Today's post was written by Bekah M., a sophomore at Samford University and a BH member who went on a college short-term trip to Nepal over spring break.
In the fall of 2014, I decided to apply to spend my spring break in Nepal. Little did I know what I was signing up for at the time because spring break 2015 was absolutely the hardest, most uncomfortable spring break I have ever experienced. BUT the lessons learned about the Lord make those discomforts pale in comparison to how worthy the Lord is to get us out of every comfort zone we attempt to place in our lives.
In Nepal, I learned just how trustworthy God is - trustworthy for the small things and trustworthy for the big things. Physical discomforts pushed me to the cross. Mental fears pushed me to the cross. Spiritual warfare pushed me to the cross. Ranging emotions pushed me to the cross. As we trekked, experienced spiders as big as my hand, felt the deep darkness on the country, and sought to sort it all out emotionally, I am not going to pretend that I was not confused throughout the whole process. And even now, I don’t pretend to know. But what I do know is that the Lord is Jehovah-Jireh. I’ll share four short stories that demonstrate His provision for me while in Nepal.
Physical discomforts pushed me to the cross.
First day of trekking was rough. Now, we knew it was going to be hard. We had trained with Insanity, hiking, and endless gym workouts. That definitely helped, but when you look up to see what looks like endless man-made stairs in this mountain you have to climb, after being in a six hour bus ride, constantly trying to catch your breath, not wanting to be the first one to ask how much longer you have, it’s a whole new game. I felt defeated. I felt confused. I felt winded. At one point, we stopped for a water break, and that’s when we all realize that we were all struggling. Our wonderful trekking guide Charlie encouraged us with a short word that I’ll never forget. He said, “Don’t be embarrassed. It is good to be reminded that we are physically weak. God is our Father. He wants a daughter who will run to Him for strength because He is waiting with open arms to provide that for you.” I broke. I was so desperately reminded that when I am weak, He is strong.
Spiritual warfare pushed me to the cross.
There is darkness over the country. It is felt. And boy does Satan use it to his advantage. Through distraction and obstacles, it was good for the team to realize from the beginning that this pushback was not accidental or ironic. Of course, the enemy does not want Kingdom work being done in a country in which he seemingly has such a stronghold! BUT the LORD is in control of Nepal. The battle has been won. He holds Satan on a chain. God is worthy of our faith when all we feel is hopelessness. When I felt spiritually weak or confused, I was reminded that He is strong.
Ranging emotions pushed me to the cross.
An overwhelming emotional block was over me throughout the week. I struggled what to feel throughout the trip. Hopelessness, irritation, heartbreak, confusion all coursed through my body as I sought to come to terms with what I saw and experienced throughout our time there. At one point, as I debriefed with the other ladies on my trekking team, we talked about how we felt an emotional block. We began to pray against it. We want to FEEL for these people. As we prayed, we literally all felt a release, and the night ended in tears, with hearts broken for the need but strengthened by the Leader. When my range of emotions left me weak and confused, I realized that He is strong and able.
Mental fears pushed me to the cross.
Fear. What a crippling thing. It leaves you feeling vulnerable and powerless. Well, a spider, we so tenderly named Henry, about as big as my outstretched hand, taught me a little bit about fear. Now, I’m definitely a self-diagnosed arachnophobic. So naturally, Henry was right above the ladder we had to climb to get to our sleeping area. He was brown, had yellow eyes, and have I mentioned that he is bigger than my outstretched hand? Yeah. Stephanie Fain and I stood there for a solid two minutes, completely paralyzed with fear. At that point, I was at 0%. This was day one, people! Now, I’m not even going to pretend that I had this life-changing experience where I still don’t freak when I see a spider, but than night, when I felt vulnerable to this huge spider that I didn’t know was poisonous, jumping, or what have you, my only option was to keep moving forward. And, I could not have moved forward without the strength of the Lord. I was at 0%. But, at 0%, when I am weak, He is strong.
Being back at Samford has continued that lesson of trust. Trusting that the Lord has me here at Samford for a reason, even when sometimes, 110% of me wants to be over there doing what we are truly made for, which is to share the good news of the gospel. I thought, why am I here?
The Lord has clearly made it known to me that, although He has given me a desire to be obedient overseas; I need to be obedient here as well. I prayed for contentment. Not complacency, but contentment. Because the goodness of God, the mercy of God, the faithfulness of God, and the urgency of the gospel is all so interweaved into my time in Nepal, when people ask how my spring break went, I have a wide open opportunity to share about those things with anyone that will listen.
He is worthy to be restless. He is worthy of our contentment. He is worthy to live now in a way that opens the door for radical, sacrificial living over there. Because we are called to be obedient to His will wherever we are and wherever that takes us, whether that is Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, or Kathmandu, Nepal, in the midst of the Himalayas.
For more updates on relief efforts in Nepal or if you would like to give financially, click here.
For a helpful resource that discusses God’s sovereignty and natural disasters, click here for David Platt’s sermon on “How Do We Respond to Natural Disasters?”