Reuben: Thrown Out of Teaching and Into Preaching
The Lord God has blessed Reuben's* ministry in Bhutan. When Harvest Bridge began partnering with him and his wife, Priscilla*, in mid 2012, Reuben's main church, consisted of over 100 members at the heart of Thimpu city, which is the capital of Bhutan.Through him and 11 other servants, 11 branch churches and 20 house churches had already been planted all over Bhutan!
Read to the end to learn how the ministry has continued to grow in the last two and a half years. Hear in his own words, Reuben's testimony:
"I was born July 27th, 1970, and I am the fifth of seven children in my family. My mother died when I was eight years old. My father never remarried. In my mind I always wondered,“Why God, why did you make my mother die?”
In 1990, I was selected for a primary teacher training college at Paro, Bhutan. I completed my two years of teacher training and was posted in my first job as a teacher in Thimpu, the capital. My father died that same year, when I was 22.
On December 26, 1993 I married Priscilla. We had our first son less than a year later. I received a promotion and became head teacher of a school in the remote district of Chhuka. We became well respected in our village of Lokchin.
One day Priscilla became very ill. Evil people cursed her and she became ill because of demonic forces. I tried my best to get her healed, but with no result. Fortune tellers and witch doctors told me Priscilla had no chance to survive. They said that the curse could no longer be stopped because the person who cursed Priscilla had died.
One night at 10 a man named Jatana* came to my house and told me about Jesus. He said that my wife could be healed. Jatana was a layperson and a very new Christian. I told him that I would decide about Jesus in three months.
But within a week, my wife’s illness became so serious that I called Jatana and asked him to take us to the Christian fellowship. It took us a full day to travel to the border town where the fellowship was. In a Christian home we were asked to confess our sins and there we accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
We made this big decision on March 22, 1997 at 6:30 p.m. My wife was immediately healed!
When we returned home, all the villagers and my relatives disliked us and filed a complaint to the District Officer saying they didn't want a Christian to teach their children. To them, “Christian” means a low caste, inferior person. The person in charge of the district issued an order for my compulsory retirement.
At this moment of decision, we decided to strengthen our faith. We knew that the people who opposed us – our relatives, the villagers, the government – did not heal my wife, but the Lord Jesus Christ did. We owed Him our loyalty.
We were baptized Christmas, 1997.
After much prayer, we moved to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, and I became the head teacher in one of the private schools. Outside work, we attended a Christian fellowship and I began planting churches while also teaching. In 2006, when the people running the private school found out, they dismissed me for being a Christian.
The Lord who saved me from the clutches of sin put a great burden on me to reach out to my own people who are Bhutanese--the least reached people of the world. I left teaching and submitted my life to full-time ministry.
Now we have three sons, Daniel* is 19, Samson* is 16, and Seth* is 14 yrs. Along with my family, I am serving the Lord who gave me life, and God has blessed my ministry. Please continue to pray that God would grant me a huge harvest."
In two and a half years, many more churches and house churches have been planted in order to reach the least reached throughout Bhutan. Reuben and his team have a long term plan to plant exactly 81 additional worship groups by 2020. Their goal includes discipleship at it's finest, as they plan to raise 10 to 15 leaders every year in order to accomplish their mission.
In addition to Bhutan, they also have a mission to Sikkim, a small and extremely spiritually dark area of India, where they have several worship groups with a few hundred members. In the last two and half years, directly through all of our Bhutanese missionaries, 14,943 individuals have heard the Gospel, and 1,459 have accepted Christ, and 391 have been baptized. These numbers do not include people hearing the Gospel through those our partners led to Christ, they only reflect the direct impact of our 21 partners.
Will you join us in praying for this vibrant ministry within Bhutan? And especially in praying for Reuben, Priscilla, and their three boys?*Names changed for safety