Not too long ago, we spent several days living in a remote village in Nepal that is located ten hours from Kathmandu. The village consisted of eight homes that dotted the side of the mountain. Our experiences were marked with a host of surprises, celebrations of worship, miracles of God’s protective care, learning, laughter, tears, and a number of unprecedented challenges for both of us.

View of the village from the trail above

During the twelve-hour journey to the village, we sensed a feeling of apprehension for all the unknowns ahead for us and of great excitement for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Words were inadequate to describe our feelings when the driver stopped the vehicle on the mountainside and began to unload luggage, food supplies, and bedding. We scanned the land before us, and, to our surprise, we could not see any houses in sight. In front of us stretched a ladder of steep steps jutting in and out of the side of the mountain. The reality of a week of living in a remote village was finally sinking in.

The small gathering of inquiring and amused village people graciously hoisted our belongings on their shoulders and started up the mountainside. When we reached the cabin, we were quickly seated outside on small bamboo stools and were welcomed with chia tea—a gracious gesture of Nepalese hospitality. That evening we became “official campers.” All of the women (Nepalese and American) slept side by side on the red mud floor, and the men slept in the cramped loft. We were just one big family now, and always a forever family!

During the next several days, our lives were blessed with the presence of the Lord in so many ways, including:

  • the dedication and anointing of our friends newly inherited thatched roof house. We prayed that it would be used for the glory of God in spite of the surrounding dark spiritual oppressiveness.
  • being shielded from the appearance of any spiders (as big as our hands), rats, and bedbugs. The rafter rats that hide inside the dwellings were nowhere to be found, and even the tigers stayed home while we slept at night! Our language teacher said it was truly a miracle of God.
  • protection during the departing journey down the mountain. Within the first ten steps, Saundra slipped on wet leaves that were covering slippery rocks and fell to the ground. Looking back now, we know that God protected us from what could have been a very serious situation in that setting. We praise God for giving both of us the strength to finish the race to the very end—one step at a time!

Upon returning to the States, our youngest son sent us a short devotional by Frederick Buechner entitled, “Feet.” We have chosen to quote some of his thoughts as it so aptly applies to our recent goings and comings.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings” says Isaiah 52:7 (AMPC). Not how beautiful are the herald’s lips, which proclaim the good tidings, or his eyes as he proclaims them, or even the good tidings themselves, but how beautiful are the “feet”—the feet without which he could never have made it up into the mountains, without which the good tidings would never have been proclaimed at all. . . .

Generally speaking, if you want to know who you really are, as distinct from who you like to think you are, keep an eye on where your feet take you.

Since this experience, we have recognized afresh how the Lord prepared our hearts in advance to be open and tender to opportunities for loving and serving and how he directed our feet to walk according to his plan. We are keenly aware that God is in control of our lives and guides every step we take. Proverbs 16:9 tells us, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (NIV). Through God’s eyes and direction, we are watching our feet!

*Names omitted for security reasons.