A young Nepali labourer came in one Sunday. He sat on the edge of his chair through the whole meeting. His name was Chandra.
Chandra was born in a small village in Nepal. His father was a tantric witchdoctor. He abandoned his wife and Chandra and took off to India. Chandra was handed over to his grandmother who raised him for a few years before she died. By that time, his mother re-married and didn’t want him around. When he was eight his dad went back to Nepal and re-married. His second wife wanted nothing to do with Chandra. He started to work as a shepherd boy and did anything else he could do to make money.
At the age of thirteen, Chandra joined his uncle and a group of young Nepali boys and left his village. They were going to work in India. They walked over a hundred kilometres to the border, took a train and then some buses. The only jobs he could get were in hard labour. Two years later he went back to Nepal where his dad demanded that he give him his hard earned money.
When he realised there was no life for him in his village, Chandra set off for India again. He hid under the seats and in the toilets on the train to Dehra Dun. He jumped from one coach to the other hiding from the ticket officer. As he got off the train, he was caught by the police and put into a children’s hostel in an Ashram. It was there that he got his first year of education. He learnt to read and write. He was fifteen years old. A year later he ran away again.
In Uttarkashi, he got a job clearing landslides. One day he was caught in one and woke up in hospital. His leg was badly damaged. He had treatment for a month but left that place limping and using a walking stick. There was no way he could get a job so he went from place to place sleeping in shops and anywhere he could find shelter. Other Nepali labourers shared their food with him.
When he was twenty he got a job planting seedlings in bags of soil. He was promised permanent work. It wasn’t long before he realised there was a conspiracy going on. He was working for someone else whose name was in the registry. That person was sitting around, getting most of Chandra’s salary. With the bit of money he had, he got on a bus and headed for Mussoorie.
Woodstock School was building a big auditorium. There were many “coolies” needed to break rocks, put them in bags and carry them up the hill to the site. Chandra qualified for the job. Some students invited the labourers to watch a movie on the life of Jesus. Chandra was totally taken in by it. That night he had a dream: The building he was working on was completed. There was a long stairway. Jesus, dressed like a king, walked down towards Chandra and took his hand.
He asked around and was told about a little church down the hill in Barlowganj. He came in, sat down and that was that. He had found his family at last.