Our Sunday School teacher told us this morning that she is going to take us on a trip to the “roof of the world,” to a place called Nepal. Nepal has been called “the roof of the world” because of how many really tall mountains it has–like Mount Everest! Those high mountains make exciting adventures for mountain climbers, but they are also very dangerous. And, they make it very hard for missionaries to reach the people who live up high in the mountains. She said she wants us to meet some of the people who live in the mountains of Nepal. But, since our parents probably won’t let us go the whole way to Nepal, she is going to bring Nepal to us. The first thing she is going to do is tell us a fictional story called The Dokho Basket she wrote about a girl named Manisha who lives in one of the high mountains. Here’s the first part:
Manisha grabbed the cone-shaped basket and ran out the door, away from her mother and her harsh words. “The basket is wrong!” her mother yelled after her.
Manisha bit her lip as she dragged the basket down the twisting path, trying to ignore the cold rain stinging her face. But her mother’s words echoing in her mind stung even fiercer.
“You are supposed to criss-cross the bamboo strips as you weave them, so they all make the same size squares,” her mother had said. “Yours are all uneven. And why did you ever make the basket so big—it’s almost as big as you are!”
She pulled the blanket around her shoulders tighter as she wondered where she could go. For weeks, she had worked secretly to make the gift. But her mother didn’t want it. She never wanted anything Manisha gave her.
Ahead, she saw a bridge stretching far away. When she reached the edge of it, she stopped. She didn’t know what lay on the other side. She’d heard stories of Himalayan black bears lurking in the mountains beyond.
But, she didn’t care. Taking a deep breath, she stepped out onto the bridge. It swayed a little in the wind as it hung suspended over the river in the gorge below. She took a few more steps. The water churned and roared beneath her.
Her feet felt frozen to the bridge. What if she fell?
Then a worse thought came to mind. Would her mother even notice she was missing?
She had to look at something other than the river. On the other side of the bridge, she spotted a beautiful patch of grass filled with white flowers.
She slid her right foot ahead of her left. Then, she drug her left foot up a few inches past her right. Right foot forward. Left foot forward. Right foot—she blinked hard. It wasn’t raining anymore. The icy raindrops had turned to snow. She must reach the other side.
When she reached the patch of grass, snow had buried the flowers in a blanket of white. She shivered. Her blanket was wet and cold. She laid the basket on the ground with the open end away from the wind. She pulled the blanket from her shoulders and draped it over the dokho basket. Then she crawled inside her basket-cave. She just fit if she sat with her knees up to her chest.
She watched the snow swirl around her. Then, through the storm, she saw something coming toward her. Was it a bear?
The creature lifted a paw to its face. Then it started running toward her!
“Dear God, please help all the people in Nepal like Manisha, who feel like no one cares about them. Let them know how much You love them. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”