Your eyes are shut. It's raining. Hard. You hear it beating down upon the leaves in the canopy, the dirt behind you, the granite beneath you. You taste it mixing with your sweet sweat with every exasperated breath you take. You smell it, the fresh rain mixing with the earth and preparing the way for new life--you smell it intertwining with your fear. You feel it. Every drop. Hitting your fragile skin like a needle, piercing its way into what little spirit you have left. You feel the solid sheet of granite beneath you...you feel your feet slide out from under you. And then you finally see it. The rain, falling straight down in a blur. The trees, clear on the other side where freedom lies. The stream, 500 feet below you. Your life, falling off the side of a wet piece of granite that is the only way to make it across the chasm.
Two small hands grab onto your shoulder and lift you back on your feet. Your savior has electrical tape wrapped around the shoes he's worn for the past five years. His black hair is matted to his forehead and the top of his head barely reaches your shoulder. The man arm-in-arm with you is barely five foot and weighs 100 pounds. The man who saved your life is just that--a man.
The story above is a true story which happened recently in Nepal, a country where conversion is punishable five years in prison, when a translator saved an American missionary from falling to his death. Nepal is a country of 29 million people. Out of those 29 million only 1.4%, or 400,000, identify as Christian. The most prominent religion is Hinduism, which has captivated 81.3% of the population. Prostitution and sex trafficking are rampant and an estimated 12,000 to 15,000 girls between 7 and 24 years old are trafficked out of Nepal each year. That same American missionary told me stories of entering towns and seeing girls no older than 15 with 2 or 3 children already, of how when they would enter a town in a van the young girls would come out of their houses like sheep awaiting being led to the slaughter. And so many of these people rely on traditions and man-made gods to save them; yet nothing man-made can save them from anything beyond physically falling. The Nepal translator saved the American missionary from falling to his death. But he did not, does not, nor will he ever have the power to save the missionary from falling to his spiritual death.
And that is where our God steps in. The only God who knew that the chasm we had to cross due to our brokenness was impossible for us to cross on our own and thus chose to sacrifice his son, God incarnate, to allow us back into his presence. The only God real enough to physically walk up to you on a slippery piece of granite and carry you to the other side. This is the God that the American missionary and his team of 45 others (22 Americans, 1 Englishman, and 23 native translators) shared with over 1600 people in Nepal. This is God whom 770 of them accepted as their Lord and Savior.
Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy--to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore. Amen.
Nazish, Kiran. "Women and Girls, A Commodity: Human Trafficking in Nepal." The Diplomat.