Transforming lives on four continents

There are other Annapurnas….

Posted by Andy and Jenny Saunders at 03:34 on 25th August 2013

Annapurna_Panoram 2_edited-1

A Mountain to Climb.

How does that phrase effect you? Does it sound exciting? Challenging? Fun? Overwhelming? Scary? A joy?

Last week we were unexpectedly gifted several early morning views of the mountains. I was woken as usual by the little boy from downstairs calling through our window at 6am, looked out the window and realised that through the clouds I could see a bit of mountain, it appeared so close! Over the next half an hour the view cleared to reveal the whole magnificent range. We hadn’t expected to see the Annapurnas for a couple of months as it is monsoon season.

There are more pictures on ‘flickr’ if you click on the link to the right, and below is a poem Jenny has written in response to Psalm 19 and two early morning prayer times high on our flat roof.

The other mountain in our life is language learning. Every morning we head off at 8am for four hours of Nepali. At times it seems like an insurmountable mountain to climb, particularly when you only pick out a few recognisable words in a two hour church service. Fortunately our language teacher is great fun so our initial stumbling steps in the foothills have been accompanied by much laughter.

With Jenny working in counselling and me helping in the Bible College we are both in professions where being articulate and finding the exact nuance in an empathic response or theological point is essential. At the moment it is just as hard imagining the possibility of doing that as it is climbing Annapurna 1. If you’ve not read Herzog’s account of the first ascent it is an absolute classic and concludes with the line ‘there are other Annapurnas in the lives of men’.

Most Mission Worker’s blogs have a ‘please, please pray for our language learning’ page at this point in their orientation to a new country and this is ours! So far it has been scary, overwhelming, fun, challenging and a joy to start tentatively doing this.  Our longing is to be able to communicate enough to be more able to share in the lives of our neighbours and Christian family. Already people pour out their problems to us and we feel rather helpless in supporting them.

MacapuchareThe heavens declare
(But silently
Waiting for me to notice
This clear dawn)
The glory of God.
The skies proclaim
(Mysterious, and so suddenly visible.
This entire flawless range)
The work of his hands.

The shock of this beauty holding
Me spellbound.
A wordless symphony unfolding
Before my eyes.
His music
To the ends of the earth.

More rich, more precious (than this first light
Touching the highest peaks
And turning them honey-gold)
His grace.
Enduring forever.


What amazing pictures! Thank you for sharing them and your poem. I hope and pray that the mountain of language learning will be do-able and you'll celebrate the successes along the way. It must be your non-verbal language that draws people to share their problems-a big complement, I've no doubt.
Linda McCallum from Stirling

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