Twenty years ago I received a call from Mr. Upreti of the kingdom of Nepal. He said he was over the census count for population control in Nepal, and was at the airport in Los Angeles, having just landed at about 8 a.m. He said he had a seven-hour layover before going on and hoped to be able to visit with someone from our institution.
I had never met him before, but he informed me that King Bierendra and Queen Ashwarya had said he should stop by Ambassador College if he were in California. Although I had met the king and queen of this small mountainous country in the Himalayas, we did not have a project in Nepal. I was surprised they would mention us to him.
Mr. Upreti said he didn’t realize Los Angeles was so far from San Francisco, his final destination, but he thought he would call anyway. I imagined this was in case the royal family were to ask him if he tried to come, and he could honestly say yes. As a favor to the royal family of Nepal, I offered to come pick him up, do a quick tour and get him back for his flight.
When he gave me his business card, indeed it read “Director of Population Bureau.” He asked many questions about Mr. Armstrong, Ambassador College and our beliefs during our drive and the tour of the campus. We had lunch in the dining hall and he spoke to some of the students. I answered every question, explaining that God was a being of character, and we must build character to be like Him.
That is what we were all about, not only learning how to earn a living, but mostly learning how to live. I explained some of our projects and how students are expected to behave when they go overseas. We do not do missionary work the way most religions do, but we did expect them to practice a godly way of life. They must be different and choose a path that was unlike that of most of the world.
Although he appreciated the beautiful campus, his interest seemed to be more about our people and teachings. He pursued questions on our beliefs much more than I had expected. He asked if our students lived up to the teachings and built the character the institution stood for.
In the afternoon, he met briefly with Mr. Armstrong, where he got a dose of “give versus get,” the “two trees” and an explanation that Christianity doesn’t really understand Christ and didn’t do what Christ taught. Mr. Armstrong told him that peace would come, at Christ’s return, but that meanwhile we should try to do all we can.
I made the drive back to the airport where I let him off in front of his terminal. He thanked me for such hospitality on a moment’s notice, and said good-bye. It crossed my mind as a bit unusual that he had such a long layover, since there are hourly flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Who He Really Was
It was more than a year later that I learned who this man really was. Although he may have held the title his card said, he was actually the head of the Nepalese secret service. It was not as much of an unplanned trip as I was led to believe. What was fascinating to me was his report back to the royal family, as related by a friend in the country who was close to the royal family. He informed them that “these people are the most dangerous people on earth.”
This may seem startling, since we didn’t seem that dangerous. What was more surprising was his follow-up statement. “You should send the crown prince to Ambassador College for training.”
At first these two statements would seem contradictory. But in reality they were not. You see, what he saw that he considered dangerous was not anything physical, but something spiritual. Unlike what he had seen of many missionaries, he said, “These people actually practice what they teach.” They really do expect to build character and to practice moral values. Nearly all others give the talk, but few have ever been found to practice what they preach. He felt the crown prince would be well served to build character.
The prince never did come to Ambassador, but we did for a while have a project in Nepal. I was pleased to see the queen put us at the very entrance to the multi-acre, walled-in complex where the royals set up the projects for their country. Every person visiting the complex had to walk through our project to get to the other ones. They did this on purpose, as they wanted their people exposed to our young people.
Are We Really That “Dangerous”?
Are we really that “dangerous”? If you consider the analogies of Jesus, in which the Kingdom grows from tiny seeds to envelop the whole universe, then we really are. Indeed we are an “embryonic” or “seed” form of the Kingdom of God. And yes, we are dangerous.
That is why Satan would like to destroy the Church. We are dangerous to his plans and to his selfish, greedy, polluted way of life. We are the people who will be examples and teachers to the rest of the world.
We are, as the Bible puts it, the firstfruits of the Kingdom of God, joining our elder brother Jesus Christ. That is what Pentecost is all about. It is about us “dangerous” people.
One day all the crown princes will be exposed to and taught God’s ways, His thoughts and values. All humanity will be given the knowledge of God through His calling and have the opportunity to build godly character living His way.
I will be curious to see if Mr. Upreti will be surprised at the resurrection to find that indeed, not only the crown prince, but he and all his countrymen will be taught by us. His recommendation will be heard by all. Everyone will know what we know.
Indeed they will have a chance to learn what we “dangerous” people know, and they will be most happy for it. Keep learning how to be “dangerous,” because soon you will be teaching the world. UN