Our final day of official outreach was the day we went to the last of the villages. I was sick and almost didn’t go. At the last minute, I chose to push through, leaning on God’s strength because I couldn’t do it on my own. I am so grateful that I did because it was an incredible experience.
The plan was the same as the other villages: distribute Bibles, share the gospel, and invite everyone to the Jesus film and another gospel presentation later in the evening. We split up into two separate groups and got started.
This village was the easiest to distribute in because there were many instances when the heads of multiple different households were all hanging out at one person’s home. We were able to check off many houses at the same time because of this. On average the village had a higher level of education than the other ones. People would immediately sit down and start reading the Bible.
At one of the houses where we were able to give Bibles to multiple households, as the first woman sat down to read, other women started to follow her lead until nearly all of them dived straight into the Word. It was a lovely sight to see people hungry to learn more about this God they had only heard about a few minutes prior.
After our time in the first village, it was time to leave for the second. We chose a path that took 8 hours. It was one of the most physically taxing experiences I have ever had. We stopped when we reached out to the top to take a break, have a snowball fight, take lots of pictures with a 360 degree view of Himalayas all around us.
It was about an hour before dusk and we arrived at the second village. No house would take us in, so we had to zig-zag across this mountain to the tippy top to see if the last house in the village would take us in. If not, we were going to be out of luck.
The first village we distributed Bibles in was the farthest from the guesthouse. We passed the villages we would later be living in on our way back to the guesthouse. We walked with a river on one side and rice terraces on the other. The houses had colorful roofs, and kids would run out to take a look at us, the strange looking foreigners. There were herds of cattle, goats, and even a few horses.
Before we stepped foot inside the village we began collecting a group of kids who followed us everywhere we went. We spent a while trying to find a family who was able to host us for a few nights, and all the while these kids were right beside us. The timid ones watched us from a distance, the less shy ones giggled when we smiled at them, and the brave ones held our hands and spoke in circles of broken English. They laughed at our feeble attempts to speak their native tongue, and we laughed at ourselves as well.
Part One: The Healing
The girls and I were walking in a marketplace near our guesthouse when Sofie saw a picture of a green bubble jacket and heard the words, “back pain”. We started to head home when she saw a man in a green bubble jacket and the Holy Spirit confirmed it was him. We crossed the road to talk to him and make sure he was the one Sofie was thinking about. She straight up asked if he had any back pain. He looked shocked and mildly uncomfortable, probably because it wasn’t a regular occurrence for a group of five abnormally excited girls to surround him with tangible expectancy for what was going to happen next.
We had good reason to be excited because God was going to move in this man’s life. He looked at us apprehensively and then said, “yes”. I for one breathed a sigh of relief when we realized he spoke English perfectly because we didn’t have any translators with us at the time. We told him there was a God who would heal his pain if Suraj wanted him to. He said that yes, he did want to be healed. We asked if we could put our hands on his back and after he gave us permission, we started praying. I’m not quite sure how long the praying went on for but it felt very short because all of a sudden he jumped around and said, “How did you do that?!” We asked him to clarify what he meant and if he had any more pain, and he exclaimed that he had no more pain in his back!
He asked about what happened and how we were able to take away his pain. We made it clear that it was not us but that instead, Jesus was the one who healed him. Continue reading “Suraj: The Truth Seeker”
The main ministry we’ve been doing here has been in the slums. We’ve loved on the kids, helping them with their homework and playing lots of games with them. We’ve also made relationships with people, been invited into homes to hold adorable babies and to visit with precious grandmas (ammas). We’ve seen healings and we’ve seen the Holy Spirit move. It’s been incredible. Individually and as a team, the gifts we each have and what we carry together were meant to be poured out in the slums. Read more to hear some of the ways God has been moving here in this place.
One of my favorite things that have happened here has been when we went to the “Monkey Temple”. It was the third or so week. We walked to catch a bus to the Monkey Temple. This bus ride was more like a roller coaster ride, but one that had no safety standards. Picture this: veering not into just other “lanes” (a lane is a loose term here), but entirely onto the side of oncoming traffic. It is absolute mayhem, exhilarating, and terrifying all at the same time. At one point there was only a gap of about a foot from a head on collision with another brightly painted bus.
We finally arrived and walked to the top of the temple. We went past booths of people selling colorful prayer beads and trinkets. The plan was to worship and see how God wanted to move. We explored a little bit, looking at the prayer flags fluttering in the wind, watching the monkeys clamber all around (it is called the monkey temple for good reason), and then settled at the place we chose to worship.