Baby, it’s cold here! 8–degrees Celsius (which is 46 degrees Fahrenheit), but it seems much colder.
Thirty-six people are sitting on the 2nd floor of a building on the slope of a steep hill. There are large windows on the one side and back of the room. Some were opened until a guest closed them. The sun is shining in just one corner of the room right now. It will advance during the day bringing more light, but never bathing the majority of the people with a bath of warm rays.
It’s winter here in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains which is well over 4,000 feet above sea level. No snow or ice in these parts. Too dry for that. Everything is dusty because the rainy season is still more than two months away.
Yesterday, I donned a short sleeve shirt. Fortunately, I had a wind breaker and my Tilley hat, but neither are suited for warmth. Having one’s shoes off adds to the chill. Most have socks but some are barefoot. It’s their custom to remove shoes before walking into a place like this. Thus, shoes and sandals are scattered outside the door with a few on a shoe rack. My nephew, Ben, discovered if he placed his shoes on the top of the rack, the sun would warm it up. There’s no off switch to the genius of his brain, but that warmth wears off too soon. Sitting in this large room (could hold 200 on the floor), with thin socks, short sleeve shirt, windbreaker (no wind) and Tilley (great for rain or snow)—it’s cold in here.
And all the natives appear cold as well. Everyone is wearing hats, coats, and scarves with a few with gloves. One guy has a NFL cowboy scarf. I’m not going to hold it against him because he cannot know what it means. And, I suppose, if I was as cold as he is maybe I would wear . . . okay, maybe not!
These folks are used to the cold. It gets like this each winter. The problem is they have little options for keeping warm. Layering-up is about the best they can do even in their homes. Electric heaters are available, but who can afford the electricity and do they even have the service and how often is it shut off? Gas canisters are plentiful, but again, no way they can afford to heat a house with it. They do use them for cooking. There are no fireplaces—little to no wood in the city. Fortunately, it will only dip down into the upper 30s.
But there is a warmth in this building that is not physical but definitely felt. These folks are followers of Jesus. They are brothers and sisters in Christ—my spiritual relatives. Although having a conversation with them, even those who speak broken English, is most difficult, I can sense oneness and closeness with them. Their singing has been fabulous. Indian singing follows a particular cultural sound that is just as joyful, I’m sure, but this was harmonious with a few of the songs the same we sing in the US—just in their language.
Although mentioned many times, this is a little taste of what Heaven will be like. Red, yellow, black, white, tan all colors will be represented around the Throne. We will finally fulfill Jesus’ prayer that we become one. And, we won’t have to worry about the temperature. Not sure the degrees nor whether it is scaled on Fahrenheit or Celsius. Won’t matter because we will bask in the light of the Son. I’m pretty sure that will be warm enough.
There’s a bunch more work to be done down here. Many souls to be won into the Kingdom. Hopefully, “The Nathanael Project” will assist those in Southeast Asia to see the nets fill. So, we labor, hot, cold, or just right until He declares the work is down.
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