When we’d first arrived in their little huddle of tents in the Himalayas, they spotted our foreign faces, and you could almost see their pupils turn into dollar signs. Not that I blame them—there was only one plausible reason we’d traveled all the way out there: to rent their horses and head off into the mountains. Never mind that it was pouring rain.
They didn’t know how to ask us in English, but they could pantomime it for us, and if that wasn’t enough, by the end of the conversation, I had the nose of a conveniently placed (albeit very wet) horse poking me in the back. My friend Cierra could speak the regional language, and she told them, “We don’t want to ride a horse. We want to sit in your tent with you and have tea and talk.”
Well then. Come on.
The four of us and eight of them piled into a small but very warm tent, cramming as close to the stove in the center as we could. A lady with rosy cheeks ladled prepared yak milk tea from a pot on the stove into bowls and pushed them into our hands. Within seconds they were joking and laughing with us, and we were giving the main horseman language lessons. Or at least one phrase—“Ride a horse.” It had obvious marketing benefits. But then Cierra had something else for them.
In their language, she asked them if they’d ever heard of the Most High God. They laughed. They were sharing their tent with an idol, and around their tents, strings of brightly colored prayer flags were flapping in the rainy breeze, blessing the surrounding countryside in the name of another god. Darkness enveloped them. She told them about Him anyway. The whole tent heard, some truly listening. Afterward, all four of us sang them a song in English, and they scrambled for their smartphones. Then Cierra and another friend, Becky, sang a song about Him for them in their language, and they recorded it.
My God, I worship You.
My heart loves You deeply.
At Your throne, I think of Your grace.
My heart praises and worships.
My God, I want to worship You.
I watched our hosts’ faces, all of them caught up in the way the foreigners sang so passionately about a God they had never heard of. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll listen to the song the crazy white girls sang again sometime, and they’ll think about the story they heard. Who knows what happens to things when they end up in the belly of a smartphone. But there was one thing I did know as I sat there.
Over yak milk tea, God wrecked my heart all over again for the people of the world who don’t know the peace of a Savior and Friend who gives us a hope and a future. The darkness and its victims now had faces in my mind, in my heart. And that was never going to go away.
This story is an excerpt from the book I Don’t Wait Anymore: Letting Go of Expectations and Grasping God’s Adventure for You.