March 26, 2018
By Lisa Horner
I first felt the calling and desire to go to Nepal with Living Water for the Thirsty when I heard Matt share about his vision and how the ministry works. The idea of installing clean water wells in villages in rural, unreached areas of Nepal and then sharing with them the Gospel message, the Living Water of Jesus Christ is too compelling to pass up. I raised my hand and said, “Yes, I want to see that!”
Preparing for the trip I tried to have few expectations other than to be fully present while in country. Fully present to observe what was going on around me and not interfere too much. I’ve travelled enough on mission trips to know that you have to be a master at flexibility because not very often do things go the way they’re planned. I prepared my heart for being in places with accommodations and comforts less than we’re accustomed to at home. I typically experience home sickness when traveling, so I made a plan to feel connected to home. I tried to see the value and strength of each team member and ask God how he has planned to use each and every one of them.
Turns out that when you raise your hand and say “yes” to going and serving God, he has more plans for you than to just sit back and observe. On the trip I was challenged to share my testimony with beautiful Nepali women who were desperate to connect with women from around the globe. Our whole team felt led to share our stories, share our pain, and share the ways in which God has led us through dark times in life. Just because you believe in Jesus, doesn’t mean all your troubles and pains go away. Instead, we have the ability to choose hope and peace and obedience despite those struggles. Our team was challenged to discern “lesson plans” and how to maximize our time with the women and youth we met because we very quickly learned that we had an opportunity to really speak truth into these women and we only had a limited amount of time to do it.
I was challenged to sit back and keep my mouth shut when God was clearly working in the hearts and minds of our team. We had powerful conversations about God’s mission in the world, the Living Water, community, climbing the mountains in our life, radical acceptance, running the race marked out for us and fixing our eyes on Jesus. We heard each other’s struggles with grace and believe we experienced “holy ground” as we “denied the Devil our silence”. I saw team members connect on deep levels as we opened ourselves up to what God might have for us. What strikes me as powerful is that none of this had to do with Nepal or Living Water. It’s just what happens when Christ followers gather away from our normal hectic lives, separate ourselves from normal distractions, and allow ourselves the luxury of spending a week with the Lord serving Him.
Overall, my largest takeaway in regard to Living Water for the Thirsty is that they are the real deal. It’s a compelling ministry format. Take a church planter who excels and is passionate about church planting and spreading the Gospel and take a church pastor who excels at digging clean water wells and partner them together to introduce wells to new communities to families who are not believers so that there’s a platform to introduce the Living Water to them, their household, and their community. Living Water then follows up with the local pastors and churches in those areas to do discipleship training and Bible teaching to encourage the believers in remote areas who don’t have access to Christian teaching to help them develop their faith. It was a privilege to see this in action. To meet these servants who previously were just names.
Coming home has been difficult. I struggle with how to take that experience and not lose it when getting back into daily life and the stresses and tasks that await me. It’s easy to “resent” normal life. Why can’t every day be full of deep sharing amongst believers, encouragement in the faith, and witnessing Kingdom advancement. But why can’t it? Lisa Horner