If I could be granted one wish right now I would ask to take each one of you out to the village of Dhading in the mountains of Nepal. My team just spent from Sunday to Wednesday in Dhading, and it was a unique and holy experience.
Village life is incredible. It is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Since I can’t take you to the village, I will try to give you a tiny glimpse of what it was like.
We saw the smiles of beautiful, wrinkly grandmas, terraced hillsides dotted with houses, and livestock parading up and down the mountain.
We heard insanely loud cicadas, the laughter of schoolchildren hiking to school in their blue uniforms, and our own lilting voices as we read out loud from a book in the evenings.
We smelled the strong afternoon Nepali tea, our own sweat from a lack of showers, and the roasted corn on the cob a hospitable villager cooked for us.
We tasted ripe mangos off the tree, goat meat for breakfast, and delicious dal bhat.
We experienced trekking up the mud steps and taking a right at the cow to get to the squatty, the slow pace of village life, and the Spirit of God moving in power.
The earthquake damage we saw was overwhelming. It looked just like the pictures you see online. In Kathmandu the damage is scattered. There are definitely damaged areas, but sometimes, as an outsider, I can forget the earthquake even happened. In the village, however, the destruction was everywhere. Home after home completely ruined.
As we worked to dismantle the homes by hand, I was overwhelmed by the thought of 750,000 houses destroyed in the earthquake. While we dug pots and spoons out of the rubble, I realized that the earthquake shook more than just houses, it upheaved lives.
And yet, they’re rebuilding.The Nepali people are so strong. Our work in the village was a drop in the bucket and I can take no credit for what I’ve done. I spent two days moving rubble. That’s it.
It was humbling to realize how little I can do, and yet, the little I did can mean so much. The nonprofit we worked with told us that by helping to take the houses apart, we were giving the Nepalis the hope they need to build again.
Despite the desolation, God is moving on the mountain. We went to the village with a spirit of anticipation. Many people had told us that God had big things for our team in Dhading. By the end of the first full day, everyone was feeling good (which is miraculous in itself) but we didn’t feel like anything huge had happened.
Before I went to bed, I felt God whisper, “I’m going to do something tonight.” I went to sleep, woke up, nothing. My immediate thought was, “Maybe I heard God wrong.”
In the midmorning, we were at our camp making dal bhat when an older Nepali man walked up to us. He asked for prayer for a bad stomach pain, and asthma. We prayed, and God miraculously healed him on the spot!
Afterwards he said, “Last night when my stomach was hurting I remembered Jesus and thought I should come here.” In that moment I thought, “God, why do I ever doubt you?”
For the rest of the day we were approached by a steady stream of villagers. Some asked for prayers, some took Bibles, and some were just curious about what we were doing and why we were in Dhading. In the words of my teammate Courtney, “The Spirit is attractive.” It was an incredible day, and it truly helped me see that God is moving in Dhading.
Even though our village experience is only one day behind us, I can tell I will look back on our time there as one of the highlights of these six weeks.