One of the aspects of this outreach we were all looking forward to the most was trekking in the Himalayas. The trekking plans had been changed numerously. They’d been pushed back, shortened, and pushed back again. I was beginning to wonder if we were going to at all. Finally the day came and we were really on our way to trek.
We took a 16 hour bus ride from the lake town city we had been in for two weeks into the city where we would take a plane to the district’s bazaar which we then would be trekking out from. I don’t know quite how to describe this plane ride, but two words stick out in my mind: beautiful and terrifying. It felt like we were so close to the mountains we could touch them. We saw rice terraces beneath us, and we could see the vast Himalayan mountain range, completely snow-capped in a 360 degree view all around us. The view was beautiful. The actual plane itself was terrifying. It was so small, so loud, and my seat started getting extremely hot so I panicked and started entertaining thoughts of, are we going to blow up in this plane ride before we even get to trek?! It was a very janky plane ride, definitely a one of a kind experience. The “best” part was when the plane hooked a left that I very firmly believe it did not have the capacity to do, praise God it was able.
When we arrived, we went to the guesthouse we were going to stay at before and after our trek. There were a lot of the same teams who had been with us in the guesthouse in the main city. It was great hearing their experiences and how difficult some of their treks had been, and listening made the level of our expectation for what we were about to do rise!
Not long after we arrived in the district, about one day, we set out. Our bags were packed with 350 bibles, and we were all as ready as we could be. We started and it was beautiful! In the video I’m going to post, you’ll be able to see the scenery and fall in love with this country just like I did! We crossed bridges, walked through pastures with cattle grazing, walked along rivers, and passed through some villages where kids would run out and say “Namaste” to us. We had walked about two hours when we were told to stop by our translators. We wondered why, because we had been walking for such a short time. When they explained that this was as far as we were going to walk, our jaws hit the floor. I was so shocked. Back in Hawaii when we were told the location our outreach was going to take place in, we were warned that we would need to do crossfit at least 3 times a week to be able to do the trek that was planned!
click through to hear about what happened next
Continue reading “Part 1: Our “Trek” in the Himalayas”
After spending 6 weeks here in the main city of the country we’re in, we took an 8 hour bus ride to a smaller city to spend 2 weeks in before a 2 week trek. We had stayed up late the night before, packing and reflecting and fellow shopping with other teams who lived in the same guesthouse as us. Since we had stayed up so late, when we woke up early to leave the next morning I was tired and slept a lot on the bus ride. In the beginning there was not much to look at, because it was still the dusty and dry landscape of the capitol. When I woke up the first time to see the river we were careening past, at a frighteningly high speed on a very narrow and windy mountain road, it was completely brown as well as all the shrubbery and trees and everything else that was around. I had pangs in my heart because my eyes had been starved of the beauty of nature for a longer time than I have ever been used to.
Soon after, I feel asleep because I deemed the scenery to be unimportant and not worth paying attention to. When I woke up again I was looking back through pictures on my phone of our time in the city, but happened to look out the window for a few seconds. I had to do a double take when my eyes caught the sight of something they were not expecting to see: a crystal clear blue river!
It was something simple. It was just a beautiful river, yet it was so much more than that. It was food for my thoughts.
Where else in my life do I look down and not notice the change? Where else do I not take notice of the breakthrough? Where do I look over the process?
Our travel from capitol to mountains (Follow the link to check out a short video of the bus ride!)
Look up. Look up from the distractions and notice the journey He is taking you on, notice His hand in everything.
The second temple we went to was called the temple of death. It is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. We had been told a little bit about the place before we arrived, but were not expecting what it actually was. We knew it was a place where Hindus came to be cremated because they believe they will be reincarnated into a higher being in their next life. I knew there would be a spirit of death there, but didn’t realize how heavily it would cover the entire area.
Something I learned about myself while on the mission was that I am able to discern the spiritual atmosphere of a place, and one of the first times I realized this was when we went to this temple. Before I stepped foot inside the bounds of the temple I could feel the darkness in the form of immense tension in my chest, like a vice grip. The feeling did not let up, as the dark atmosphere of death was everywhere. We could smell the bodies burning long before we saw the flames.
We bought tickets at the visitor center and this began our time in the temple of death. A tour guide explained the importance of observing every ritual aspect perfectly down to the minutest detail. Before the bodies were burned, they were draped with wreaths of marigolds, bathed in the river running through the temple, and then walked several times around the pyre where the body was to be burned.
Continue reading “Ritualism and the Temple of Death”
For the first two weeks we were here before we had a set schedule, we did a lot of street work. It’s been Spirit led, because we literally had no schedule. We would go out and pray, hear a word for someone or God would show us a specific place to go to or a specific person to talk with. We’ve seen salvations, and we’ve also seen healings. It has been incredible to see God moving actively in power through healing. It was something I’d never seen before, I’d only heard stories of it and because I’d never seen it myself, I strongly desired to see healings. Continue reading “His power, our privilege”
My friends and I were in a taxi to pick up some things we needed for outreach, and the driver did something that we weren’t expecting. He asked what themes were defining this season of our lives. I wasn’t expecting this question, and quite truthfully hadn’t thought about it yet. I’ve been examining this part of my life over the past few days. I’ve identified a few themes that have been prevalent in my journey so far here during lecture phase.
Continue reading “Lecture phase themes”