As the ascent began, altitude sickness crept in and made it extremely challenging for me. I experienced growing fatigue with every step, and spent sleepless nights gasping for oxygen. I confess that I had probably never prayed so much and so often in my life before! It started out with pleas for strength, one step at a time. Then it transposed into gratitude, thanking God for each successful climb, for a comforting breeze, a ray of sunshine on my face, and even for the birds chirping on the trees!
Before I knew it, I was at the summit of Gokyo Ri facing a magnificent view all around me! It was truly by God’s grace that I got that far. Apart from admiring the splendor of His creation, I rejoiced that despite it being the monsoon season, the view from the top was clear.
Stranded On The Mountains
Our group then embarked on our descent that stretched a few days, in order to reach the airport for our flight out. We also wanted to avoid the monsoon clouds that could possibly hamper our flight plans.
True to our fears, the monsoon clouds appeared by the time we reached the Lukla local airport. We were stranded for the next three days without any flights arriving or departing. In order to catch our connecting flight back to Singapore, we decided to hire an emergency helicopter to evacuate us from the mountains as soon as possible. But the pilot decided against flying out due to poor visibility. As such, we stayed overnight at a lodge together with the pilot, hoping that the weather would improve in the morning.
The following day, we saw that the weather had cleared and prepared to depart. But as soon as the pilot got ready, the clouds engulfed the mountains again. We were flooded with despair and desperation about missing our flights home. We all went to our own quiet corners in the fields to pray for a miracle to happen. Nothing happened and the weather didn’t improve.
At that point, I took a moment to stare into the clouds which were hovering over the mountains and then suddenly, a peace came over me. I stopped praying for what we wanted, and began praying for strength to accept God’s plan and to learn to pray the way He wants me to pray.