Whenever you meet someone doing what they are truly passionate about, it leaves an impression on you. They inspire you to look within yourself and ask the difficult questions. What matters to me? What is my purpose? What’s worth pursuing?
That is exactly how I felt about a man I met at the base of the Himalayas. How he found his purpose and pursued it, well, that is the extraordinary part. You could say it took a miracle… or two… but, that wasn’t the most important part of his story. What was… well, we will get to that later.
For now, let me tell you about my friend Biswa.
A Journey Through the Himalayas
As I weaved through the Himalayan mountains, our SUV rocked form side to side. The road was a dusty path with an almost infinite number of blind turns. It shocked me to see a school bus almost hit us as it came around the bend — there were children (perhaps no older than 10) sitting on the roof!
To my right there was an endless cliff and the only thing keeping us from falling off were a few signs that said in Nepalese “Danger, sharp drop.” Heeding that warning was our trusted guide, Biswa, who was hosting us for 11 days in his country. After the bus barrelled by he looked back at me and said “don’t worry, these are the good roads.”
We were trying to get to a remote village as part of a Christian medical mission and we couldn’t have been more thankful to have him as our guide.
When we arrived — thankfully alive — the poverty we saw was astounding. Everyone from the village and surrounding area flooded to our ad hoc shelter to receive medical care.
The Limp Child
I remember one mother had carried her limp child five miles in her arms hoping that we could help her. The medical staff provided medication but it would not heal the boy. Unfortunately, he had an incurable disease and the medication would only help him cope.
As we looked into the mother’s eyes, a sense of despair crept over her. She could not save her baby and neither could we.
What do you offer a mother in this situation? Do you tell her to go away and lose hope? Or do you offer her the one thing that had changed all of our lives and could certainly change hers?
You see, we didn’t just have medicine to offer, we had Christ. All of us had deep and personal testimonies. We intimately knew how Christ had changed our lives, taking us from places of despair to places of hope and fullness.
The Hindu Boy
Just that morning Biswa told me a story of a Hindu woman who’s life was transformed 30 years ago. At the time she was barren and her inability to have children made her husband despise her.
The woman was distraught and without hope. That was, until a Christian missionary doctor visited her village. The doctor did everything he could, exhausting all his medical knowledge to help her; but in the end, her situation was still hopeless.
As the Hindu woman began to cry, the missionary doctor looked her in the eyes and said, “I cannot help you, but I know someone who can, Jesus. He is my God who has delivered me from every trial and He can deliver you too.”
What happened next was remarkable. The woman put her trust in Jesus and became a Christian. Shortly after, she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. It was a miracle. The impossible had become possible.
When Biswa told me this, it took me a little off guard; yet, I believed him. I could tell by looking at Biswa that he had a deep familiarity with his story. It was as though he was sharing something very personal.
Although the woman became a Christian, her Son (the miracle child) was raised as a Hindu. This was because her Husband was a Hindu priest and the boy grew up admiring his father.
The boy became very zealous in his religion and was determined to become a Hindu priest like his father.
Then tragedy struck. When the boy was a young adult a car hit him while he was riding his motorcycle in Katmandu. He was immediately transferred to a hospital in critical condition. The doctors didn’t know if he would pull through.
As his health declined, the boy began to pray to each of his Hindu gods, but he wasn’t getting any better. He didn’t know if he would survive and he was running out of options.
That’s when he remembered there was one god who he had not prayed to yet. He didn’t pray to this god because he knew that praying to this god meant that he would have to reject all other gods.
This was the God of his mother, Jesus. Grasping on to life, the boy prayed. He rejected all other gods and prayed to Jesus. Then, once again, a miracle happened — the boy recovered.
He became a Christian and in the coming years began to host medical missionaries in Nepal. That miracle child was our local guide, Biswa. The one who looked back at me and said “don’t worry, these are the good roads” as he drove us through the tumultuous mountain passes of the Himalayas.
I knew then that Biswa was an extraordinary person. It was not by chance he was hosting us as medical missionaries in his country, it had become his life’s purpose and he was pursuing it boldly.
He wanted to bring the same hope that transformed his life to those who desperately needed it.
Back to the Limp Child
So we held the limp child in our arms with the mother and prayed. We told the mother about what Christ had done for us and although we could not do anything more for her child, we serve a God who can.
The mother accepted our prayer and the medication we provided. Then, after a short time of fellowship, she carried her son back home.
I don’t know what happened to that woman, or her son, but I know that the same God who had transformed each of our lives, could heal the limp boy.
I still pray for her and the boy and I know that God will restore them at His appointed time.
Find Your Purpose
Since that day I have reflected on those questions: What matters to me? What is my purpose? What’s worth pursuing?
I realized that If you can answer these questions honestly, you will know your calling in life. And if you can act on that calling then you will also inspire others to follow you.
The most important part of Biswa’s story is that his purpose was not for him, but for others. In fact, it was through his service to others that his purpose found meaning.
By Matt Russell