Letter #212: Final April Saturday

***Letter #4 to the people of Nepal: This is my sweet friend Alissa’s last post. If you remember, she’s been guest blogging about her journeys in Nepal every Saturday this month. Read here, here, here and here for more of her posts. This is about her last of three journeys. She climbed to the base of Everest and nearly died in the process. Neat insight into the darkness surrounding this area of our world. As always, I’m encouraged and challenged by this post. Alissa, thanks for taking the time to guest post and bless myself and readers with your experiences. You’ve opened our eyes in ways you can’t even imagine.

Dear Khumbu,

Your mountains are foreboding and treacherous and those who are not careful, you claim their lives. Death rises from you at every turn as avalanches tumble, boulders dislodge from high places, and oxygen deprives human minds of the ability to reason clearly. To think of my time with you makes me shutter as I recall the spiritual warfare of my mind and the gripping physical death that followed me to 18,650 feet. Alone, you surely would have claimed my life but I had something you may not have expected, the power of the Lord. He carried me daily as altitude sickness and lack of sleep savagely torn into my being, as Satan and his demons filled my sleep with nightmares and my day with an unsettling mix of emotions. Perhaps I would have fallen if my feet were not standing firmly on the Father’s. The people see you as divine, Everest as your god, but you lie to those around you for I have been to the base of Everest and it is not shrouded in glory or joy but in loneliness, fear, death and rocks strewn along glaciers in piles. Your people have developed a hardness, adapted to the death that surrounds them and have given over to the lies the demons share. But you will not discourage me though darkness rules your land, for among you the Lord is faithfully planting lights.

To the only church in the Khumbu, I pray for your hearts, that they may not be discouraged by the darkness and death but may rejoice in your new life with Christ. I pray that you have the chance to truly live, to be an example to those around you, to be bold with your heart and remain obedient to the Lord, even if your consequence is physical death. To my brother and sisters in Christ around the world, pray for the faithful who can be counted on fingers. Pray the Lord would not allow them to be discarded one by one but that they would be built up and that the stronghold of Satan would be diminished in every village of this area. To Karma Tashi Sherpa, I pray for your witness and thank you for your hospitality and boldness. Though you may live far apart from any sort of community of believers, finish the race well and be faithful in the daily things. I pray that you take courage in the face of others threats and remain true to the gospel for which you have suffered for well. To the rest of the Khumbu, I pray a prayer of lament. I mourn for your hearts and your hopelessness. I pray that the Lord would recapture your nation, your people, your land and use you, the hardest hearted people of this nation, to start a revolution for His kingdom.  This is my prayer, this is my plea”…join me at the Father’s feet.

Alissa

Letter #198: Third April Saturday

***Letter #3 to the people of Nepal: if you remember, my friend, Alissa, is guest blogging through April Saturdays. Read here, here and here for more details and click this picture to enlarge…she’s a phenomenal photographer. During her second journey, a horse broke her ribs, she met a man bit by a viper who lived longer than any man should and encountered areas of Nepal where people were supposed to have never heard the name of Jesus before. She discovered entire villages of believers. God is good!

Dear Langtang,

The trials you brought me were great, but the reward was better than I could have imagined. Though starting out rocky with a 13-hour bus ride (on the top of the bus) and a painful first day up the mountain, you brought me to Gatlang. How joyous it was to see the work of the Lord in a place that was thought to be so covered in darkness, light may not even exist. But you proved the world wrong as the Lord sent men to heal in the name of Jesus so that whole villages were redeemed. You reminded me that the Lord is working in places we didn’t even know, and it makes me wonder how far truth has really penetrated the deep crevasses of our world. You shared with me a servant minded people group, deep gorges and waterfalls, eccentric travelers, and a 360 degree view of some of the largest mountains in the world. Yet through all trials and hurts that came my way, even horse attacks and broken ribs, your land brought excitement and hope at a time when the darkness was making me weary and my travels were making me weak.

To the churches of Langtang, I pray that you continue to carry out the great commission as you have so faithfully done for the past 35 years. I pray that you no longer rely on your old Buddhist traditions to make money but that your work would be a testament to the lost around you. To my brother and sisters in Christ around the world, pray for strength and firm standing as false teachings threaten to destroy those of faith. Pray the devils schemes would have no stronghold in this place and that the body of believers would remain united and steadfast. To my friend bitten by a viper, I pray that the Lord spared your life since I last saw you. I pray that you recovered by the healing power of the Lord since no medical care was available within a 4-day walk and that through His physical healing you would be saved. Your life can have a great impact for the kingdom here and your children long for you to speak truth into their lives. And to the Tamong people of Langtang, I pray that money would no longer have power over you, that your truth would not be found in worldly things or in family duty but would be found in the one true God who beckons you into his arms. This is my prayer, this is my plea”…join me at the Father’s feet.

Alissa

Letter #191: Second April Saturday

 

***Letter #2 to the people of Nepal: the second April Saturday highlights Alissa’s first journey from Katmandu to other parts of Nepal. It highlight a woman who was so captivated by the Lord that she walks along cliffs for an hour to attend church and have fellowship. I continue to be challenged by the faith of the people of Nepal. Read here for a further explanation of April Saturdays and here to read Letter #1.

