It was past noon and the three of us had been climbing uphill for about two hours. The sky was grey, and the clouds threatened to pour down at any time. We could finally see the village we wanted to get to ahead of us.
My friends and I were in a remote Southeast Asian country to distribute literature. OM is focusing its efforts in this area because it is still largely unreached by the good news. At an estimated average elevation of 2,500 metres (8,202 feet), it was certainly not easy terrain.
We finally arrived at the village in relief as drops of rain started pouring down. One lady initially invited us into her home, but for unexplainable reasons then told us to wait in the shed downstairs and leave once the rain stopped. We asked for some hot tea as we were all feeling really cold, but only after we reassured her that we would pay for it did she leave us to make the tea.
In the cold shed, we were bewildered by the change in her attitude. It looked like the rain was going to continue for quite some time, and we didn’t have any place to rest after the long hike up. A few people who lived nearby came to have a look at the foreigners gathered in the shed, but no one was interested in buying the books that we had brought with us. Although none of us said it out loud at the time, we all wondered if we had made a mistake by hiking up to this village.
About half an hour later, a shy, young girl came and joined us in the shed but did not say much. Her name was Kabitha, and we found out that she had just returned from tutoring classes at her high school. We asked her a few questions like, “Is there a church nearby?” and “Are there any Christians in this village?” She looked confused at both questions, and it was then that we realized that she had no idea what a ‘Christian’ and a ‘church’ were, and she had never heard the name of Jesus.
Kabitha seemed happy to stay and wait with us for the rain to stop, so we asked if she would like to hear a story. With a little rope trick, we shared with her the story of creation, about how sin entered into the world and how God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to wash away our sins. Kabitha understood the story and even asked if she could buy one of our books so that she could read more about it.
After finishing our tea, the rain stopped, and we made our way through the village. There were not many people in sight, so we decided to make our way back down the mountain in order to find a place to stay the night before it got dark. As we were walking down, another girl and her younger brother appeared behind us, and as we walked together, we talked. The girl’s name was Dhurga, and her brother was Ginesh. They, too, had never heard of Christians or Jesus.
My friend started sharing her testimony with Dhurga. Her brother, Ginesh, walked alongside me and offered to carry my book bag for me. He was immediately interested in the books that he saw in it. He wanted to go home to get his money and buy some books, but we had to part ways before getting to their village. We decided to give the both siblings some books. After showing us which direction we needed to go, they waved goodbye with huge smiles on their faces.
That night as we reflected on the day’s events, we could see how God had worked in ways we had not expected. The difficulty of climbing the mountain, the inconvenience of the rain and the coldness of the shed were all worth the opportunity to share with three people who would not have heard the good news otherwise.
Maya L. is a freelance writer in Asia. She is involved in capturing stories that share with a broader audience the work that God is doing in this beautiful part of the world.
Published: Thursday, 01 February 2018
Credit: OM International