The past few days of being here in Nepal have taught me a lot about ministry done in extremely difficult circumstances. Since arriving in Nepal I have come down with a head cold, injured my knee hiking down the steep mountains, taken two freezing cold showers when we were out of hot water, and struggled to breathe in the high altitude.
I have hiked farther and longer than I have ever hiked in my life in more rugged conditions than I have ever experienced. And in it all I am learning just how much sacrifice it takes to minister in this part of the world. To think that this team that Brian and I just joined has been doing this for the past 5 weeks… and that Carl and Gina have been doing this for the past four years is a testimony in itself of the power of God.
Yesterday, when hiking the ten miles down the mountain from Muktinath, I was pushed farther than I think I ever have been. I did not think I could walk any farther. I could barely take another step. And I just had to pray.
I was reminded of one of my favorite promises from Jxxus…”My strength is made perfect in your weakness. For when you are weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:9-10). So i just repeated it to myself as I walked. There was no surge of super strength and I did not suddenly have endurance. But I was able to keep walking. And one step after another I pressed on. And by the power of God I made it back to Jomsom. In it all I learned that sometimes strength from the Lxxd only comes in small doses.
Though I have begun to see how difficult ministry is here, I am also seeing the great rewards. Today, as Carl and I had our first medical camp I was blessed to be able to minister to the local Nepalese with my training. And I was reminded that all the pain of walking is so worth it.
Carl and I had the opportunity today to pray for a local Nepalese woman named Ruth who told us that “Satan is in me.” Though she told us that she is a Chxxxxian, she is under serious spiritual oppression. We could see just by looking at her that she is oppressed and afraid.
Yet, as we prayed for her, and as Carl reminded her that Jxxus is more powerful than Satan, her face lit up and she smiled for the first time. It was as if all her fears, anxiety, and oppression was gone. And I was reminded that this is why we walk. This is why we endure the lack of comfort. This is why we press on. Because the Gxxpel is so worth it. And to see the name of Jxxus proclaimed in an area so oppressed and so in need of salvation–this is why we walk.
~Christen for Arise Medical Missions (Nepal)
Father, thank you for Christen’s words and for the power of prayer and the faith to endure. We hear that she is the proud recipient of yet another year of life. Happy birthday to Christen Lxxd and thank you for giving her such an amazing opportunity to serve others. Thank you for bringing her and Brian along to help us finish the summer well and for months of preparation on their part prior to coming.
If you would be so kind as to heal her knee promptly, dry up her head cold, give her more hot water, and help her to breathe easier we would be ever grateful. God, I pray that both of their lives would be touched permanently by this trip and that they would be changed forever as they seek to serve you.
Brokenness is what is needed for those who have yet to hear. We as a body of Believers are not nearly broken enough over the fact that so many of us have far more than we deserve and so few have far less than they deserve. Help us to live the Bixle Father. Help us to be challenged in all that we do and to not find true rest and peace until everyone has had a chance to hear.
~Gina for Arise Medical Missions (US)