Premi Mukhia, the wife of Nepal's first pastor David Mukhia, passed away yesterday morning aged 101 at her home in Pokhara. Premi and David were among the Nepali and expatriate members of the 'Nepali Evangelistic Band' [or NEB, which later became INF] who ministered among Nepali people from their base at Nautanwa in India from 1936. After NEB members were allowed to enter Nepal in 1952 and set up the first public hospital in Pokhara, Premi and David trekked into Nepal in 1953, carrying all their possessions [and their baby] on their backs. David became the pastor of Ram Ghat Church in Pokhara, the first church in Nepal. Premi was fondly known to many people throughout Nepal as 'Guru Ama' ['Teacher Mother'].
'Premi was confined to bed for her last few months but was alert in her mind,' says INF Worldwide Acting Executive Director Seeta Gurung. 'She was an amazing lady with a caring heart. When I visited her a couple of months ago she expressed her concern for two friends who were unwell. She herself was confined to bed and weak, yet she still had concern for others. She was like 'living history', but has now become history. Many people may be moved by the fact that we have lost a founder of the Nepali church and a good friend of INF, however we know that Premi is in a better place now.'
'Premi was unwavering in her daily walk with God,' says former INF Member Joyce Odell. 'In her later years she made it clear not only that she was heading for heaven, but that she looked forward to it. It was so thrilling to hear her testimony each time I took new INF volunteers to visit her, and there was rarely a dry eye as she related times in the 1930s and 1940s before Nepal was opened to Christians, and her meeting with and marriage to David.'
A funeral service will take place at 11 this morning at Ram Ghat Church.