obe-1024x674My interest in refugees fi rst started in May 2012 when  reading Numbers 15:15 -17. These verses were part of God's  instructions through Moses to the Israelite community, about the  foreigners who wanted to join them.

Over the next few weeks I had a heightened awareness of  foreigners in our town of Feilding, discovering they were  former refugees from Nepal. The Lord kept bringing them to  my attention in many and various ways until I realised for sure that He wanted me to reach out to them. So I offered to be a volunteer with Refugee Services. Their training made it very  clear volunteers were not to set out to change the family's
religion; however they could not stop me praying. Before I met  the Budathokis, my new family, I was praying that the Lord  would overrule which family was allocated to me. By now I was  up to the story of Ruth in the Bible and was praying that my God  would one day become their God.


After the Budathokis had been here for a couple of months, they  had a visit from their brother Silas who lives in Christchurch. Silas  had converted to Christ years before in Nepal but had been driven out of the family circle as a  result. While Silas was visiting he explained the Gospel to them  in their own language and they were very interested. He told  them to go to church with their volunteer. So at their request  they came to church with us, and have been coming every week  since. Initially they did not understand much, but I would pray  that they would sense the love of the Lord Jesus and the love  and acceptance of the church folk, and that little by little they  would grow in their love and knowledge of the Lord.

The eldest daughter was the fi rst to be saved, at a Christian  camp with her Uncle Silas during their fi rst summer in NZ.

Khadga (the father) had a huge appetite for Christian learning,  watching the Jesus fi lm and other Christian videos over and  over, and reading the Bible every day. Every Saturday night we  would take them over to Palmerston North to meet with other  Nepali believers where they would be able to receive teaching  and fellowship in their own language. After about nine months,  Khadga said he had accepted Christ into his heart and with  tears in his eyes, he said he was now a Christian. He was able  to confi rm this with the Nepali Christians. Soon after, the Nepali  believers also led Deo Maya (the mother) to commit her life to  Christ.

During the next Christmas holidays, the next two children went  to Silas's for six weeks, and also came back believing in the  Lord Jesus.The family's life is radically different now. They have  relinquished Hinduism completely and are dedicated to following  the one God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

To Bribe or Not to Bribe?
When the Budathokis had been here a while we learnt that Deo  Maya's parents, brother and his family were waiting to come to  live in NZ also. Silas, because of his better English, explained  why they were not able to get out of the Refugee  Camp. The United Nations offi cials in the camps had  discovered a method of making money out of families  desperate to be reunited. They were demanding bribes  from the refugees to be put on the offi cial emigration  lists. NZ Immigration would send staff to Nepal about  every six months to interview those on the list. The  Poudyels never made it on the list because they did  not have the money for the bribes.

This led me to do an extensive search in on the subject  of bribery. What did Scripture have to say about it?
Was there a difference between giving and receiving  a bribe? What did other Christians think about it and  what literature was available online? After considering  all this, I decided along with Silas that it would be more
glorifying to God if we did not pay the bribe for the  family, but wait on God alone to overrule and answer  our prayers for a miracle. So 2014 became a year of  praying intensely for the family. We even prayed they  would come that year. The church held two twelve  hour prayer sessions, with different prayer stations in  which the Poudyel family featured. Towards the end of the year  the good news fi nally came. The family was on the Immigration  List and their application was being processed. The church sent  over a love offering, so they could buy food and also clothes  so they could come to their new country feeling respectable.  They got out of the camp on 31st December 2014, and after  orientation in Kathmandu and Mangere they arrived in Manawatu  on 6th March 2015.

Deo Maya was so proud to welcome them to her church. When  they walked in that fi rst Sunday the whole church clapped. Her  brother Gopal thanked the church for their prayers and gift.  We are continuing to pray for their salvation.

What Happens When You Show Love
The Budathokis have been showing love to their neighbour Terry.  While they themselves have been on the receiving end of racial  attacks and discrimination from other neighbours, they showed  love to a chap next door who needed help. It started with helping  him mow the lawns when he was unwell then sharing potatoes
and apples from their garden. They also gave him nice winter  clothes, excess to what they had been given. A lovely friendship  developed and the helping became two ways. Terry began  helping Khadga learn to drive, and still is. He is now like a family  member to them. He accepted the invitation to come to church  at Christmas last year and has come regularly since. He is being  drawn to Jesus Christ and his life is changing radically too.

I am so glad I responded to God's prompting to work among  refugees. The blessings have been absolutely amazing, not just  for my husband and me, but for the church as well. We are all so  much the richer spiritually and the story will never end as more  and more folk connected with the Budathokis come to Christ.

Reena Wallis


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