Sunday, September 23, 2012

Climbing the Andes

One early explorer described the Andes like this: The Andes mountains in Peru have the majestic grandeur of the Canadian Rockies, as well as the startling beauty of the Nuuanu Pali near Honolulu. In the variety of its charms and the power of its spell, I know of no place in the world which can compare with it. Not only has it great snow peaks looming above the clouds more than two miles overhead and gigantic precipices of many-colored granite rising sheer for thousands of feet above the foaming, glistening, roaring rapids, it has also, in striking contrast, orchids and tree ferns, the delectable beauty of luxurious vegetation, and they mysterious witchery of the jungle. One is drawn irresistibly onward by ever-recurring surprises through a deep, winding gorge, turning and twisting past overhanging cliffs of incredible height.

We tasted only a minute piece of the Andes when Joe, Chase and I decided to climb a little mountain outside of Cusco. I say little because we are in the Andes. The tallest peak in Montana is Granite peak and it boasts an elevation of around 12,800 feet. This little foot hill of the Andes that we climbed was 14, 380 feet. The climb was difficult and we lost our breath fast but when we reached the top we could see what seemed like endless mountains. We saw towering snow covered peaks that were over 20,000 feet and many valleys and mountains between us and them. Scattered throughout these mountains are a multitude of little Quechua pueblos, some so remote that you must hike a great distance. Some of these people still live like the way they have lived for centuries. I can relate to Livingstone who said he could see the smoke of a thousand villages that do not have the gospel. There is so much work to do here but I have never been more ready and more dependent on God to do the work.
I think David Brainerd put into words what I am feeling: "Here am I, send me; send me to the ends of the earth; send me to the rough, the savage pagans of the wilderness; send me from all that is called comfort on earth; send me even to death itself, if it be but in Thy service, and to promote Thy kingdom."

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