When Mandy McKim, a Virginia Tech senior, prepared to visit the Tibetan Trust Home in Nepal, she could not have known that the plane ride home would be part of the mission.

Mandy, who has served in Kids Community and Student Ministries, had not been on a Blue Ridge mission trip before. In fact, she’d never been on an airplane before the trip in January.

She went trusting that God was calling her there. Along the way she learned lessons about Jamashihi, which means Christ is victorious.

“When you go to another country, you can hear God so much more clearly,” she said. “We’re so busy here in America. There’s so much noise, so many people. You don’t really have time to sit and listen to the Lord.”

At the Trust Home, Mandy saw something different. Here she shares from her journal:

I could tell story after story about those kids and their hearts for God and for others. They serve selflessly. They love completely. They follow Jesus relentlessly. They get up at the crack of dawn so that they may have time to worship Him. It’s pretty incredible.

One example of this really stuck out to me. My roommates and I were about to go to bed, when we heard singing downstairs on the boys’ hall. We went to go check it out. They were all singing worship by flashlight, beckoning us to join in. Jesus is always on their minds, and the song that rises from their hearts proves that. As we finished our last song, they asked if they could show us some dances that they had created.

Before we knew it, the hallway had been transformed into a concert hall. They began to pull benches and chairs out of their rooms, lining them up along the wall. As I went to sit down, an older boy stopped me and said, “Sister, no.” Confused, I waited. He ran to his room to get a blanket, and draped it over my seat so it wasn’t cold. “Now, Sister, you may sit.”

It seems like such a small thing for me to remember, but that moment was such an encouragement to me. Even in the smallest things, they are faithful to serve others.

After a week of seeing God at work in the Trust Home, Mandy and the Blue Ridge team reluctantly headed home.

They first went to Kathmandu, then took a four-hour flight to Dubai. When Mandy got on the plane, she was excited to see two empty seats next to her. Tired from the busy week, she thought about how she could spread out and rest. Yet, God began speaking into her heart. She started praying, “Lord if someone sits next to me, please help me to share the Gospel.”

About a minute later, a young man took a seat next to her. The man, named Mady, was leaving his home in Nepal to go work in Dubai for the coming months. Having been raised by an aunt and uncle, Mady sends back almost all the money he makes to help support his family.

“I immediately froze up...I wasn't sure if he spoke English,” Mandy said. “But God said, ‘Go for it..’” She began by talking to him about his family and then his religious background. Mady had taken English in school and could share about his life, how we was raised in Hinduism, but didn’t practice it.

“He looked like he was searching.”

Mandy also shared about her life. About how she also grew up without a mother. She openly told him about how she knew what it felt like to be alone, to feel abandoned.

“I've worked with kids and student ministry for a long time. Most kids come in with some knowledge about Christianity, but not Mady. I got to share the entire Gospel start to finish.”

At the end of the flight, Mady said he wished he could learn more. It was then that Mandy felt moved to give him her own Bible.

“If I hadn't had that whole week of being with the Trust Home kids and being encouraged by their faith, I don't know if I could have done it,” she said. “It's easy to get prideful...I would have never been able to do that [to share the Gospel with a stranger on a plane] had I not just had the best week of my life.”

She asks for prayers for Mady. That the Word would be alive for him and that he would surrender his life to Christ. That he would share with others. This multiplication of believers is another way we celebrate Jamashihi — Christ is victorious.