“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”. John 13:34-35
Whilst building a new school in a remote village one of our key team leaders sustained a bad head injury. Because of the remoteness of the area we had to use a helicopter to rescue him. I joined the pilot to act as a guide as I was familiar with the terrain and route to the village. Within 40 minutes we were landing in the mountain village that would normally take us 5 days to walk to. Our time was limited because of fuel so as soon as we landed my colleague was waiting and as he climbed into the helicopter he was visibly upset. He was distraught because of his injury but because he was desperate for us take another young man with us who had been very badly injured in a landslide and was dying.
As he was telling me this the whole village was flocking around the helicopter with its blades still rotating. They were carrying a stretcher upon which laid the dying man. They brought him to the helicopter, but there was just no way we could get him in. The pilot said kept saying to me, “we have to go” pointing to his watch. The people were desperately trying to push the stretcher into the helicopter but by this time I was pushing the stretcher out with my feet, shouting, “We cannot take him, he won’t fit”. My colleague was now shouting at me, “He has to come’ He has to come - if he stays he will die”.
I was faced with the toughest decision I have ever had to make. I slammed the door of the helicopter shut and said to the pilot, “Go, go, go”. Even as I write this blog I still feel the pain and heartache I felt in that moment. My colleague was still shouting, but there was no going back. As we flew away I could see the faces of the people, they were just stood looking as we disappeared from sight. It was the most awful moment of my life.
Flying back to Kathmandu I could not get the image of the man on the stretcher out my head. I made a decision, we had to go back. We had to go back and get the man, whatever it cost, we had save him! It was at this specific moment of personal desperation, in the helicopter, that I understood in a new way the decision the God made, whatever the cost, to save me, the depths Jesus went to in order to demonstrate his love - He held nothing back.
As soon as we landed and got my friend to safety I went back the office and I wrote the most direct and concise emails that I had ever written to every Church leader I knew in the UK - I needed £7000 to charter another helicopter and I needed it now!
I pressed the send button, prayed and waited. The response was overwhelming. It gives me such a sense of pride just thinking about it now. Elim Churches and individuals from all over the UK responded magnificently and within a just a few short hours the money was secured. The next day we went back! The young man’s name was Dorje, he had gangrene all up his leg, he had received no medical treatment for a month and he was desperately ill.
Within the space of a few weeks Dorje’s leg was saved; his rescue and medical bills all paid; his convalescence and after care overseen by an army of local Nepali Christians. After the event we calculated that over 100 people and 20 churches in the UK had contributed to Dorje’s rescue. Dorje and his wife said they had, ‘never experienced such an overwhelming outpouring of love from people they had never met’. The picture below was taken a few months after Dojes full recovery - it was at his baptism! He now co leads the Church he and his friend Sonam planted in the village he had been rescued from.
God so loved and valued Dorje that He mobilised over 100 people and 20 churches for one man. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:3