch groups document human rights violations occurring within these camps. There is virtually no income generation here; the people here are recipients of various aid organizations. Poverty and all its repercussions are abundantly evident in these camps.
The plight of these refugees seems quite helpless with only a subsistence allowance of rice being distributed in the camp. Dr. Mishra knows a refugee working as a waiter in the town of Damak. He had been given permission to work outside the camp. On the nights he didnТt return to the refugee camp, he slept in a garage outside the restaurant entrance.
This is where Dr. Mishra is working. He diligently gives his utmost as he tenderly encourages those who are discouraged and despondent. He provides vaccines and gives his medical expertise. His greatest desire is to give others the good news of life in Jesus Christ and to share the same joy he has. As Jesus sent out his apostles, so Dr. Mishra goes out with Rebekah preaching, teaching, and healing throughout this area of Nepal. Dr. Mishra has ridden his motorbike to countless villages to bring healing through Jesus Christ and rejoices in each life touched through his ministry. He looks at villages in the mountains and says, "Those people need to hear about Jesus, I hope to get there next year."
He has suffered personal hardship as he labors faithfully and obediently in this task. God has given him the privilege of leading many to Christ as Dr. Mishra testifies: "Hundreds have come to know Christ through me including my own family members because I knew Christ first. This is not something like boasting, but a matter of excitement to be shared with, to rejoice and for encouragement."
Dr. Mishra has planted several churches in the area surrounding Birtamode. Practicing Christianity is tolerated; however, any acts of conversion are illegal. A conviction carries a seven year prison sentence. Even though there is an outward appearance of tolerance for Christianity, Christians are discriminated against in the workplace and the community.
As the Christian community continues to grow in Nepal, there is an obligation to pray for their continued growth in numbers as well as with Jesus. It is clear that the Luke Society has partnered with an evangelist who happens to be a doctor as opposed to a doctor who evangelizes.