May 15, 2022
May 15, 2022
The Story of Basant
We often hear stories of people who face tremendous adversity in life because of their faith, but they often seem abstract, and we may have difficulty relating to them. But they do happen every day all around the world. An example of this is my friend, Basant.
Basant Lama was born in 1978 and lives in West Bengal, India. Basant was born into a very devout Buddhist family; however, as a young boy, he was sent to a Christian school because it offered a better education than the public schools. Basant heard many Bible stories of Moses, Abraham, King David, and Jesus Christ at that school.
In February 1993, Basant’s mother had a severe stroke, and after a few days, she passed away. It was a very painful and dark time in his life because he was left alone in a house with a drunk father. All his siblings were married and had gone to start their own families in other places, so Basant had no one to depend on.
Basant had no peace in his life and was very lonely. However, one day he received an invitation from a teacher, who was also a pastor, to attend a small prayer fellowship. He was able to go, and it was there where God first touched his life while the preacher was sharing the Word of God from Luke 19:1-10 about Jesus and Zacchaeus. In this story, Jesus calls Zacchaeus by his name, which resonated with Basant. It was there where Basant found the love of Christ.
Basant gave his life to Jesus Christ and accepted Him as his personal Lord and Saviour in 1993. But his father did not like his decision to follow Jesus Christ. He kicked Basant out of his house and left him with nothing. Though his father rejected him, he knew he remained highly favored and loved by God. Basant had to drop out of school, but was able to go to a sister’s house and stay there for few months. He was water baptized, and by the grace of God, he was able to go to a Bible school in the large city of Delhi in July 1994. After completing Bible school, he continued to stay in Delhi for a little over five years, ministering and helping to plant five churches.
In obedience to God’s voice, Basant returned to West Bengal in November 1999, but there was no room to stay with family. He rented a house in a village called Oodlabari and started a church planting ministry. Basant was married in February 2008. Since then, he and his wife, Shrijana, were blessed with a son and a daughter.
It was very difficult, but the Holy Spirit convicted Basant, and through obedience, he was able to forgive his father after many years. This reconciliation was initiated by a gift of a sweater and blanket to his father as winter approached. Basant and his wife then brought his father to live with them until his last breath in 2019. His father, along with almost all of his family, has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
I was honored to have met Basant’s father before his passing. He was such a gentle soul that I cannot imagine him being the person he was before Christ. He was a life changed by the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit. He couldn’t do much at his advanced age and had difficulty hearing, but he would sit and watch us work for hours. It was comforting to see him there. He is greatly missed.
Much of what I have written so far comes from Basant’s own words, but he left out many of the struggles and persecution he faced along the way. When he told his father he accepted Christ, his father slapped him in the face before kicking him out, and when Basant was thirty-one years old, some men took his motorcycle and burned it because he was a Christian. There are many difficulties for Christians in India, but in Basant’s own words: “God has been so faithful and kind to me. He is leading me step by step in the ministry. By the grace of God, my wife, son, daughter, and I are doing well, and the ministry that the Lord has entrusted to us is growing. God is good all the time!”
As Christians, we may experience verbal or possibly even physical persecution, but it is often mild compared with what those in other areas of the world face. I truly believe that Basant and his ministry have been blessed because of his obedience and his focus always being outwards, on others and not himself. Years ago, Basant created a list of ten things that he wanted to accomplish with his life and ministry. All of them were outward-focused and based on serving Christ and others except two:having a wife and providing a home for his wife. I don’t think we could argue with those two.
Basant’s ministry provides food, training, and faith for those in and around his home village. He serves as a wonderful example of obedience and faith in the face of adversity, and I am honored to call him my friend.
By: Duane Goodling, Mission Director- Think Missions, www.thinkmissions.org
Today’s Scripture: Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12, NIV)
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