Mission: Nepal 2009
Sharing my Best Friend
By Kyle Austin
I went on my first mission trip with Climbing For Christ in April 2005 to Mexico. Half a year later I was on my way to Nepal with a different organization to serve for two years as a trekker who would carry Gospels to the remote villages in the foothills of the Himalayas. My two years in Nepal were life changing. I went on 10 Gospel treks, and it was an incredible experience to share the Word of Jesus with people who had no access to information about their true Creator or Savior. I witnessed to them through speaking, drama, and distributing gospels.
Kyle, in Nepal, acting out Christ's crucifixion.
I must say that the times when I, along with one to three fellow believers, took several days to walk from the nearest dirt road (found after several days driving from Kathmandu) were the most Spirit-filled days of my life. I had nothing to do except share the Gospel with those I came into contact with. The only distractions I had were the ones I carried in my head. It was just me, my partners and Jesus setting out to make the Word of God known where He had never been known before.
Last year, I was one of the members of Mission: Nepal 2008. I was thrilled to be able to translate for my teammates as we shared words of love with some Buddhist nuns. I translated for some Christian nurses from the United States as they explained to villagers how to take the medicine they were providing them.
Kyle explaining to a Nepali woman how to take medicine.
And I won’t lie, I was stoked to climb all day through a whiteout blizzard to reach the Everest Base Camp. We prayed over that glacier, that God would be recognized as the God of that mountain, and that believers who would be able to talk to climbers, Sherpas and porters would man a chapel to Him there. We would tell them about the One who made the mountains, rather than fickle gods of the mountains to whom they pray for safe passage.
This year Climbing For Christ will not return to Everest. We are hoping to enter the kingdom of Mustang, but that is not set in stone. If one thing about Climbing For Christ impressed me on our last mission, it was the way we rolled with change. I’m not sure if a single day went by without change — in the form of opportunity, sickness, weather or communist Olympians making us rethink our plans. My thoughts were echoed in the testimonies of some of the other climbers who, like me, did not know before getting to Nepal how God was going to use us. Looking back, it is easy to see the joy with which God set up so many ministry appointments for us with people and in places we did not know existed.
It is with the belief that God has put just as much time into laying the groundwork for Mission: Nepal 2009 that I eagerly set out on my third trip to see how and who I can serve there.
I know from years of experience and decades of stories that we do not usually see the fruit of our labors. But I ask that you join me in praying that God will allow Climbing For Christ to be blessed with the task of reaping some fruit on this trip. I’m going to plant seeds, show mountain people the love that brings a “wealthy” foreigner (wealthy in their eyes) across oceans and languages and onto the floors of their one-room huts, asking nothing in return except salty tea and the pleasure of telling them about my Best Friend.
Kyle Austin, a member of Climbing For Christ since January 2005, finished his freshman year at Houghton College in Houghton, N.Y. in early May 2009. He and two other Climbing For Christ members are partnering on Mission: Nepal 2009.
Posted May 8, 2009