Date: October 25, 2013
Debalal spent his last moments of life praying for the health of the man who fatally slit his throat. [In the cover image, Pastor Tuhinsurra and believers gather at the funeral for Debalal.] (Both images courtesy Gospel for Asia)
Nepal (MNN) ― A 36-year-old believer spent his last moments on earth praying for the man who would later kill him.
Debalal, an elder of a Gospel for Asia-supported Believers Church in Nepal, was recently called to the home of Kumar Sardar to pray for his healing. Sardar’s wife said her husband had been crying out with acute pain in his body.
As Debalal closed his eyes and began praying for Sardar's healing, he didn't see or hear the 29-year-old leave the room.
"Something sent him over the edge, and while our brother was praying for him, [Sardar] went to the other room and got a huge knife...and slit [Debalal's] throat," recounts GFA's Danny Punnose. "And, he actually just died, right there."
Debalal lives approximately 30 minutes away and would often visit Sardar to offer comfort and to intercede on his behalf. Sardar had been ill for some months and was improving gradually as Debalal prayed for him.
"We really don't know exactly why things like this happen, or why exactly this incident happened," says Punnose. "We don't know if [Sardar] was just really stressed, if he was sick, if he wasn't mentally all there."
Police didn't hesitate to take Sardar into their custody, and Punnose says a trial will likely be held in the coming days. Pray that Kumar Sardar would repent and come to know the saving and redemptive love of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
"If the police don't come and take him into custody, the rest of the villagers will probably beat him to death," explains Punnose. There's a possibility villagers could turn their anger upon Sardar's family instead.
"This family…will be completely shamed and ostracized because of this."
Pray for their protection. Pray that the "why?" questions will cause Sardar's family to turn to Christ.
Pray also for Debalal's family. He left behind a wife and two young boys, ages 9 and 15. GFA is helping them through the Persecution Fund. You can send a gift here. The local church is stepping in, too.
"They'll also be taking care of her and helping her, so she won't be abandoned or ostracized," Punnose says.
While the reason for this attack remains unknown, it doesn't look like it will trigger widespread persecution.
"This is an isolated incident where this man snapped or went over the edge and killed our brother," Punnose states.
It isn't like the attacks in Orissa, where radicals went hunting for Christ-followers. Nonetheless, this Christ-follower was killed "in the line of duty."
"Persecution is a very real thing. Opposition, persecution, martyrdom [are] for real; it's not just something that happens once in a while. It happens all the time," says Punnose.
"In some of these places, persecution comes along with your commitment to follow Christ."
Pray for the small community Debalal served as they grapple with his untimely death.
“Debalal was a faithful servant of our Lord Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Dr. Narayan Sharma, senior leader of GFA's work in Nepal. “He was diligent in the Lord’s ministry and helped bring many into the Kingdom of God."