Bro. Daniel Rai — Father-figure and Shepherd
A brief biography of the late Servant of God and Elder of El Shaddai assembly in Kalimpong who transformed the hilly areas of North East with his missionary zeal to win souls for Christ
Born on 2nd September 1939, to a staunch Hindu family of witch doctors (Jhakri Bijuwa pariwar) nobody expected Dil Bahadur Rai, later rechristened as Daniel Rai to be any different. Oblivious to everyone, he was a vessel, chosen (Acts 9:15) by the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings for a very unique and special, purpose in the building of His kingdom.
At the age of 23, in the year 1962, as he attended fellowship in one of the churches in Sikkim, he saw a vision of a bloodied Cross on the wall inside the church. The vision gripped his heart and he was born again. He was baptized on 22nd April 1963 during the All India Holy Convocation in El-Shaddai, Kalimpong.
Bro. Daniel Rai completed his matriculation and was instituted as the Head Master of Tadong High School, in Gangtok, Sikkim in the early 1960’s. He joined fellowship in Gangtok with Bro. M G Lingdong and had a crucial role to play in the establishment of Berachah House of Worship in Gangtok. After he read Bro. Bakht Singh’s testimony, ‘How I Got Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory,’ his life was never the same again.
The Holy Spirit constrained him to serve the Lord full time and he received the high, holy, heavenly calling. He shared the news of his calling with Bro. M G Lingdong and after much prayer, resigned from his job. On May, 1967, he was guided by the Holy Spirit to El-Shaddai, Kalimpong as a fully surrendered, full time servant of God. He lived in Hebron, Hyderabad for 2 years.
Bro Daniel Rai was joined together in Holy matrimony with Sis. Sonam Ongmu Fudong on 26th December 1975 and was blessed with two sons, Uriel Jon Rai and Ammiel Jackin Rai. He was ordained as Elder of El-Shaddai, Kalimpong by Bro. K Philip, Bro. Lazar Sen and Bro. T.E. Koshy during the All India Holy Convocation in El-Shaddai in the year 2006.
1. Bible translator
He was the main translator of the TBS Bible, into Nepali language from original Greek text from 1984-2011, an independent project working along with Bro. David Cloud and Bro. Thomas Kauffman.
2. Book translator
He translated many of Bro. Bakht Singh’s books into Nepali language, including his testimony titled, ‘How I Got Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory’.
He was the Chief Editor of most of the lyrics of the old Nepali songs. He penned many, Nepali songs including, ‘Sansar ma mailey dherai mitra payey’. In the year 1967, he along with Bro. Tashi Gyamtso Lepcha, the then elder of Mt Pisgah, Darjeeling complied the song book, ‘Sion ka geetharu’. Prior to that, the songs could only be found in pamphlet form.
He was an avid writer, using his talent for the glory of his beloved Savior. His works include:- i) Chinna Chamatkar ani Wastawikta (Signs, Miracles and the Truth) ii) Himal Jhain Achal Satya yo Apar (Profound Truth, as immovable as the Mountain) iii) Purdah bhitra ko Prathibha (The fact behind the curtain) iv) Kahiley Kina Kasari (When, Why, How) v) Manis ko prashna, Parmeshwar ko Jawab (Questions of man, Answers of God)
He wrote several tracts which are still being circulated today. He contributed several articles to ‘Green Pastures’ and was the Chief Editor of ‘Jeudo Pani’, enriching these quarterlies with the wisdom of words as revealed to him by the Holy Spirit. His voice, reached the masses as he preached many sermons in the Nepali language from Sychels radio broadcasting in Varanasi.
The man of God was deeply burdened to write many more doctrinal books for the youth of our assemblies. His vision for translating the Bible into Nepali language from the original King James Version was motivated by his desire that his beloved brothers and sisters in Christ gain access to the Word of God in its pure, unadulterated form. He never compromised on the truth, once he found it.
Bro. Daniel Rai was a giant in the Christian world, greatly used by God to build His church. He was a father figure to the Church, catering to her deepest need, grieving with her in her losses and rejoicing in her victories.
He was a shepherd exhorting, edifying, feeding and leading the flock towards his beloved Chief Shepherd. It can be rightly said about him,” And like unto him was there no (leader) before him… neither after him arose there any like him” 2 Kings 23:25.