For many years, Nepal was the only officially-Hindu country in the world. All religions other than Hinduism were outlawed, and the growth of Christianity was extremely slow and difficult.

In the late 1990s, Adventist World Radio (AWR) made various attempts to produce some radio programs on health in conjunction with the work of ADRA Nepal, and a few programs were finally recorded in secret. However, the government soon discovered the location and confiscated the equipment, bringing the recording to a halt. Production was later restarted, with the help of a young Hindu man who had a tiny studio in his home where AWR’s producer, Pastor Naseeb Basnet, could tape the programs. And thus an amazing personal journey began.

In 2004, Nepal became a secular country, and AWR had the freedom to not only produce programs, but also begin airing them on local FM stations. Rajesh Hada, the studio owner, became the official technician for the production of Ashako Bani (Voice of Hope in the Nepali language).

Rajesh comes from a very devout Hindu family. While visiting the studio, I noticed a temple shrine at the very entrance to the house where he lives with his extended family. Hindus have anywhere from hundreds of millions to billions of deities or gods. I was told that each newborn is assigned any number of gods to whom he or she will be devoted over his or her lifetime. It was in this kind of environment that Rajesh grew up.

Over the months and years, Rajesh listened attentively to all of the Bible studies and radio talks produced by Pastor Basnet and his wife, Rama. He began to identify so much with the programs and like them so well that he said his desire was to work for the Lord and AWR for the rest of his life. Later, he attended an AWR training series in Singapore, where he met other AWR producers from neighboring countries. His vision of the Seventh-day Adventist Church grew enormously as he became more aware of its worldwide mission. Rajesh is also an accomplished keyboard player and composer, and he gave me a CD with beautiful Nepali Christian music that he had prepared for our radio programs.


Rajesh says, “It has been 13 years since I started working with the Basnets. The stories from the Bible, their sermon presentations, talking with them and seeing their own life witness won my heart to turn to Christianity. As I listened more, I found more joy and happiness, and I thought, ‘This truth is for me as well.’ I feel I have been chosen by God to work for Him.”

When I visited several FM stations in Nepal that air our programs, in every instance the managers repeatedly stated that AWR’s program is the best program they broadcast. These are community-based stations, owned and operated by private entrepreneurs who have no connection to the church. Thanks to the cordial relationship Rajesh developed with these people over the years, they gladly agreed to air Ashako Bani in their communities. AWR now broadcasts programs on 20 stations in Nepal, and the same programs can be heard worldwide as podcasts or on demand at AWR’s website.

During this visit, as we spent many hours traveling over the rugged mountains of central Nepal, I had much time to get to know Rajesh better. He meshed so well with us that one could not tell he was not a Seventh-day Adventist Rajesh in his studio Christian. Just a couple of months later, we received the wonderful message that Rajesh had decided to be baptized! Knowing his background, his family, and the magnitude of this step, we counseled the Basnets to go slowly with Rajesh; he had a lot to work on with his Hindu ancestry and traditions, and a sudden break away from those relationships could be very difficult for him.

When asked how his conversion came about, Rajesh says that after hearing for so long the Bible truths from the Basnets, he could no longer resist the Holy Spirit. He says, “I felt this was my path. I felt the 10 commandments could make a person totally happy and at peace with himself and with his fellow beings. Even though I was not showing it publicly, I was obeying all those commandments in my heart.”

A few months later, Rajesh was baptized by Pastor Basnet in a nearby river, watched by his wife, brother, and others close to him. He says, “I have found new life in Jesus and am really blessed. My family supports me; I have a blessed wife, and she supports me in my recording. She is very talented and has learned to record, edit, and even mix the programs. I know one of these days, with God’s calling, my wife and my whole family will come to Christianity. We need to pray together.”

Rajesh’s conversion is just a harbinger of many who will step out with deep conviction and accept the message of salvation if we can get it out to them. Please pray for Rajesh and his family, and for the millions of Nepalese who are now within reach of the gospel.

Dowell Chow is the president of AWR.


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