On a Hill Far Away

In a small mountain village in the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains Munsi gets up early every morning seven days a week, puts on the same clothes, goes to the same fields, plants the same crops, works hard for $2.00 a day and a little food. For 64+ years this is the only life Munsi has ever known.

Munsi is one of more than 2.5 million Musahar People who live along the border of Nepal and India…most in Nepal. The literal meaning of Musahar is “rat catcher” and that is what they do and many times all they have to eat. They are the “UNTOUCHABLES” of the Dalit minority in South Asia. Discrimination, exclusion, and human rights violations best describe the world into which Munsi was born and from which escape is almost impossible.

Poverty is also the life of Musahar children who many times do not wear clothes because they cannot afford them. Also, they seldom leave their villages…THEY ARE UNTOUCHABLE. Public school education is not readily available for Musahar children.  Even if they get to attend a public school they are not allowed to sit, eat, or play with other students. The one exception is Innovative Academy, a school built by Innovative Humanitarian Solutions for Musahar children. It is amazing story for another time.

Munsi, like anyone else, may have dreamed of a better life. Maybe he dreamed there would come a day that would change everything. Or maybe he just accepted the life of an UNTOUCHABLE, which was really no life at all.

Whether Munsi accepted life as it was or dreamed of a better life, no one knows. But surely he had hope for a God who was different and more caring than the Hindu gods who were represented by man-made idols. He did not know there was a creator God. He did not know the one true God who created the heavens and earth and who had a dream of a better life for Munsi…now and forever. Munsi did not know God. But God knew Munsi, the life he lived, and the lack of hope that was his life.

God needed someone to go to that “hill far away” and tell Munsi about the love of Jesus and another “hill far away!”

A Nepali evangelist who knew Romans 10:15 told Munsi the story of Jesus. To Munsi, it was almost unbelievable. It was the story he dreamed about. How could God know his name and care about him, even die for him! It was just one small step for Munsi Musahar to fall in love with Jesus, the One who long before had fallen in love with Munsi.

After his decision to become a Jesus follower, Munsi made a commitment to use every hillside rest time to read his Bible. His goal: to read all of the Bible at least one time before he died. He is now reading for the second time and still happy on a “hill far away!”

I remember as a child hearing about a “hill far away.”

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross
the emblem of suffering and shame
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain

Munsi Musahar probably does not know this hymn but today he intimately knows “the dearest and best” and life is different and better for him…now and for eternity!