7 Days in Nepal
Kathmandu. Yes, by western standards the Nepali capital is poor, chaotic and dusty but it is also vibrant, colourful and exciting. It was actually refreshing to be in a context where things are not as regulated and constrained as they are in our neat British towns. I loved it.
Rules of the road. In the UK, sounding a horn means, You did something you shouldn’t. IDIOT! In Nepal it means, hi, i’m here too! Not once did I see someone lose their temper in the traffic. Yes, it feels kind of crazy the way that cars, motorcycles and pedestrians weave between one another, but it works, and it is fun.
Uninhibited worship. It’s a while since I’ve been in a setting where Christians have worshipped with such freedom and joy. It felt good to dance again.
The cost of discipleship. Some of those at the gathering I was part of had walked for four days and then had a two day bus journey to get there. Some had experienced real persecution for their faith. Others had tasted the harsh realities of material poverty - like the pastor whose wife died of pneumonia as they did not have the $200 it would cost to treat her. It was a reality check.
Technology. Even in the most remote areas, among people with very little in the way of money or material possessions, everyone seems to have a smart phone. The world is wired.
Mountains. The Himalayas are extraordinary. On one occasion I spoke from Isaiah 25:7 On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death for ever. The resonance of that promise felt stronger having seen Everest.
The power of partnership. Paul writes to Philemon that, your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. I went to Nepal to serve, but gained far more than I gave. Being with the brothers and sisters there gave me a deeper understanding of the good things that are ours in Christ.
You don’t have to get sick. Before heading off I received several dire warnings about the likelihood of getting sick in Nepal. I didn’t; nor did those I was travelling with. I was grateful for that.
Paragliding in Pokhara. Just fantastic! To share a thermal with an Egyptian vulture against the backdrop of the Himalayan foothills is an experience I won’t soon forget.