Dawa Singya Bhutia (center) was a soldier, trained in Kung Fu and bodyguard to the Dalai Lama. Though a Buddhist his whole life, he told me he was an angry man inside. Drinking and smoking would calm his unrest more than his Buddhism would. Fights and trouble followed Dawa wherever he went. Then he got a new roommate. Another bodyguard who was secretly a Christian. This man kept it hidden, because he knew he would be expelled from the army if the word got out.
After three years of observing this man’s life, Dawa concluded this man was a very holy man – but that he wasn’t holy in a somber way, but in a lively way. He had a peace and a confidence, a sense of love and patience that Dawa had never seen. So he asked, “What is it about you?”
His roommate told him that he was a follower of Jesus. Dawa had never heard of Jesus. He asked, “Is there something I can join or become a member of, to get what you have?” The roommate explained that it’s not a religious order but a relationship with Jesus. The roommate introduced Dawa to his pastor, who answered many of Dawa’s questions. Dawa opened his heart to Christ, and said he felt a true peace for the first time.
That peace would cost him dearly.
He was so excited to tell his family about Jesus and this new inner life he was discovering, that he shared his newfound faith. His family rejected him and said, “You are a cracked egg—spoiled and good for nothing.” They disowned him completely.
Not long after, he and his roommate decided to enroll in a Bible college in the Himilayas, and miraculously got a discharge from service to the Dalai Lama. Since that time, Dawa has been planting churches throughout Nepal and Bhutan, helping others find the peace that comes from God. He mentored my good friend, John Monger (on the right in the picture), who pastors refugees here in Austin.
God is at work in hidden ways we don’t always see. He invites us to co-labor with Him if we are willing. What greater endeavor could you and I join? How might He want to work through you just like He did through Dawa’s roommate? Are you willing?