Earlier this year I was privileged to visit some of SAC’s partners in North India. During the trip Kevin and I spent time with Paul and Su East who encourage and mentor pastors in and around Herbertpur. One person who I met was Pastor Bihari Lal who is the volunteer, visiting chaplain at Herbertpur Christian Hospital.
Pastor Lal came to faith in 1971 during a search for God and after the words of John 14:27 spoke to him “My peace I give to you.” Despite opposition from his Hindu family he spent every spare moment reading the Bible and had a burden in his heart to tell others about Jesus. He began working as an evangelist, travelling by bus from village to village and distributing literature. After his marriage he joined the Presbyterian Bible Seminary and, in 1982, started pastoring a small church. He also travelled with Dr Lehmann (Su’s father) who was taking Eye Camps to the villages where he would speak about Jesus.
Now, some 30 years later, Pastor Lal and his wife Asha are still involved at the hospital as each week-day morning they sing Christian songs and speak about the Lord to those who are waiting in out-patients. After the message they offer the patients a Hindi New Testament (without charge) and pray that they will be read when the villagers return to their homes.
One day Pastor Lal was approached at the end of his session by two men who told him they were Christians. As is his custom he asked when they came to know the Lord. One man said “Two years ago” so he asked “Who did you hear the word from?” and the man said “From you!” He went on to explain “I took a New Testament from you at this hospital and started reading it and I accepted the Lord. I am so grateful to you.” Around 10% of the patients accept a New Testament when offered one.
Pastor Lal also visits the patients on the wards and is often turned to if there is illness or death in a family. When asked what motivated him he said “My aim is that, as long as I live, I should share the good news.”
South Asian Concern