Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 28, 2017

Among the Seekers

Kathmandu, Nepal

Nepal first piqued my imagination when I was a kid learning about Mount Everest, the highest point on the planet. This landlocked little country is nestled between the towering peaks of the Himalayan mountains and the flat and steamy plains of northern India. Nepal is steeped in indescribable beauty and is heaven on earth to adventure seekers.

Kathmandu is the largest city and the capital of this multiethnic nation. The city itself is rich in history and is one of the most fascinating places I have ever visited. It is home to world heritage sites, interesting people, and some of the most amazing vistas in the world.

Nepal’s greatest attraction is Mount Everest. Every year hopeful climbers cross the threshold into Nepal at Kathmandu and then make their way to Everest base camp in hope of becoming one of the few humans on the planet to stand at the top of the world.

Those with other appetites for adventure come to hike, mountain bike, kayak, or trek from tea house to tea house on routes that lead to Everest base camp. The central part of Kathmandu is an area with narrow streets flanked by rows of vendors that outfit adventurers of every stripe. The best way to describe this area is REI on steroids with gear at bargain basement prices.

Without question, Kathmandu is Mecca to adventure seekers. But you will find something else here — a mixture of locals and visitors from all over the world. Many of these visitors come in search of spiritual fulfillment. Every temple in the city is abuzz with tourists seeking to learn more about Hinduism, the majority religion, as well as about Buddhism, Islam, and other world views.

There seems to be a tolerance among the world views represented here even though they may be diametrically opposed to one another. Today, I watched Tibetan monks doing a dance that represented self-denial adjacent to Bouddhanath Stuppa, the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. Shorty after I watched smoke rise into the sky from a Hindu cremation site.

Nepal is unquestionably a place for seekers, for those in search of adventure and those in search of spiritual fulfillment. Everywhere I looked today I was reminded of the words of the writer of Ecclesiastes who said that God has put eternity into man’s heart — that yearning that causes us to seek what can rightly fill and properly fit into the God-shaped void in our hearts.

I saw this yearning on display at the Swayambhunath Temple, also know as the monkey temple, as the faithful walked clockwise around the old structure and then spun the prayer wheels in a clockwise direction while chanting their mantra. These Buddhists believe that spinning the prayer wheels will have the same effect as orally reciting their prayers.

The evidence is here, the signs of people in search of answers to life’s deepest questions. And that’s why we are here among the seekers — to offer the only answer that we believe perfectly fills the void and to offer that answer with gentleness and respect. If we truly believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, then we cannot keep this to ourselves. We must move in the direction of those in search of answers.


Responses

  1. We will definitely be in prayer for you and the work ahead. Even in the most beautiful places on earth, we find hurt, emptiness and a need for more. Give’em Jesus brother.

  2. O, thank you for your courage to go beyond. You could easily be the lead in for StarTrek or Star Wars, which ever opens by saying going beyond.

  3. Praying for you all! Pastor mentioned Sunday that you were going. I new Rick Stever was going also. Safe travels!
    Shelley Lignitz

    • Thanks a million, Shelley. Grateful for your friendship and prayers.

    • Thanks so much, Shelley.


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