Photo by Ava
Last month, I went on a three-week trek to live among a people group who live high in the Himalayan mountains – 3,430m high to be exact. “These people are Buddhist and are not very open to the gospel. You have to build a relationship with them and gain their trust before you dive into the gospel,” said one of the leaders who has been working among this people group for some years. She told us this during our briefing session before leaving for the trek to help us understand how to approach and love this group of people. She also encouraged us to pray a lot because it’s a very spiritually dry place. As my two team members and I reflected on these things, we all felt God wanted us to spend more than usual in prayer during the trek. Additionally, we planned to teach some of the women English as a way to build new relationships.
After a few days of trekking up the mountain, we arrived at the village we would call home for the next couple of weeks. The challenges began as a lot of what we planned to do changed spur of the moment. As we faithfully trudged through the days and went with the flow of the culture, we kept our plan to pray every day for one hour and fast every week for the community. Even though many of the people didn’t seem open or too interested in Jesus, spending a lot of time with God kept us hopeful. The ministry leader encouraged us to, “pray for God to show you what He is doing each day and when He shows you, just follow Him.” As we constantly prayed this and waited on God, He started showing us what He was doing.
It first started when we met the only Christian believer in the community. Her husband isn’t a believer and doesn’t allow her to practise her faith. Spending time with this woman was a blessing to her as she had someone to talk about Jesus with and a blessing to us to see this woman fight for her faith. Every time we met her we talked about life and God, sang together and prayed together.
Next, was the woman we stayed with who was quite a 'busy-body' and seemed very restless, difficult to talk to and not-so-friendly. We constantly prayed for her as we waited to see what God was doing. One night after dinner, she asked, Kate*, one of my team members, to give her a massage. While massaging her back, she asked Kate if we were believers and ever had dreams of God. Surprised by the question, Kate asked her to explain what she had dreamt. She told her that she had had a few dreams of a man in white and knew it was God. Kate explained who God is and shared the gospel with her. The woman was also experiencing bad toothaches and Kate took the opportunity to pray for her. After praying, she said, “My teeth are not pain anymore.” Kate then excitedly told her that God healed her teeth to show her His love for her. The woman came the next day and asked more about God as her interest grew. We were honestly surprised that this woman–who hadn’t show any sign of being interested in Jesus–actually started the conversation about God with us.
As we continued asking God to show us what He is doing, He led us to a woman name Lakpa*. Lakpa accepted an SD card with movies and other info about Jesus from us after we got to know her. The next day when we met her, she excitedly told us that she had looked at the Jesus movie and really liked it. As she told us what she understood, we explained more about who Jesus is and the gospel. What captured her attention was that Jesus can heal people to which she quickly said, “My shoulder pains. Pray for me now then.” A few minutes after praying for her, she exclaimed, “The pain is gone. He really can hear us!” This opened her heart to ask even more questions as we saw how God was preparing her heart to know Him.
During this trek, I saw how God was showing me that many times in life we ask God to join us as we go around doing what we think, or want to do, to please Him. Instead, He wants us to sit with Him, wait on Him, depend on Him to tell us and show us what He is doing and then join Him.
Matthew 11:29-30 says, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (NIV) When we join Him, our work is light and easy because we follow Him as He does all the work through us. As we pray and fast more, we show our desperate need for, and dependence on, God because He is the Lord of the harvest and we are just the labourers taking orders. God also showed me that the work He has done through us is not isolated and not based on what we did. John 4:38 says, "I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” (NIV) It is indeed a summation of the many workers of Jesus who have served in this area through the decades, praying and sowing seeds in different ways. I recently read a book called “Finish the Mission” by a group of authors. One author stated that God is saying to us, “This is what I’m doing. This is where I’m going. This is what’s on my heart. Join me.” It beautifully phases the call to follow Jesus.
So, I say “Hats off” to those who have joined God in following Jesus from the times of the twelve disciples to now and beyond. And to those who are still asking God to follow them, I say to heed His call as He says: “Join me.”