Team Report submitted by Kenda
As I reflect on our trip to Kashmir and Ladakh my immediate thoughts go to the shepherds and their families in the village where 5 Rivers began a sheep project last year. I have three very vivid memories. The first is when I was sitting on my horse looking over the bright green grassy hillsides with the snowcapped mountains surrounding them, and hundreds of sheep grazing on them. There must have been a sound that the sheep recognized because they stopped their grazing and started to move. As I watched, a couple of sheep started to head down a trail through the woods and the other sheep followed. John 10:27-28 came to my mind, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
The second memory was sitting at the entrance way of a shepherd’s home with his wife. She pointed to my earrings. I took them off and gave them to her. She smiled and a few minutes later she gave me hers. A friendship had developed. When it was time for us to leave she took my hand and we walked together to the car. I John 4:8 “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
The third memory was sitting in a room with the shepherds and two women. The younger woman had just become a widow and next to her was her mother in law. They both sat very quietly while Dan shared our sympathies (interpreted by our Muslim host and friend). Dan proceeded to tell her that we are Christians and that Jesus sent us there to bless her and her children. Our team was able to collect enough money to replace her husband’s salary for a year. We had no idea of the shepherd’s death until we arrived at the village, but Jesus knew, and he used us to bless this widow and their three school-aged children.