• Jeff & Julie Sanders

Truth Trek - The Guide

"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come." John 16:13

I learned so much from my Sherpa guide. His name is Pemba, which I learned is the day of the week he was born. His last name is Sherpa, which is his caste, or tribe. If you know of the Sherpa people, you probably heard of their extraordinary ability to function at high altitude and carry unbelievable loads. It’s all true!

Pemba grew up as the son of a prominent Buddhist priest and served as a porter and guide in his younger years before receiving Christ. Now he is a pastor and church planter and gifted evangelist with a giant burden to reach his own Sherpa people with the gospel. He served as our official guide on this trek, and there were so many ways his role reminded me of how the Holy Spirit plays the role of our Guide in the life of a follower of Jesus.

Leading - Of course Pemba knew the way we needed to go, he also knew plenty of shortcuts and alternative paths. Climbing up in elevation he knew SLOW was the way to go! He led from behind, staying with the slowest members of the team and allowing us to stop and be amazed at the new views, and swinging bridges, and take 100’s of pictures. On the way down, he led from the front and set a fast pace, pulling the team along because we had many miles to go each day as we descended. He set the pace. We followed.

Feeding- Pemba never left us on our own. He was regularly reminding us of our need to drink water, necessary in high altitudes. He made sure we ate our meals and took our vitamins. He was also constantly focusing us on Christ, talking about Him and stopping to pray for individuals we met and the villages we entered.

Serving - He was our leader, but he served us in so many ways. Actually, he was an amazing example of a servant-leader. He always helped the kitchen staff serve our food and always ate last. He filtered our water, ordered our drinks and food, even offered massage in the evening to all. One night as my chest cold was at its worst, he got up in the middle of the night to rub oil on my aching throat and pray over me. Watching him serve others was an inspiring example and was an obvious source of joy for him.

Protecting (convicting) - Pemba always kept a protective eye out for us. Keeping us away from the ledges as yak trains passed us, slowing us down when we got excited to go faster, urging us to protect ourselves with sunscreen and proper cold weather attire.

Rescuing - He carefully took care of our team members who suffered from AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), but I’ll never forget how he took care of me. It was during our longest and hardest day at our highest elevation and the worst of my cold. We were returning from Everest Base Camp in a snowstorm heading back to our “hotel” with a couple of hours to go. Normally way in the front, I was struggling in the back of the group. That must have been a signal that I wasn’t doing well… Seemingly out of nowhere, Pemba was alongside me with one of our porters. He stopped me and took my pack and gave it to the porter. He helped me shed an excess layer, get water, place my cover on my pack, and replace my shell. He walked with me until I could get warm and recover to hike at normal pace.

I can’t imagine this trek experience without our Guide, Pemba. Just his presence brought comfort and confidence. Imagine walking out our Christian life without the Holy Spirit as our Guide, leading, feeding, serving, protecting, and rescuing us. Let’s ask the Spirit to guide us, and then, let’s follow Him.

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