Mission: Nepal 2022
By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ
Adam Copper stands on the suspension bridge leading into the Buddhist village of Ghunsa in the Kangchenjunga Conservation Area in eastern Nepal. This was the 18th bridge crossed in five days to reach this remote village. Adam was making his first trek in Nepal. (Photos by Gary Fallesen)
Mission: Nepal 2022 was my 17th trip to this Himalayan country since 2011. I have learned through the years that after you have been somewhere – again and again and again – it becomes familiar, and you don’t see it the same way you did when you first arrived.
That’s why bringing other people along on expeditions always gives a fresh perspective.
Adam Copper was my new set of eyes on our recent 11-day trek into the Kangchenjunga area in eastern Nepal. This was our first foray into the area – an area where no other ministry seems to be working – and I used bridges as a way to view Adam’s experience. SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE COMPLETE PHOTO GALLERY.
Suspension (or hanging) bridges are everywhere in Nepal. It’s the only way across deep ravines and raging rivers. For some, a suspension bridge can be intimidating, even a little scary.
“As you approach the bridges to cross, all you see is a big concrete pad and a few steel cables,” said Adam, who previously went on Mission: Kilimanjaro 2018. “As you get closer, you see this steel bridge held by a few steel cables that droop down and climb back up to the other side.
“The bridges are plenty strong to hold everyone while crossing, but they sway side to side and undulate up and down as the other people walk on the bridge.”
Adam crossing a bridge being built over fast-moving whitewater on the first day of our trek.
As we crossed 18 bridges in the first 40 miles of our trek to the remote Buddhist village of Ghunsa, it struck me that this was an illustration for the old evangelism tool “The Bridge.”
The Bridge is used to explain God’s plan of salvation to non-believers. Simply put, God created man and woman (Genesis 1:27) to be in relationship with Him. But sin entered the world, and we were separated from Him (Romans 3:23). Unfortunately, Buddhists do not believe in sin. They do believe in moral laws and ethical living based on wisdom.
We can explain that there is nothing we can humanly do to bridge the gap that has been created by sin or a breaking of moral law. That’s why God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. Jesus was perfect, but he died for all of us, paying our penalty and bridging the gap between man and God (Romans 5:8).
Jesus rose from the dead, and through His life and resurrection we are offered eternal life.
In the same way, there is no way to cross many Nepal rivers because of the uncontrollable force of flowing water. It is like sin, overwhelming mankind. To get from one side to the other, we need a bridge. Jesus is our bridge. And in Nepal many hanging bridges provide a path to the other side.
“The bridges are a critical link from one side to the other,” said Adam, who is a civil engineer from Canon City, CO. “I was very thankful for all the bridges to make crossing the rivers possible.”