Santosh was a one-time street boy in Pokhara, a famous tourist city in Nepal which is increasingly beset by the problem of street children. Hailing from a poor family in west Nepal, Santosh was orphaned at a young age when his father died. A few years later, he was forced to live in the streets after his grandfather, who assumed guardianship of him, also passed away.
Santosh was one of the estimated 250 street children in Pokhara sub-metropolitan and Lekhnath Municipality. But by the grace of God, Santosh was pulled off the streets at the age of nine and brought to the Christians of Indreni (Rainbow) shelter run by the Himalyan Life Nepal. At the centre, he found the love and compassion that he had been deprived of earlier. There, he decided to follow Jesus.
Today, after completing a Christian leadership training programme, the 20-year-old Santosh is reaching out passionately to street children. He wants to join the Himalayan Life Nepal as a full-time worker. Santosh, who lacked formal education, now feels he is sufficiently equipped to use his own life-transforming experience to care for street children, and hopefully to bring them to faith in Christ.
Santosh was among 19 people from six districts of west and mid-west Nepal who attended the three-month training programme at the Christian Leadership Training Centre in Butwal, from Sept 21 to Dec 21, 2014. Santosh’s amazing story of how intentional discipleship has moved his Christian life to the next level was shared by AsiaCMS’s mission partner Manoj Pradhananga, who was involved in the training programme.
Despite his lack of formal education, Santosh successfully completed the training and even won an award for reading the most number of books among the 19 trainees. The training taught him to express himself better and gave him the confidence to speak in front of many people. His spiritual life also improved, as evident from his constant requests to his friends at training to pray for street children.
The training was packed with classroom and practical lessons, including an eight-day outreach to give the participants an opportunity to share the gospel with 3,000 people personally and also through gospel tracts.
Quiet time, morning group devotion and prayer with fasting were part of the spiritual disciplines. Apart from learning practical subjects like Inductive Bible Study Method and Basic Counselling Skill, the students also got involved in house fellowship and other ministries of the church.
Clearly, the empowerment Santosh received at the training has stirred his passion for children whose lives are fraught with the dangers and uncertainties he himself once endured. By walking in obedience, Santosh is now ready to reach out and impact other children’s lives.