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Bhutan Christian calls persecution ‘necessary’

SOUTH ASIA (BP) — There’s not a day that goes by that Kencho Kinle* isn’t sharing the Gospel door to door.

Everyone in the city knows him; some even run when he approaches. His testimony is hard to forget because it is written in blood — both in Jesus’ blood and his family’s.

Black magic and meditation coexist in the mountainous kingdom of Bhutan, where Buddhism entails elements of shamanism.

Because the most powerful sorcerer in Bhutan cursed Kinle’s family, he watched as his wife, three of his children, his sister and her children died.

Kinle says he almost lost his fourth child to the sorcerer’s spell, but a Christian told him about the God who is more powerful than any curse.

Dorji Sangay*, Kinle’s house church pastor, recounts, “Someone came to him and challenged him, ‘If you put faith in Christ, your son will be saved, he shall not die.’ So they put faith in Christ, and his son is still alive today.”

Twenty-three years later, Kinle, now in his late 60s, lives outside his home country, but he has shared the Gospel with everyone in Buddhist communities in the area.

“I always make a point to share to the new people, so I have visited almost every single house,” Kinle says, gesturing toward the apartments outside. He says he always tries to share with those who are sick and hopeless or have never heard the Gospel before.

“Whether they listen or not, whether they respond or not, I believe that my job is to share the Gospel,” Kinle says.

Kinle has returned to his village in Bhutan many times to share with his extended family. None of Kinle’s relatives has accepted his message yet, but he constantly prays that they will come to faith in Christ.

Kinle’s uncle asked him why he would leave Buddhism to follow Jesus. Kinle pointed to his son and said, “Because He healed him.”

Kinle and his entire church later prayed that his son would find a godly wife — a serious challenge when so few in their circles follow Christ. The Lord answered their prayer this year. Kinle, his son and his daughter-in-law live in a small two-room apartment.

“God’s work is very exciting,” Kinle’s son, Tshering*, says. Tshering’s income supports their family. Kinle was forced to resign his job when complaints about his faith reached his boss, but because of this, Kinle says, he has more time to share.

“It is necessary to be persecuted, the work of God becomes greater,” Kinle says. His wrinkles say more about his pain and joy than words ever could.

Kinle is considering attending a six-month discipleship training this year. His only hesitation is being unable to share the Gospel all day, every day, sharing about the God that his wife and three children never had a chance to know.
*Names changed. Caroline Anderson writes for the International Mission Board. For more information about Bhutan, including a 30-day prayer guide, virtual prayer walk and videos, visit www.go2southasia.org/explore/exploring-bhutan and www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/6098/Bhutan-10-years-of-prayer

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  • Caroline Anderson