Bumping along a single-lane, dusty road in a remote mountain valley, I admire the snow-capped peaks and wildflower-laced alpine meadows. These stand in stark contrast to the small villages that consist of anywhere from 7 to 10 families who toil the rocky fields

during the short harvest season, gathering potatoes, gleaning hay from the fields, and tending to their herds of sheep and goats before the winter snows trap them in for the season. Sometimes they have electricity, most don’t have access to clean water.

These trips are the exception to my daily routine as an International Mission Board worker from Arizona.

Most of the time, I am in the city, learning language and working to build relationships with local women. Days can seem long as I, with the vocabulary of a 3-year-old, try to function in a different culture.

When I refocus and lift my eyes to the mountains, I see an ancient and beautiful culture, but one that is trapped in darkness. As I step out of the vehicle and climb the narrow, dusty path to another small village, I am reminded that we all would go astray without the gentle guidance of the Good Shepherd.

After we sit to share lessons about basic health practices and work to help bring clean water to the village, we also share about the Good Shepherd and the Living Water that only He can bring. We watch a video in the local language about the lost son and discuss what it means.

The next morning, after drinking the final cups of tea, I depart, knowing that the Father is faithful and his Word will not return void in this place.

Macie Craddock* is the CP.

Because you and your church give, You are the CP.