Mission: Nepal 2011
Serving a patient God in Nepal
By Kyle Austin
I went into Mission: Nepal in May 2009 acknowledging that its success was in God’s hands. But my conviction of this was tested throughout the journey as God continued to teach me to have faith in and reliance on Him.
He also challenged me to increase my patience while waiting for the humans required to do the ministry.
I realized that these lessons were probably part of God’s agenda for me about a week into the trip. I was waiting for a landlady who had changed a lock on us, when we were trying to deliver a huge (and heavy) water filter in Kathmandu. She told us – and our hired truck – to wait. “She was coming.” She never came.
I think the good-natured attitude my Nepali brothers in Christ actually had only added to my frustration. In my task-oriented mind, I felt that if they could feel what I felt we could solve this problem. The truth is, there was no solution to the problem. She wasn’t coming, and I let my frustration get the better of me.
I later viewed that situation as an example of what this mission trip was becoming. It had taken me days to connect with fellow Climbing For Christ members who were supposed to be serving with me, and when I did get ahold of them I learned my plans and hopes for helping them work with the handicapped of west Nepal were not going to be realized.
At that time I didn’t know how – or even if – God intended to use me on this Evangelic Expedition. So I prayed that God would grant me patience, and give me the faith that He would provide ministry opportunities.
God did just that a few days later. I was in the village of Dapcha in the hills in the Khavre District, where I was going to teach in a small church.
Kyle Austin, left, preaching through a Nepali interpreter at the Sara church in Dapcha, Nepal.
While God was faithful to provide me with a ministry opportunity, He did not cease working on my patience with a series of delays and last-minute changes.
A brother in Christ was delivering a long sermon for the benefit of five adults, while most of the 20 or so kids in attendance wandered away before I had an opportunity to do the children’s message. I have a heart for the children of Nepal, working with them for much of the two-plus years I’ve worked as a missionary in that country. After all, Jesus said, “Let the children come to me” (Luke 18:16).
So this seemingly squandered opportunity upset me. Thankfully, before I said or did anything that might have hurt or offended my friend, I prayed that I would do nothing to make things worse.
After that, I simply asked the remaining kids to go bring their friends back. They did, and I was able to share the children’s sermon.
Shortly thereafter, a woman attending the church accepted Christ as her Savior. It was the highlight of the trip for me.
Friends of Kyle Austin praying over a woman who accepted Christ in Dapcha, Nepal.
I was instantly struck with the memory of my prayer before leaving the States for Nepal – that Climbing For Christ would be able to reap some fruit. I had forgotten that desire.
I was also reminded how much bigger God’s plans are than our own. I was hoping through that time of worship to encourage some kids. That had been my highest goal. God did this, but He also saved one of His lost sheep.
“Rejoice with me,” Jesus instructed us. “I have found my lost sheep” (Luke 15:6). I was blessed that He allowed me to be a part of this incredible moment.
This story originally appeared in The Climbing Way (Volume 14, Summer 2009). Kyle Austin, a member of Climbing For Christ since January 2005, was a participant in our inaugural Evangelic Expedition (Mission: Mexico 2005). He also served on Mission: Nepal 2008 and Mission: Nepal 2009 after spending two years working as a missionary in that predominantly Hindu nation.
Posted Sept. 27, 2009