I am terrified of crowds of people; they make me anxious and lead my thoughts inwards rather than outwards. That was exactly what I perceived my HYC experience to be - me sticking to the sidelines amidst a large group of disciples from all over the world for two long weeks. I feared that being in such a situation would bring out the worst in me. I wasn’t wrong for the most part, yet before long it became clear that didn’t matter much at all.
Being in Kathmandu, in the midst of all the dust and bedlam, there was a need for me to give beyond what I was used to.
The scope of the trip is difficult for me to summarise in this short article, but I must mention that the very crowd of people that I feared, were the ones that impacted me the most. I think about the young Nepalese student disciples there, giving their free time to benefit the work of the HOPE school and the training centre, working hard to give other strangers opportunities that they never had. I think about the children in the school, the way whole classes look after each other, and their sweet, playful naivety that warms and comforts.
And I am want to think about the disciples that arrived with me. Dozens of disciples of varying cultures, age and backgrounds serving and calling each other higher in character. John 13:35 and Acts 20:35 came to life every day; even when I was tasked with the menial task of stapling stack after stacks of paper together for three whole days straight, I felt that I was exactly where God wanted me to be at that very moment. I was thoroughly fulfilled; though what we were doing in those few days can feel so small, short-lived, or even inconsequential, I learnt that God only needed giving hearts, and He would make our efforts last.
I especially love that God takes care of the finer details. He oversees the lives of modern society, but I could so clearly see that He was also actively caring for the lives of those seemingly forgotten by much of the world.
Nepal to me was a place where people brought their best and their flaws are challenged in the best way possible. I always felt that having a breakthrough in compassion is a given when visiting third-world countries, but nothing beats the first-hand experience. And these experiences are impactful in the long-term - I am blessed that I could take a piece of those two weeks back home to my ministry.
There is always a demand for serving hearts, introverted or extroverted. The venue is circumstantial, it is how your heart can be transformed from being among this broad gathering of disciples, both local and foreign, that is worth far more than any plane ticket.