Dusk was starting to set in with the eeriness of the quieting jungle. I thought we would have made it back by now to the trail’s entrance. I mean it was mostly downhill from the first base camp. My mind had not really given much thought that darkness would engulf our path quicker than imagined. Would we make it out alive? Would there be a taxi nearby? Would we get back safely to our homestay?
My friend and I were in Vietnam one year at the beginning of March and decided to hike up Fansipan which is 3,143 meters tall and is the highest peak in the Indochinese peninsula. Many people make the trek in two or three days, but we only had a day left in Sa Pa and thought that if we woke up and started hiking before the sun rose, we would be back at least by twilight. The little homestay owner helped us to get a great deal for a taxi in the morning to take us to the start of the trail before the trail opened so that we would not have to pay an entrance fee.
We awoke quickly at 3:45 am and got to the entrance by 4:30. We were very excited to start this hike and enjoyed the beautiful nature along the way. We made it to the summit in decent time and after a nice sandwich lunch, we started to head down the steep mountainside. We were making good time, at least I thought, but after we passed the last base camp, we entered into the jungle part which lasted until the start of the hike. The air started to feel a bit cooler and noises that we had not heard before were only getting louder by the minute. I started to wonder if there were some type of wild cat or poisonous snakes that could jump out at us at any moment. It was dark before we made it out to the street, but at this point all the taxis were no longer going up the windy hill past nightfall. We tried to use the phone with data we purchased as we walked along the gutter down the hill, but no luck; the service was out of reach. We started to get a little bit uneasy at this point, and so we decided to pray that God would protect us and provide some taxi or some store along the way. As we walked cautiously, the clouds started to creep and cover our visual view, which made it extremely hard to stay together. I kept praying silently in my head to help us find some kind of store so we could call a taxi. We were two young girls, in a country we had never been to before, at night, and alone. About twenty minutes after walking and praying, there was a flicker of light, and as we got closer, we saw that it was a little store that was still open! Thank you, Jesus! We talked with one of the workers who was able to call a taxi and gave us some tea, which was very delicious, while we waited.
This day I will never forget. God works in many ways we cannot see and even sometimes understand. As I look back, I realized that a lot more could have gone wrong, but throughout the whole situation God was right with us, holding our hands and leading us even when we were scared and thought we were alone. God will never leave you nor forsake you, even in the times when you feel alone. Talk to God and tell Him just how you are feeling. He loves to hear from his kids even if it is as simple as Hey God. Next time when you feel overwhelmed with fear or alone, remember that God is always with you, even when it does not feel like it. “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are the already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:1-5 NKJV