A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Ps 17:17 NIV
Recently I had the privilege of leading a team of 5 American students on a 2 1/2 week journey to the Himalayas in Northern India. Together with 6 local Ladhki students we participated in a week long outdoor leadership course. As we climbed towering granite boulders, rafted the mighty churning Zanskar river, and trekked to lofty mountain passes, I was amazed at the sense of kinship and unity we formed. Our team was from very different backgrounds and walks of life, but the experience brought us together. As we shared Maggi noodles, (a kind of Indian Ramen), and chicken sausage we also shared our lives, our hurts, our hopes, and our dreams.
The power of the wilderness experience to bring people together never ceases to amaze me. As a follower of Jesus I often find that many people try so hard to find that right gimmick or tract to communicate their faith, but when you are on a journey with someone, sharing what is dear to you comes easily and naturally.
I’m so thankful for our team of American students who stepped out of their comfort zones and went halfway around the world to share their lives with complete strangers. I’m thankful for their humility and respect in engaging with their fellow travelers and learning from them. I’m thankful for the Jesus stories that were shared and the opportunity to explore and experience the amazing landscape the Ladakhi students call home. I’m also thankful for the incredible hospitality and servant spirit our Ladakhi hosts showed us.
The journey was not at an easy one; at times many of our team members were tempted to throw in the towel, but we encouraged each other and shouldered one another’s burdens so we could all finish well. Through the trials and the triumphs friendships were forged that will resonate into eternity.
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