Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Gates of Hell (Day Twenty Four)

     July 4th, 2012 - Kathmandu, Nepal
     Numbness. That is all I can feel. All of the Nepal team left and it is just those of us going on to India that are left. I don't know what I expected, but I didn't think it would be this hard.
     Our day started out as every other ministry day. Except our ministry site didn't work out and we were going to do friendship evangelism instead. That did not work either. So we prayer walked. I looked at all the temples, the false gods and people.The depravity here is so real. I have been here long enough so that it is as though I have gotten used to it. But you never quite get used to people ringing bells and spinning wheels and knowing every time that it's done, it is for their gods that don't even exist.
     We came to a stop in front of a crematorium. A body was burning- then it hit me. That person is most likely entering the gates of Hell. We stood outside the gate and watched the body burn. They likely lived a life void of any hope and now they have a hopeless eternity. Who will tell all of these people the truth? Not one person who claims to be a Christian or follower of Jesus has any excuse. Do not say, 'I am not called to share the Gospel.' We are ALL called to share the Gospel. One day you will meet your brothers and sisters at the wedding feast of the Lamb in Heaven and you might be asked your story, and they might share theirs. If you were asked by Paul, or Moses, or Stephen or countless other men and women of faith who sacrificed themselves, what would you want to tell them? 'I didn't think that was my calling.' And all the while, your co-workers, friends, even family might be burning in the fiery pit. How can you NOT share?
     The smell of incense burning turns my stomach. The smell is similar to fire works, and whenever they reach my nose, I think of all of these gods being worshiped. Always worshiping.
     We loaded the bus and drove back home, eating PB&J as a team together for the last time. I then went with Sarah to our room while she finished packing. I struggled with the emotions rising in me- I have spent so much time with Sarah. I was not ready for her to go. I played music on her phone while we talked. All too soon she was finished and we took her things downstairs to be loaded on the bus. I moved out of our room and into a new room with Crystel, Beka and Megan. The memories I made in my other room will always be with me.
     We spent our last hours together having team time. We shared our 'Kodak moment', our favorite part of ministry that confirmed we were supposed to be here. Mine was the man who I was able to passionately share the Gospel with. He asked so many questions. He was so close to accepting Christ- I believe he will soon!
     We then moved into 'Hot Seat' and each person was told, by three people on the team, what was seen in them. All of it was encouraging and it was so nice to spend the time together before they left. Our time together was ticking away.
     As we did with our translators in Pokhara, we laid hands on and prayed for our translators here in Kathmandu. We begged God to bless their work, and to use them and send more laborers. We also prayed for Deepak, and his ministry. He prayed for twelve years that God would send a team of us to come here. Last year his prayers were answered and we are back because God has so much for this nation.
     We ate supper together, pushing three tables together so we didn't have to be apart. But all too soon our food was gone and the time had come to say goodbye. What hurt the most was that I did not hug everyone I wanted to and then they separated us from the A-trippers so that they could leave. My heart broke as I watched them drive away. My family- the people who I have lived with for almost a month, are now gone. I have no idea when I will see them again. Maybe on this earth- but maybe not until Heaven.
     All of the C-trippers sat together in the lobby, crying. Then our Nepali cook, who is a Christian, came over and gave us hugs. We still cried, but we were saying goodbye in our hearts. Marissa gave us 'hope cards' that our MA's wrote us. Sarah wrote me a card telling me what I am the hope for. I never want to forget! 
     As a group, we talked, drank soda, and prayed. Then Marissa told us we were now officially on C-gap. We planned Christmas, which we will celebrate on July 25th and are coming up with ideas to celebrate. It is good to make plans to keep our minds off the pain. But now the numbness remains. 
      My new MAG got ready for bed and painted nails while we talked. We all want to be vulnerable and real with one another. Even though all of this pain. Oh and happy 4th of July! (I am hoping for 4th of July jello when I get home!)

     Highlights of the day:
     *Singing 'Break the Chains' at the 'gates of Hell'. We stood outside a crematorium and for those who are being cremated, they are beginning eternity. In my mind I could see them crying out, 'Tell my family, tell my friends!' and we stood there, singing. Yes, we have come so that ALL might know what awaits them when their time comes. What will you choose?
     *My highlight of today is God's mercy. I am broken and empty- most of my team left to go home to the States and I feel like they took part of me with them. But even through all of this pain, His mercy is enough. His grace is enough. Andrew called out, as the van was about to drive away, 'We are going to have so many great tea parties together in Heaven!'
     *Hot seat- being commended by my teammates for what they see in me. It is so encouraging to hear that they see Christ in me, faith and dependence on Jesus. I was told that I love deeply and I follow Jesus even when I have no idea where He will take me.
     *Every C-tripper crying as we wave goodbye and watch them leave. The other guests of this hotel must think we are crazy, running around crying our eyes out. Goodbye Nepal family!

 One of the awesome MIGs!

Their name was 'Pepto Bismal'

Sarah and I together on her last day! I can't believe I managed to smile. The joy of the Lord is our  strength.

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