Tibetan Pastor Dying of Cancer
My name is Amdo and I am Tibetan. My family descends from a long line of Tibetan Buddhists, but that religious heritage which has brought bondage to generations of my family ends with me. I have been set free by Jesus Christ.
I grew up in the Himalayan mountains in western China. Like my father and his father before him, I raised goats and sheep. We were simple shepherds; too poor to own any land for raising flocks, so we roamed in other farmers’ fields.
As a shepherd boy, I spent much time alone, my only company being that of the sheep. Nights were the hardest. I was afraid of the dark, and found myself anxious as it fell around me. I was too scared to sleep, and instead, would often cry and ask for someone to wake up and be with me.
When I was fifteen, a group of Chinese evangelists came from the province of Henan. They told me a story about a man named Jesus who could protect me and bring me peace in the dark of night. I had never heard of Jesus, so they taught me a song to remember Him by, and told me to sing it whenever I felt afraid.
The following evening as night fell, I sang the new song and all my fear went away. I even had to walk alone through a graveyard to get to my sheep, yet I had no fear as I sang about Jesus.
I had to quit school at a young age because my family was too poor to send me. It was okay because as a shepherd, I did not need much education. One day, though, as I was walking through the mountains with my sheep, I noticed a stranger approaching me. It was another evangelist. He too shared with me about Jesus and offered me the opportunity to attend classes that would teach me even more about the God that took away my fear. I leaped at the chance.
Within a month, I was attending a Bible school in China studying about Jesus. I met with unanticipated struggles as I found myself more interested in all the pretty girls. My life as a shepherd had me spending my adolescence in pastures caring for sheep…alone…
Now I was surrounded by girls and I loved it!
The teacher was less than thrilled, however, and sent me to a Bible school in northeast China. This school had fewer…distractions.
The more I learned about Jesus, the more I fell in love with Him. I had decided to spend the rest of my life following Him.
After graduating I dedicated my life to the Lord and was called to serve in Chraby for seven years preaching the Gospel among the Tibetan people. It was not easy, but I was excited.
Finally, I met my future wife. We were married, and began serving side by side. Soon, we noticed that she would not get pregnant no matter how hard we tried. We were told by a doctor that it was medically impossible. We would never have children together.
It came as a shock to me. How could the Jesus that I had come to know so intimately, who had answered so many prayers, not answer our prayers to have a child? I prayed and prayed, but nothing happened.
One day I was reading from the book of Genesis how God created the first man and woman. This was a completely different idea than the teachings of Buddhism that I had grown up with. It got me thinking: If God could create man from the dust of the earth, then what would stop Him from supernaturally creating a baby in the womb of my wife? I prayed and waited and after a while I found myself identifying more with the old age of Abraham than the supernatural creation of Adam.
Two years later, though, my wife and I found out that we were pregnant! It was such a joyous day! However, the joy quickly ended when we found out that there were serious complications with the pregnancy.
My wife’s family were devout Buddhists. They approached a monk at the temple about her condition, and he strongly recommended that she abort the child.
The complications intensified. When we went to the hospital the doctor informed us that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck. It was recommended that we heed the advice of the monk and abort the child. There were no Christians around that I could talk to. There were no Christian pastors or ministers to support or counsel us. I did not know what to do, but something in me told me that our problem would not be solved by killing our baby.
Every instinct in me wanted to protect our child. My wife and I would have given our lives for the baby that she was carrying in her womb and the idea of aborting it went against that instinct. I think that is what abortion does. It twists the instinct of the parents to protect the baby and instead pits the mother against her own child. Aborting the baby was an unthinkable act. I did not know what to do, so we left the hospital.
Shortly after that, my wife gave birth to a healthy baby girl with no complications!
I was so thankful to the Lord that I immediately went up into the mountains to preach the Gospel to the most unreached Tibetan villages. I had no money and no income for our family, however I could not help but to share the joy that I felt in seeing the Lord remain so faithful in my life.
As soon as I could, I began collecting tracts written in the Tibetan language and handing them out door to door, but that was a bit too dangerous.
Many people assume that it is easier for a Tibetan to minister to fellow Tibetans, but it is not. To convert to Christianity is highly frowned upon. It is viewed as selling out; abandoning one’s own culture for that of the West. Tibetan Buddhists are known for being religiously zealous, and can be aggressive, even viciously violent toward Christian converts. To them, it is more acceptable to turn to Islam because it is not considered a Western religion.
Not long after my daughter was born, my wife gave birth to a son. We named him a Tibetan name that means “Worship God with the best of your voice.” He was a gift from God, so we prayed that his entire life would be dedicated to serving Him among the Tibetan people.
Two years ago, after planting a new church, I was diagnosed with cancer. I did not believe it at first, and thought it was just another attack of the enemy, but something was different this time. Somehow, I knew it was true. I did have cancer.
The cancer has since spread throughout my entire body and I can feel myself growing weaker by the day. The doctor gave me only a short time to live, but I keep fighting. I keep preaching the Gospel. I keep sharing about His love and faithfulness. I trust that God has prepared for me what no eye has seen nor ear heard.
Every day that I wake up and get to see my two miracle children is a day that I am thankful for. The doctor’s bills continue to grow and my family has no way to pay for it. I am no longer able to find work to pay for the rent or food, but I know the Lord will provide somehow.
I often think about how my family will survive after I am gone, but all I know how to do is trust in the Lord. He has never left me nor forsaken me.
I sense that my days on the earth are short, but I will continue to preach until my last breath. My hope is to one day see a revival among the Tibetan people.
How to Help Pastor Amdo
Pastor Amdo is a partner of Back to Jerusalem. For security reasons, we cannot show his face or reveal his real name. His family has huge medical bills, rent, and transportation costs for which they are unable to provide. He has not asked for help, and this is something that BTJ has never done before, but we strongly believe that we are called to help this wonderful family.
Their total unpaid medical costs for the year, as well as their expenses, are about $7,000 USD.
If you feel led to partner with us to help Pastor Amdo and his family, please consider sending a special offering. You can go to the Where Most Needed tab on our website and put a note that it is to help Pastor Amdo.
Here is the link https://backtojerusalem.com/home/support/where-most-needed/