Iâ€™m still alive, serving my father,
and having a remarkable time here in the gorgeous mountainous country of Kyrgyzstan.Despite the fact I have not been physically
well for a single day since my last update letter, I am learning to rely on the
strength of the one inside me when I feel like falling to the spirit of apathy
lingering here in Naryn.I have been
through agonizing headaches, stomach aches, colds, flu, congestion, a constant
lack of energy, and have been dealing with a deep and annoying cough for the last
week; yet I press onward for the sake of building relationships with His people
here.Our whole team has been dealing
with illness since weâ€™ve been here; I just seem to get what everyone had a week
earlier and four times worse.
Teaching figure eight knot
We know it
is much more than just weak immune systems to new viruses here; battles are
being fought in the unseen world against these attacks against our team.Join us with your hands together to fight
these attacks from the enemy.
Instead of falling into the enemyâ€™s
trap of apathy and laziness that comes with physical ailment, I am continuing
to invite Kyrgyz ice climbing and am having a great time.After quite a while staying indoors beside
ice climbing days, however, I was itching to escape into the outdoors and have
an adventure.Before I knew it, I was
preparing to go on a wild goose chase for a long-lost mysterious cave with Dave
Fairley, the director of Y Bishop.
It began in the early hours of
morning trying to get a few Kyrgyz kids who supposedly knew where this cave
Yea, I fell here
After dragging a few of them out of
bed, we were on our way with caving clothes, plenty of headlamps, measuring
devices, ropes, helmets, snow shoes, and ice axes.We were geared up to rummage around for a
cave in the vast surrounding mountains of Naryn.Unfortunately, we never found the cave, but
that didnâ€™t stop us from having a crazy escapade.I could write pages about the extreme events
that happened but Iâ€™ll try to sum it up in a few sentences: Iâ€™ll just say
during the majority of the trip, any one slip could have resulted in a
precarious slide down the hard packed snow and off a 20 foot-or-greater cliff!
Iâ€™ll also just say my ice axe saved me on more than one occasion.In addition to the treacherous climbing, two
of the Kyrgyz with us decided just to take off and look for the cave by
My YWAM team with many new Kyrgyz friends
After a two-hour rescue trip
finding them, we began our descent down a different ravine.Oh, did I mention the water in my nalgene
bottle froze solid in the middle of the afternoon? Did I mention the sun
disappeared behind the mountain by the time we began our descent and the
temperature continued to drop?Sliding
down the sheer slope with my headlamp on and an ice axe in hand, I flew past
rocks and trees like a bat out of hellâ€¦until I heard screaming ahead, â€śSTOP!â€ť I
flipped around and swung my ice axe into the snowâ€¦crackâ€¦it popped loose and my
rate of speed was unobstructed!Fortunately I was able to take another swing, and the tip stuck just as
I looked below at a 20-foot vertical cliff.Dave set up a simple body belay, and we were all safely lowered past the
rock face.Another hour passed as we
continued the descent, the stars vividly lit the sky, and the voyage came to an
end with a three kilometer walk back into town; backs, necks, shoulders, feet,
and bottoms turning black and blue from the pain and below zero cold.
Flying! Actually hooked up to a belay station behind me
What made it even more memorable
was waking up the next morning at
to take an M family and their kids ice climbing all day.Oh, the pain in every muscle as I belayed
seven people, much less the agitated coughing from the previous day.Nonetheless, itâ€™s all for His glory, loving
Him, and in doing so, loving His people by building relationships.Keep your hands together for my physical
health and strength, a continued willing heart to serve, and that He would
perform miraculous changes in the people here in Naryn through me.
I have attached a bonus of
compressed pictures for you in the other document.I hope it gets through with the unreliable
dialup connection here.
Still gladly and blissfully serving
the higher purpose in life,
Zach Hooley in Naryn,
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