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My first trip out of North America was to the rooftop of the world. I fell in love with Nepal from the moment I first laid eyes on the place. The breath-taking views, the delicious food, the unending cups of chai from some of the most beautiful and hospitable people you will ever meet all made their way indelibly into my heart.

In the early morning hours of April 25, 2015 I saw my first images of the devastation from earthquakes that ravaged the city of Kathmandu and surrounding areas. My heart broke as I watched the news unfold in disbelief. I’ve had the privilege of visiting Nepal 3 times and each time I was told that a huge earthquake was due…or overdue. The average Nepali barely makes enough in a day to simply cover expenses for that day. Outside of cities and towns, many people live off of the land and don’t make any money at all. Poverty is rampant throughout Nepal and so structurally sound buildings that would withstand major earthquakes are not easily built.

It is next to impossible for us in the west to wrap our heads around the level of damage and loss that Nepal is facing right now. We tend to fill our social news feeds with quizzes about what Disney character we are or what celebrity should star in our life movie. I am reminded of the words of Jesus in Matthew 25 when the people on His left say to Him, “Lord…when did we see you hungry or thirsty or in prison or naked or sick and not help you out?” (My paraphrase…you can look it up). He didn’t look at them and say, “You didn’t have the right theology…depart from Me.” or “You didn’t meet your quota of sharing the Gospel with at least 100 unsaved souls this week.” His words, to me, are so piercing and convicting. ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

How often do I remember that every day devastation and disaster are bringing people to their knees crying out for help…and I could be the answer to their prayer? How often do I remember that God weeps at the overwhelming loss of life each and every day around the world? Jesus’ response when He came face to face with the death of a dear friend was weeping. Death and heartache and devastation were never His desire or intention. We have the opportunity to bring joy to the heart of Jesus by helping the ‘least of these’…and in so doing…loving Him.

I understand that I can’t help every person in the world. But I can surely do a lot better than I’ve been doing. I don’t want to pass by Jesus on the side of the road or turn a blind eye to Jesus lying bruised and broken beneath a pile of debris from a fallen building. How can I be an agent of the reconciling work of Jesus to bring all men and women into right relationship with the Father and not just be so caught up in my own life and the things we think are so important?

I get it…if I had never visited Nepal I would probably not be thinking twice about the disaster that has ravaged that land so recently. And I guess this is part of the reason I choose to go. My daughter is currently doing a Discipleship Training School with YWAM in New Zealand. She is doing her outreach in Vanuatu. Just weeks before her team left, that group of islands was slammed with a category 5 typhoon that leveled many homes and buildings in that region. I probably never would have heard of Vanuatu or the typhoon that struck it if my daughter had not been on her way to minister to the people there. I believe it is important for us as followers of Jesus to inform ourselves of what is going on in this world. The things that break the heart of God. We are called to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. This goes for the people of Nepal and Vanuatu and Baltimore and Adams, Tennessee. But I believe it also applies to God. Let’s find out what makes Him weep and join Him in that.