Up, Up and Away

Written by | July, 2012
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Tuesday July 10

So on Sunday we set out for Shaktikhor. And Monday AM we started on our “7 hour” hike to Rajbhog. We started at an elevation of 1000 ft and climbed to 4600 ft and then back down a 1000 ft on the other side. About 80% of the ascent part was @ 60% incline or more. I am told people are warned not to ascend in altitude more than 3500 ft in a day. With all the warnings about this climb and after the difficulty with the previous Mt hike (though that one was only 700 ft. Increase overall in altitude) I was a little concerned about how well I would be able to handle it. However things were going fine and my apprehension was decreasing. Then after a break, my calf muscle ” froze up”. I suppose I should have known to keep moving and not rest like the others – the susceptibility of an old man. So the rest of the climb I was kneading my calf, stretching and limping.

Pastor Ramchandra who lives about two hours up the Mt was guiding us up the Mt. We did not go to his village and church though we saw them from a distance. he came to faith about 10 years ago. A lady was distributing gospel tracts and he was curious. He thought there must be some “secret” to Christianity and so came down the Mt and attended a church to find out what it was. He kept attending and eventually started a congregation in his own village. One of the people he shared his faith with was Bir Bahadur who then started a congregation in his own village, which is Rajbhog where we went. By God’s miraculous grace, his whole village has come to faith, about 250.

So when we got to the village we were ready to relax but the only place to sit or lie was the cement floor of the church and the flies were swarming all over us, no screens. Sleeping that night was also on the cement floor.

The Lord blessed the seminar abundantly. There were about 200 people there. They started as normal with an hour of singing with some readings and prayers between the songs. We then taught from 10 AM -1PM with some song interludes. The people were very thankful. What a delight to share the word.

Two teenage girls asked if we could take their picture with one of us. When we then showed them the picture that started a line of people wanting their picture taken.

Raju wisely arranged to get bamboo sticks for walking sticks going down the Mt. That really helped keep our balance on steep slippery slopes and to relieve the strain on knees going down. We had gotten some leeches on the way up. One I had, had been their a while and as a result I assume of an anticoagulant they insert it was bleeding for hours. So on the way down, they had us but water our feet and then rub salt all over them. That kept the leeches off, none on the way down. however, the course salt also was a frictional irritant between the outside of my feet and the sandals. Very quickly my little toes were rubbed raw. They are quite a sight.

Today then we continued on to Pokhara. The bus was to come at 6 AM. We were finishing packing when at 5:30 we heard the bus going by. Well it wasn’t late but the effect was even worse. We finally then ended up riding on the back of motorcycles with all our luggage to where we could get ,a tuk tuk and then a bus etc. We spent the whole day traveling. One bus broke down and we had to wait in the intense heat to get another bus. The buses were absolutely packed and hot. There was a goat on the bus with us pooping all over the floor. Matthew and I had just commented that at least we have not been stoned like Paul. But the bus ride today felt like being stoned. We were continually for 7 hours bouncing into the ceiling, each other and on the hard seats. I admit I have never been stoned, but it feels like it. But we made it, thank you Jesus.

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