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Our main goal in our trip to Nepal was to train, encourage and cast vision to the leaders of the church and para-church groups working with youth in the area. In Nepal we have a powerful opportunity to do that through the experiential learning context of trekking. The day after we finished the outreach camp we took 7 Nepali youth leaders trekking in the Himalayas for 5 days. During our trek we focused on leadership development, spiritual development and overall community building. Trekking is a fantastic environment to teach deep lessons in these three areas. Being out in the wilderness for 5 days pushes people beyond their comfort zone and teaches them their own physical, emotional and spiritual limits.

In the area of leadership development we focused on what it means to be a servant-leader and learn to tend to other peoples’ needs when your own seem to be the most important. Spiritual development is fostered through the solitude and stillness that can be found in the wilderness. We had several hours a day dedicated to reading, reflection and discussion. This was a time that proved to be rare and most valuable to these young leaders. We focused on spiritual truths such as God’s love for them as young leaders, leadership styles and methods of Christ and God’s heart for the world. Finally, living, eating, sleeping and hiking together for 5 days built a community unlike most of these folks had ever seen before. The laughter, singing and conversation grew day by day. Hom, Nepal’s Young Life director, said that this trip was one of the best things that he had ever seen for building community and working with his young leaders. Right now we are talking with him about what it would look like to do something like this twice a year. Over time our goal is to help Hom develop an adventure ministry that is lasting and sustainable. We have several obstacles to overcome before getting to this place, including financial costs and training Nepali leaders. We believe that these can be overcome and look forward to a long-term relationship of conquering these obstacles together.