Everything in Nepal points people upward, beyond themselves. Many of the buildings offer roofs as gathering places, with vistas of the surrounding landscape and all the happenings below. The Himalayas quite literally take your breath away. Our first Expedition to Nepal gave me a new perspective on heaven.
Fifty Nepalese teenagers, along with their Young Life leaders, climbed five flights of stairs to arrive at the first ever overnight Nepal Young Life camp. Thirteen of us from all over the United States gathered on the rooftop to welcome them with our locally made 'I heart Nepal' shirts! Our rooftop perch, high above one small section of Pokhara where Young Life started a few years before, was the perfect space for purposeful team-building games and engaging follow-up discussions. .
As our Expedition team headed out to the trekking trails with a few of our new Nepali friends as guides, we learned these trails are actually stone stairways leading us up up up amidst mountain villages, eventually carrying us above the clouds to lodges for a night's meal, shower and rest. For most Nepali people, these stairs are simply paths for their daily use…to and from school or market or farm or for mules laden with supplies. We were clearly guests among the kindest of hosts.
And while the 4,250 stone stairs may have brought us physically closer to the majestic Annapurna peaks, which rise to a staggering 26,505 feet, it was the relationships that God gave us with our new Nepali friends and with each other that will remain with us for eternity. Nepal is a truly breathtaking nation, but it's in one another that the truest beauty of God's creation is found.