The Measure of a Man

Friday, 10 July 2015 10:06

Ryan and brothers croppedBrothers, are you up for the adventure that will change your life? 

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Calling all brothers! Nepal is a place filled with adventure and beauty. I would like to challenge you to join us this year for the HOPE worldwide Singles Corps (HSC) in Kathmandu. I sincerely hope that my personal story will inspire you to join the HSC in Nepal.

On May 9, my dad and I had the opportunity to work together with the HOPE worldwide Disaster Relief Team to distribute emergency supplies to those impacted by the recent earthquake in Nepal.

At the start of the trip, we were not fully prepared spiritually or mentally. We were still scrambling to raise funds up until the day we left on this journey. However, God humbled us and graciously showed us how much we needed to rely on him.

Deserted. Chaotic. Chalky.

When I landed in the capital of Nepal half the population had fled the city in fear of a second earthquake. Little did we know that we would experience it.

Most road journeys lasted about five hours. We sat at the back of a truck without cushion seats nor suspension. The rides were bumpy and one would require a strong gut to stomach the waves of nausea that came over us. At one point, we had to push the truck up the steep hills and through muddy roads. It was an eye opener. I didn’t realize Nepal was a place bustling with such adventure and excitement!

Indeed, Nepal challenged our physical perseverance. This forced me to rely on God for strength.

The Second Quake

My best memory was a 10-hour ride to the remote village of Jimnang. Throughout the journey, the truck traveled a dirt path, which was wide enough for only one vehicle to pass at a time. On the sixth hour of the trek, I heard a loud “boom!” as the house in front of us collapsed into smithereens, and we could see dust rings building up from the villages below. Although we were standing on a hill eight hours away from Kathmandu, we still felt the tremors from the second earthquake. 

Our driver began to panic when his phone rang…it was not the first earthquake experience. The caller, a family member, told him that one of his houses had collapsed. They pleaded for him to come home.

In the blink of an eye, everything went downhill. The driver told us he wanted to head back home, but we knew we couldn’t return without risking our lives. There wasn’t enough daylight for us to safely return to the city. We had no food and limited water throughout the journey, and at times it seemed that our bodies were giving up. 

We were emotionally drained by the insistence of our driver who wanted to return home to be with his family. But, my dad persevered in assuring the driver that all of us would get out of this situation safely.

The remaining leg of the journey was arduous, both physically and emotionally; we had to clear rocks off the path from a landslide, and push the truck up the steep slopes. 

It was clearly God’s plan that we were with Nepali disciples. They showed us true mental strength and perseverance as we endured the same obstacles together, but they did so without grumbling. Their attitude helped me stay positive. 

Finally, we reached the village. It was pitch dark and there was no electricity. 

God showed me it was all worth it

The next day we distributed tarpaulins, rice, and other basic necessities. As I strolled through the village, I saw how much the people needed these supplies -- most of their houses were flattened by the back-to-back earthquakes and the concrete school building, where all the village children attended, was devastated. The huts that we were built the previous night were hastily made with leftover zinc from the ruins of the villagers’ homes.

HOPE worldwide NepalThe perseverance of the villagers moved my heart and inspired me to see how God was able to use this trip to Nepal to teach me how to show love to people back home. It also showed me the importance of how our mere presence in this needy community could have an effect on their lives.

The people in Nepal still need a lot of help; the children and women are at risk from human traffickers while the school-aged children need our love and a foundational education. Women and children serve as easy prey to human traffickers. Also, most people had little or no access to proper sanitation and struggled to get adequate nutrition.

The challenge most men face while on volunteer trips, like HOPE Youth Corps and HOPE worldwide Singles Corps, is to acknowledge the emotions we feel when we see the devastation and widespread destruction people must endure. Emotions are good. Sensitivity and vulnerability are good. Sometimes men try to be “tough” and “strong,” yet it is okay to feel and even cry. Jesus did.

I know for a fact that as you serve in Nepal or other places around the world, you will be inspired to grow in your love for God’s people and most importantly, your love for God. 

What you do really does change people’s lives.

Brothers, are you still willing to take up the challenge to go on a HOPE Youth Corps or HWW Singles Corps?

Registration is now open for Hww Singles Corps in Nepal and South Africa! Click here to learn more.

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