Some friends of mine from church here in Edinburgh were part of a mission trip to Nepal a few weeks ago. They helped make a very special Pastor’s Conference happen and, among other things, also began looking into the possibility of helping with the great and grave issue of human trafficking there. This is especially a problem among young Nepali women who are often lured to India with the promise of work, and tricked into forced labour in the continually burgeoning sex industry there. They also visited a wonderful native of Nepal named Nima who was a classmate of mine at the University of Edinburgh. He studying in Edinburgh, but doing field research back in his home country, because he has a heart to see the Gospel effectively spread in Nepal through church planting. Through Nima (whose family currently resides here in Edinburgh) these connections between our local church and the people of Nepal have begun to form. Exciting stuff!

A friend of mine named David was among those on the trip — some of you may remember the story of how he was my first letting agent in Edinburgh, (translation for the Americans: he rented me my first flat/apartment) and was a great blessing to me as my life started here. David shared the following story with me. It is both inspiring and challenging. I hope it touches your heart, too.

One Day a beggar woman that lived in a temple was going down to the river when she saw in the distance a man throwing a sack into the river. He noticed her and ran away. She thought he may have stolen something and so she began to walk over to investigate. The dogs beat her there and were dragging the bag and trying to open it. She arrived and scared them off. Slowly she opened the bag to find a small baby inside, only a few days old. She gathered the baby up and took her back to the temple where she lived and begged for money to survive. She cared for this child for 9 years until she died.

A woman from a church heard about the child (called Didi) and contacted Shanta (pronounced “Santa,” this woman runs the Peace Rehabilitation Centre the team visited) to ask her if she would take the child in. Shanta of course said yes. Sadly the day that the beggar woman died the gurus at the temple raped the girl. Shanta went the next day to see the little girl and asked her if she would like to come with her. She said yes and PRC would become her home and family where she would be educated, find healing and love.

Fast forward many years. Didi had many offers to marry as she grew to be a beautiful young woman, but she turned them all down. One day another man came to ask her if she would marry him. He had been stricken with tuberculosis of the spine as a child, which left him very disabled. To everyone’s surprise, Didi said yes. Shanta asked her why she would choose to marry this man, and this was her reply. “Mommy if I do not marry him who will? You took me in when no one else would, and showed me love. Jesus sacrificed his life for me when he did not have to. I will sacrifice all I have to care for and love this man.”

We had the privilege to meet this couple in our last few days in Nepal. They have two children and you can see the love in their eyes for one another.

Wow. We have so much to be thankful for. And so much work to do. Lord help us to remember, despite how much so many of us have, how BIG, how great, how amazing, and how magnificent a gift the sacrifice of Jesus is, to those of us who have received Him and for those who still need to know.