On Sunday, June 23rd, our team did a prayer walk through Patan. Patan is a suburb of Kathmandu, located in the south-central part of the valley. It is where Koinonia Patan Church and the Mercy Home are located. We have spent a lot of time walking and shopping and riding through Patan, so I decided to have a prayer walk here.
Anil (our buddy and trusty contact from KPC) arranged for a few of the Young Adults from the church to lead us in and around Patan Durbar Square, the town's center and famous tourist attraction (with temples dating back to the 1600s and earlier). It is an ancient and beautiful -- yet dark and intriguing place. So we relied on our guides--Rita, Pranesh, and Prabin to help us know where to walk and how to pray.
My group went with Pranesh, and we walked around the main marketplace, praying for the economy, for the shop owners, and for God's favor in their lives. We passed the enormous Bhakyamuni Buddha and decided to stop and pray there. I distinctly remember when I was praying there God showing me the shops right by the Buddha. I kept hearing the word "greed" in my head so I prayed against that. After about 10 minutes our group moved on. But I asked Pranesh what that section of town was...he said, "These are the very old shops, stores that have been in families for generations. They are silver and gold shops here." I knew I needed to pray specifically for those people and the grip of greed that surrounded them.
As we rounded a corner, Staci pointed out a rock covered in orange dust and red flowers. She asked what they were. Pranesh explained that Hindus worship rocks if they believe a god has blessed it or come out of it. Some people will light incense and place offerings on the rock. She had noticed several of them during the walk and I had not. She and I think God wanted her to see them so she could pray for Hindu people who felt the need to worship rocks and idols.
We then walked to a building with paintings on the outer walls. Pranesh explained it was a place where witchcraft is practiced, known as the House of Sheva. He said they do healings, but that people are not really healed -- they come back after a few days. They do spells there. So we stood nearby, not wanting to be obvious. We started praying. The darkness we sensed was pretty evident to a few of us. I definitely saw some things and felt like spirits/demons didn't want us there. That was later confirmed when another member of the group said, "I kept hearing 'they know you are here,' and I just kept praying in Jesus' name." It was a powerful example of the need for Christ's light to shine here.
We all met up at a shop to have tea with a friend of Rita's named Robin. He and his family own the shop, and he invited us upstairs into his home for tea. It was great to connect with him and learn about his passion for photography as well as his family's business. You see, Robin is Buddhist, but Rita asked us to pray for him and and she has taken him to church a few times. His family sells Buddhist idols and artwork in a highly Buddhist area of Patan. The items in the shop are exquisite and high quality. He told us business is good. And Rita explained that if Robin were to become a Christian, it would affect his whole life and livelihood.
Overall, it was a meaningful time for the team. We all talked later that night about how much prayer does make a difference and helps us understand our brothers and sisters here in Nepal.