Dear Solu,

The memory of your mountains will never fade from my mind as I first encountered them from the view of a rickety airplane held together with little more than duct tape. The jagged rock faces and the rushing rivers below beckoned me into an unknown world I couldn’t wait to explore. Though dark clouds gathered as the monsoon season continued, there was light in all different corners of every village, as believers welcomed us into their homes. You bring my heart great joy for the love and kindness you have shown to God’s people as truth continues to go out from one village to the next. But more than anything you gave me a day of victory. Through teaching them about baptism to watching seven others get baptized, these villages will always be a home to me. Though the Lord’s detours took me away from you sooner than I had hoped, I captured your spirit in the faces of your people with the lenses of my camera. I shall keep my promise and your faces will forever remind me to never stop telling your story and your struggle.

To the churches of Solu, I pray for you as you continue to grow and spread throughout the land. I pray for persistence as you live and speak truth into the lives of others. I am encouraged by you daily because of your faithfulness to the Gospel which radiates from your hearts. To my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, pray for the diligence of these people and that they may be an example of perseverance to those struggling around the world. To my blind Nepali sister in Christ, I thank the Lord for your testimony daily. I praise God for casting the demon out of you, for drawing you to Himself and for purifying you with his blood. You represent your people with a humility and grace about you that can little be explained. May the Lord guide you weekly on your solitary one-hour walk on the sides of steep cliffs just for a few hours of worship and fellowship. I pray you never give up meeting together. And for the Sherpa’s who reside in the Solu, I pray that you would cast down your idols, and see the testimony of others who live around you. That you would no longer hope the universe heard your prayers but know they were heard by your Creator. I pray for truth to penetrate your minds, your hearts and your souls. This is my prayer, this is my plea”…join me at the Father’s feet.

Alissa

Letter #184: First April Saturday


***Letter #1 to the people of Nepal: If you remember, April Saturdays will highlight my guest blogger’s, Alissa, time in Nepal. Her stories touched my heart, and I hope they touch yours as well. Her photography is impeccable as well. Her blog can be found here. This letter is to Katmandu, the capital of Nepal and the city that served as her home base.

Dear Katmandu,

I dearly miss you and think of you everyday. I will never forget the kindness of your people, the bright colors that adorn the streets, the mangy stray dogs or the smell of burning incense. I miss your horns honking, monkeys hanging in the power lines, and constant flow of more than a million people. As I remember you I do so with joy of having known you and sadness for your people. I am not sad because I had to leave you, though I wish I could have stayed forever, but because of the darkness that has entrapped your people for centuries. I mourn for your lost hope and the desperate attempt at finding truth, only to come up empty. I lament over your brokenness as you attempt to appease the demons all around you. The world sees the riots, the burning, the anger, the mobs, the disarray of the government, but I see the heart of it all, a cry for truth, a cry for something greater than yourself. Yet the world stands facing you silently, criticizing your behavior, claiming it to be savage and no one answers your deep burning question.

To the churches of Katmandu, I pray for you, for your safety in a society that has turned its back on you, for the lives you have given up and the extreme consequences you face daily because of your faith. But more than safety I pray for your perseverance, to stand firm as a body in the face of all dangers and disturbances. To my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, pray that the Lord would raise up leaders in this growing city, to be the voice of truth in a sea of lies. To my orphans, I pray you always know the love the Father has for each of you. Though fatherless on Earth, our heavenly Father will always be there. You have a family in the body of Christ and I will forever remain your kin. And to the people of Katmandu, I pray for the day I dream of each night. The day in which I gather around the Father’s throne next to all of you who surrender your lives to Jesus, singing praises to Him who saves. This is my prayer, this is my plea”…join me at the Father’s feet.

Alissa

Letter #177: April Saturdays

Dear readers,

If you’re like me, you’re pretty content living in your easy, safe, American lifestyle. My mind tunnel visions easily about the things happening right before my eyes in Shady B, and every once in a while, I might think big picture America when I see Obama on TV, hear about our national debt or even when I think about where I want to travel within the US. I’d guess most Americans are fairly consumed by individual, everyday life. For me, global picture is very uncommon.

It’s difficult for me to grasp what’s actually happening in Libya. I can’t truly understand the tragedy happening in Japan. Then, there’s places news stations don’t cover, and I rarely, if ever, think about them. I may have a basic understanding of things sometimes, and other times, to be honest, I’m perfectly content in my safe, American bubble that thinking about the global picture would disrupt my state of comfort. Golly, I’m selfish, and I’ve only referenced political and major news stories.

If I’m really honest, I don’t think about the religious state of our world much either. It’s so easy to forget there are billions of other people out there, and sadly many of them don’t know Jesus. Truthfully, many people right here in America don’t either.

With all this being said, for the next four Saturdays, you’re in for a treat. A dear friend of mine, Alissa (click her name for her blog), will be guest posting about her adventures in Nepal where she was a modern day missionary for six months. Just like Paul, she went on three main missionary journeys! She will bring a global perspective I’ve never had. If you remember, I went to a lake house with a bunch of my Institute friends about a month ago. She was there, and after hearing her stories of Nepal I posted this. Her time in Nepal blew my mind, and I asked her to be a guest blogger. She graciously accepted and chose to approach it through four letters, one to her home base, Katmandu, and one to each of her journeys.

Not only were her stories challenging and eye-opening to me, but they were also like listening to an adventure series. She climbed parts of multiple mountains including Everest, lived in a foreign country for six months, had at least seven near death experiences and so much more! I’m looking forward to my April Saturdays, and you should be to…you get to hear from someone besides me 🙂

May our hearts and minds be tilted toward the nations,

Grateful for friends who challenge me and live out the Gospel