The View From on High
Debby trekked to the base camp of Mt. Everest as a love gift to her husband. Enduring 15 days and nights with little sleep, dehydration, and the crippling effects of limited oxygen, she reached the 17,200-foot elevation Nepali camp in victory! The view was incredible; the lessons were inimitable.
JBU: Mt. Everest is quite a gift!
DEBBY: It was a gift to my husband for my birthday. I wanted to help him fulfill his lifelong dream of trekking Everest. It was absolutely beautiful, but was extremely difficult for me physically, mentally, and spiritually. The trekking team was comprised of 15 men, 3 women, and the Sherpas, local experts who serve as guides for Himalayan mountaineering expeditions.
JBU: Describe a memorable moment from the trip.
DEBBY: My most memorable moment was when God showed me how the trail experience mirrored my walk with Him. At one point I became discouraged. My teammates trekked the rugged terrain with little effort, taking a straight path up the side of an incline. While I really wanted to keep up with them, I couldn’t because my legs were shorter. One Sherpa noticed and started to lead me on a meandering path that I could manage. It worked when I followed him exactly…putting my feet where he put his, keeping the same pace as his, and not comparing myself to the other hikers. I arrived without falling, without failing, and with energy. For me, that experience illustrated Galatians 5:25—walking in step with the Spirit.
JBU: What was the most difficult part of the trek?
DEBBY: The higher we climbed, the more difficult breathing became. At one point, I lost all power in my legs. I couldn’t move and began to panic until I took three deep breaths to fill my lungs enough to move one foot. That night I wrote in my journal: “We cannot continue to step without air—we cannot grow into who God wants us to be without His infilling.” .
JBU: How long have you walked in step with Christ?
DEBBY: I grew up practicing a “Sunday only” faith. Outwardly, I looked like I knew where I was going, but inwardly I was wandering aimlessly. By college, I had concluded God didn’t exist, which resulted in unhealthy choices and relationships. My sophomore year, I arranged to study in Sweden, thinking a move would fix things. Unintentionally, I had enrolled in a Christian college!
Despite the mismatch, I was befriended by a student who gave me a Bible. After reading it, I realized God truly existed and I need not carry my load alone. That was over 30 years ago, and I continue to walk with Jesus as my guide.
JBU: What is your role in the ministry of RESOUND?
DEBBY: As part of the national team of RESOUND, the women’s ministries arm of the Evangelical Free Church of America, I am coordinating and writing a Disciplemaking Ministry Guide based on the Great Commission and explicitly modeled after the life of Jesus.
JBU: What do you say to the woman who says, “God can’t use me; I’m too shy and I don’t know enough Scripture”?
DEBBY: I can relate to her…by nature, I’m an introvert. Drawing from my Mt. Everest trek, I say that God knows your strengths and limitations. Like that Sherpa, He has a specific path that fits you. He has given you what you need for whatever He has called you to do. He asks you to listen for His promptings, follow His leading and allow Him to fill you up with Himself.
JBU: What is an example of how God used you outside of your comfort zone?
DEBBY: A quiet young woman sat next to me on a flight recently. We conversed somewhat, followed by long periods of silence. The Lord prompted me to ask where she was on her spiritual journey. After a short battle with God, I did. She lit up and said, “I’m so glad you asked!!” She had just received Christ a couple of weeks earlier and was excited to talk about Him. She didn’t know any Christian terms, but she could explain the profound impact He had already made. It was fun to remind her that she now knew enough to share with someone else!
JBU: What tips do you have to effectively share Christ?
DEBBY: We only need to be able to articulate what life was like before we encountered Jesus and what it is now. Or, for those who encountered Him at a young age, what life would be like now without Him. It is as simple as that. John 3:16 says it all—God loved, God gave, we believe, we receive. Through prayer, we discern divine opportunities to speak, to be silent, to serve, to ask questions, and to winsomely share the gospel message with the hope to “win some”.
- Favorite Scripture Verse: II Timothy 1:7
- Favorite Song: Joy in the Journey by Michael Card
- Favorite Hobby: Reading
- One fun thing she likes to do with her husband: Backpacking
To contact Debby