Spending the month of May living in Nepal was nothing less than amazing, challenging, and eye-opening. I was happily welcomed into my little tourist town in Kathmandu, slept in a warm hostel bed, sipped on honey/ginger/lemon tea daily, and had the freedom to walk around by myself and bargain with the owners of each shop I passed safely. I fell head over heels with this place. I pictured myself in a cozy apartment near the main city and eating at OR2K every single day (my favorite gluten-free/vegan place). Then I was moved into my ministry house for the month and our main goal was simple evangelism.
Evangelism in a country where sharing the gospel is illegal. Imagine how that call home went when describing what this month was going to look like. "Hey mom, I could end up in jail for sharing the love of Christ." I shared a studio sized living room floor with five other young women on my team and another team was in the bedroom also sleeping on the floor. My space was limited, but it was cozy. I began to get comfortable in my daily schedule of 6 am a quiet time with Jesus, 7 am workout time, 8 am breakfast and preparation for the day. We would visit two new sites a day, one in the morning and one in the evening, so every four hours was new and exciting. Both of our teams laughed, cried, worshipped, and we began to fall in love with the city.
After a week in the city, we moved to another part of Nepal, where we began to practice trekking and evangelism in a new way. When I say in a new way, I mean with people who wanted Jesus so badly but couldn't because they were afraid of persecution, being kicked out of their homes, and overall loss of everything that was comfortable to them and their community. Typing that brings tears to my eyes. I found comfortability in a fear/shame community. A place where it is illegal to share scriptures or have discussions about any religion that wasn't Hinduism or Buddhism. A place where there is a caste system and people on "different levels" couldn't communicate or drink out of the same tin cups. A place where 12-year-old girls are being set up in arranged marriages with no choice of their own. This place needed the love of Jesus more than ever.
I love public speaking, but when it comes to evangelism, I was always uncomfortable. I never wanted to make someone feel forced into a relationship with God when it is not at all forced upon us. God gave us the CHOICE to follow Him, so I must let people know that the CHOICE will forever be open to them. I began chasing after the one like God chased after me. I shared my testimony and story with everyone around me. I focused on listening to them and developing relationships with them. We did a four-day trek through the Himalayas. We prepared for only one week before which is crazy since hiking took up 8 hours a day. My legs hurt, I was exhausted, but I kept going. We introduced two families to Jesus during the trek and people from both accepted Him. These people were called "the untouchables" by their community, but we shared black tea in their tin cups with them. We shared the love of Jesus by touching the untouchables.
Now I am back in Kathmandu, enjoying vegan treats and drinking iced americanos. I am on my expensive laptop typing about how I evangelized and shared Jesus even when it was against the law. How we publicly worshipped in a coffee shop with a guitar and didn't get caught. But I will forever think about those who accepted Jesus and now have to live in fear of the law. I idolize their bravery and I hope one day I can have that amount of bravery. I am leaving Nepal heartbroken, inspired, and most of all, more in love with Jesus than ever before.