God opens the way and the doors to Makalu
By Gary Fallesen
Founding President, Climbing For Christ
Megh Gurung was fresh off his first Evangelic Expedition with Climbing For Christ in 2012 when he felt like visiting a Buddhist monastery in his native Nepal. He knocked on the monastery door three times. No answer.
In frustration he threw himself on the ground. Lying on his back, hands outstretched overhead, he searched the heavens and cried out to God: “Why?”
God’s answer was five points:
1. Open the way;
2. Open the door;
3. Open the hand;
4. Open the heart;
5. Open the heaven.
These five points were repeated several times during our second Mission: Nepal 2014 – a trek to evangelize the Sherpa people living in the area of Mount Makalu in northeastern Nepal.
Dave Stoessel crosses suspension bridge followed by Megh Gurung after a steep 2,500-vertical-foot descent from the village of Num and before ascending 2,600 vertical feet to the next village in steamy conditions. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
God, first, must open the way. “Why did we come here?” Megh said as we trekked near Makalu. “We have no relations. God told Gary, ‘Go to Makalu.’”
God showed us the way and, when the plans we made did not align with His will, He redirected our steps. “No, Gary, this way,” He said through His Word and in His daily teachings to our team, which consisted of Megh, Dave Stoessel of Rochester, NY, and me.
Once you are GO-ing His way, He will allow point #2 to occur. He will open the door
Case in point:
The night of Thursday, Sept. 11, Megh told us where we were (Tashi Guan) was the last village on the Makalu trekking route. He said the stops ahead of us on our itinerary were only guest houses for trekkers. “No people,” Megh said.
No people? Then why would we go that way?
“I prayed for God's direction,” I shared in our Dispatches
. “The answer was found in the Scripture verse for our daily devotional (prepared by spiritual coordinator Jordan Rowley): ‘...Woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel
.’ (1 Corinthians 9:16).
“Woe is me indeed. I was reminded again of C4C's mandate: mission, not mountains; people, not peaks. We did not come here as tourist trekkers for pretty views of the Himalayas. We came to deliver the Good News of Jesus Christ.”
So, instead of going up, we headed back down the trail to a farmhouse outside the village. The man there had invited us in out of the rain the previous day. An open door.
Again, from our daily Dispatches: “We went to visit – again in the rain – and shared the Gospel with Psunurbu Sherpa, his wife Pasang Buti and three of their five children. They had never heard about Jesus. Woe is us if we failed to proclaim the Gospel to this family.”
Megh gives an audio Bible to the Psunurbu Sherpa family outside Tashi Guan. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
We reach open doors only through His provision, which is point #3: open the hand. “That is help from people,” Megh explained. “We get financial support (from others).”
Dave was on his second Mission: Nepal team thanks to the support of sponsors – more than two dozen donors. I was on my sixth expedition in Nepal and my 40th mission in 9½ years because of the generous giving of our members and ministry friends. Their support also made it possible for Megh to GO with us.
Point #3 is where the body of Christ plays its crucial role. Without your helping hands – prayerful hands clasped to intercede on our behalf and giving hands willing to send financial support – the open doors are never knocked on. The enemy wins another lost soul.
You are right there with us through your praying and giving.
On Mission: Nepal we saw God open the way, open the door and open the hand. We did all that we could humanly do. We delivered the Good News.
“Megh left them with an audio Bible,” I wrote in that day’s Dispatch. “‘This is seed,’ he said after we prayed with the family.”
It is up to the Holy Spirit to open the heart
and then Psunurbu Sherpa, Pasang Buti, their children, and others must choose. They must turn away from the hell-bent lies of Tibetan Buddhism and accept the truth of Jesus’s death and resurrection for our sins. That eternal decision will open the heaven
Romans 10:14-15 tells us: “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!
Hearts and heaven cannot be opened if we do not follow His way through open doors, GO-ing with the blessings of open hands.
That one turn in Tashi Guan – back the way we had passed instead of further up an uninhabited mountain trail – changed the course of the entire mission. The result was watching God turn what I perceived as a failed mission into a wonderful success. As Dave said, when asked for his highlights of the trip, “Watching God’s hand redirect us to where He wanted us – to the farmer and his humble family, to the pastor in Seduwa, who then led us to DD Sherpa and his family.”
Megh, right, sharing with DD Sherpa, second from left, and family members in the village of Rani Dhunga. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
We ended up GO-ing where we had not planned. But to exactly where God wanted us. Yes, as Proverbs 16:9 – one of this ministry’s life verses – states: “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.
The Lord established our steps to:
- Find a small church of 35 believers in Num, the jump-off village for the Makalu trail. There we met and were blessed to encourage Pastor Utar Rai.
- Visit Rani Dhunga, a Sherpa village in the opposite direction of the Makalu trail. We encountered DD Sherpa and more than a dozen members of his extended family when God again opened the door. Seeds were planted and Pastor Utar, who accompanied us, will continue to water them.
- Share Jesus with others, including our two porters, and encourage brothers and sisters in Christ encountered along the way.
- Visit the church at Dapcha. There was no time on our original itinerary. But when we were led back down the trail we finished our work early and could return to Kathmandu, where we arranged to meet another key player in C4C’s work in Nepal – Pastor Tej Rokka. We went with Pastor Tej to the Dapcha church we helped build (our first Nepali church) three years ago. We had not been there since 2012 because of a split between the church at Tej’s SARA (Savior Alone Reaches Asians) ministry. The church and SARA have now reconciled, which was a glorious moment to witness.
- Encourage Megh’s church in Kathmandu. Because we were back in the nation’s capital we also could attend worship with Megh and his family at their Milap church. Dave and I were blessed to share a message of encouragement, which included the telling of this story and how God will lead us if we are open to Him.
“Everything was challenging on the trip,” Megh said, referring to conditions – daily monsoon-like rains which produced epic encounters with leeches. We considered our present suffering not worth comparing with the glory revealed in us (Romans 8:18).
Jungle trekking in the mountains of Nepal and two of the many leeches who welcomed us. (Photos by Gary Fallesen)
As Megh said, we were empowered to be bold for the Lord, do the work required to expand His kingdom, and bring Him glory. After all, it was God Who opened the way, the doors, the hands, the hearts and, in the end, the heaven. All praise goes to Him.
Remember “the open hand” and that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
For seeds planted among the Sherpa to take root.
To the work of Mission: Nepal. Send donations to Climbing For Christ, c/o Mission: Nepal, P.O. Box 16290, Rochester, NY 14616. Or CLICK HERE
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We are planning Mission: Nepal 2015 for March. Email info@ClimbingForChrist.org
for a mission application.