Recap on Nepal
As we approach the festive season, the time of year that we celebrate Christmas, the world looks to the time to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, for many this becomes a traumatic time. How do they supply and provide the ever increasing wants of a vastly inflated materialistic world? For many people in our own country, it is a further enhanced time of need and desperation. Recently my heart has been heavy over the people of Nepal. The far east country that is home to the tallest mountain above sea level in the world is also home to some of earths poorest inhabitants, a quarter of the country survive on a dollar a day.
I was blessed earlier on this year to visit Nepal for nearly a month. I stayed with a Nepalese pastor and daily went evangelising and sharing the word of God.
One particular day in March we had travelled further north from our base in Kathmandu towards the Chinese border. We arose early to climb up a 1,000 steps to an amazing viewpoint to see Mount Everest at daybreak. It was an incredible sight the, shear enormity of it. At nearly 29,000 feet above sea level, it is the equivalent of climbing our very own Ben Nevis and then realising that you have to go up the same height another 5 times!
But it was on our descent later that same day that struck me and won’t leave me. We travelled down a broken twisted windy mountain path over a rocky road with multiple vehicles broken and abandoned along the treacherous path. The dry dust of the broken rocks rose in thick blankets making it nigh on impossible to see more than ten feet in front. We would tailgate the vehicle in front hoping that they could see the road ahead and didn’t fall down the mountainside.
After what seemed like hours of torture gripping on to the sides of seat and dashboard being thrown from side to side we came to a village in a plateau just south of Paanchkal. This village was notable by its brickwork factory in the centre of the flat plain.
A crude hand built chimney with plumes of thick smoke churning constantly into the atmosphere as an army of underweight men scurried around the brick works. Many on their hands and knees for up to 14 hours a day. Their bodies wearied by the hot baking sun, patting soft clay into wooden moulds and leaving thousands of bricks to dry in the heat. Other men gathered yesterdays bricks and stacked them in huge piles ready for buyers some ready for the kiln. Everything looked back breaking and arduous for their dollar a day. I wondered how many years their weak bodies would stand before they were broken.
A young man by the name of Jamaal had invited me to speak at his home at the brickworks. A 12ft x 6ft hand built with the sun parched bricks. He lived in this humble abode that was merely 4ft tall with its corrugated tin roof with his wife and toddler son, he was no more than 19 year old. The big bad wolf would have had no trouble blowing down this motarless house. Somehow, incredulously Jamaal had got 9 of his workmates into this tiny ramshackle plus his wife, son, the Nepalese pastor who acted as translator and me.
The Good News of Jesus Christ is an international message for all. For all races, all ethnicities, all ages, rich or poor. I spoke on the Grace of God. It seemed a daunting task at first to speak to people with nothing. People who labour tirelessly for incredible lengths of time in parched conditions for a pittance that will only cover absolute minimum basics of rice and water, but the Holy Spirit brings courageous words to match our deepest need.
I may not understand the Nepalese language, but there is no denying the warmth of the smile of any man whose heart has been touched by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the priceless gift of God. God’s love has no boundaries. It may be the season of gift giving and receiving but why not share the greatest gift with someone you know? You don’t have to go to the far east to share God’s love or wait for Christmas. Why not consider sharing the gospel with a friend or close neighbour instead? It could be the gift that they have been waiting for all their life.