The Lord is in the details
By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ
Trekking toward Tsum Valley in central Nepal. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
Eduárd Nitkovszki went shopping in his native Hungary in preparation for Mission: Nepal 2019, Part 2. Eduárd was excited to finally be GO-ing back to Nepal, four long years after he’d been on his first Evangelic Expedition with Climbing For Christ.
“In a store I just passed by a baby snowsuit,” he recalled. “The thought came that there will be a baby there on the mountain somewhere that needs it. I had to go back for it and buy it.
“It was the only one in that size, dark blue, perfect for a baby boy. I packed it up and wondered, ‘How will I find the baby?’ Sitting on the plane to Kathmandu, before landing I prayed and asked God, ‘What shall I do, why did you send me here?’ The response came from Acts 26:16-17.”
“Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them.”
“All of a sudden, I began to have many questions: ‘How will I speak? I don’t know Nepali, even if I have learned a few words. Where and what will I have to tell? To whom? Will anyone listen? Will anyone be interested? Is it safe? It has to be because God has said it.’”
In his prayer journal, Eduárd wrote one question: “What does this mean?”
Our team came together in Nepal on Nov. 1. Eduárd from Hungary; Brandy and Dr. Matthew Fisher from Canada; Megh Gurung from Nepal, and Corey Slider, Jordan Rowley and me from the United States. This was Climbing For Christ’s 17th Evangelic Expedition to the Himalayas and our second of 2019. Earlier in the year, we trekked the lower Manaslu area in central Nepal. Now we were GO-ing to the unreached people living in the remote Tsum Valley near the border of China.
The people in this upper part of the Manaslu area are 100-percent Tibetan Buddhist. There are no known Christ followers in the Tsum Valley. Not yet, anyway.
On the fourth day of an 11-day trek, we reached the village of Chumling. “It came to my mind that I have a snowsuit with me, and I have to find the baby,” Eduárd said. “But the mountains are big, there are other villages, too, and lots of people and lots of babies. And I have just one snowsuit. ‘Oh God, how will I know?’
“Then while I was sitting there a woman walked by with a basket on her back. I did not know what was in the basket. As she put the basket down, the baby inside it began to cry. I asked the Lord if this was the baby that I had to take the snowsuit for. And He answered: ‘Yes, this is the baby.’
“I thought then that this baby must be a boy. I did not see the baby; it was well covered. I asked Megh, our guide and translator, if the baby is a boy. He said, ‘It is a girl.’ I had doubts about it.
“The Lord said, ‘This is the baby,’ and I have a blue snowsuit not a pink one. Then Megh asked the father (the son of the owner of the guesthouse where we were staying) and the father confirmed it is a boy. Well, interesting. The Lord knows the details.”
“I asked the Lord if this was the baby... And He answered: ‘Yes, this is the baby.’”
That night, Megh gave his testimony to the owner of the guesthouse, Lobsang, and his son, the father of the baby. Both men were interested in knowing more about Jesus. Megh presented them with Tibetan audio Bibles, which they immediately started listening to.
“The next morning, before we left the guesthouse, I asked Gary if it was OK to give the snowsuit as a gift to this family and asked Megh to translate my story of buying the snowsuit in Hungary and bringing it to Nepal because God wanted to take care of their baby. The family was thankful, and I know the young mother of the baby was touched in her heart by God. God knows how to speak to the heart. He orchestrated all this. Small things coming together as pieces of the puzzle in Tsum Valley.”
Our team trekked about 100 miles (160 kilometers), climbing more than 46,000 feet (14,000 meters) through spectacularly beautiful landscape to reach villages enveloped in ugly spiritual darkness. We distributed audio Bibles and medicine. Eduárd, a doctor working in the pharmaceutical industry, and Matthew held clinics and treated the injured and ill along the way.
Eduárd, center, and Matthew examine a man with broken ribs. (Photo by Jordan Rowley)
Lobsang, who we also visited on our way out of the valley, was close to accepting Jesus. “Seventy percent,” Megh said, summing up how near the guesthouse owner was to salvation.
There were others who heard about Jesus, prompting Eduárd to conclude it is “God’s valley, God’s mountains and God’s people. They only have to make their decision to follow Christ. I'm sure they will come to know Christ. There will be a church there.”
We agreed with this sentiment.
Jordan, our spiritual coordinator, shared about the sixth day of the trek, when our team reached the farthest villages. Along the way, we stopped at a Buddhist monastery.
“After experiencing the dark and demonic Buddhist monks in their temple, I was struck by the hopelessness of the people here,” Jordan said. “I went for a walk that evening and prayed/wrestled through it all. I felt God tell me that He had been patiently waiting for these people to be ready to receive Him – and this coming generation is the one!”
Jordan sensed that “our team was sent to plow and sow a few seeds. When we return, I pray the ground will be ready for more planting – and reaping.”
We jumped at the opportunities to scatter some seed, patiently waiting for those willing to listen.
Corey, who was on his first mission with Climbing For Christ, praises God “for the day when the standard greeting on the trail is ‘jaimashi’ instead of ‘namaste’ or ‘tashi delek.’”
“Jaimashi” is the greeting among Nepali Christians. It is a sort of secret handshake that identifies believers. In Nepali, this made-up word means “Victory in the Lord.”
We know the Lord will be victorious in the Tsum Valley. “God is on the move!” Jordan declared.
Brandy, our C4C Canada coordinator, spent some time reflecting on the trip before leaving Kathmandu. “I made notes of all the people our team connected with, either medically or with audio Bibles,” she said. “I was blown away at the number of people that God had brought to our team. Praise Him!
“With every person, I believe, we were able to leave seeds of the Gospel and I am praying that those seeds will germinate and reap a great harvest.”
Taking a prayer walk in Chumling. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
“It is challenging work to go into a place like we did,” Corey said. But, he added, “God is amazing, and He is working in the remote valleys of the country.”
God is alive in the small details, like the baby’s snowsuit. He orchestrated the start of something special with our team in the Tsum Valley.
“He is sovereign, in control of what is going to happen,” Eduárd said. “He prepared the way for us and the hearts of the people we met and talked to.”
Through it all, we caught His vision. We have witnessed Him at work in other parts of Nepal, places we entered where there were no believers or only a handful and now there are hundreds and we have been blessed to help build them churches. We can see what He will do in Tsum Valley. “There has to be a Tsum Valley church in the coming future,” Eduárd said.
“May the light of Christ penetrate the darkness and save those people that He loves and died for and bring HIS church forth.”