Light Notes: What is worth the risk? Step up to save what matters

Rev. Micah Smith, Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Wash.) on

Published in Religious News

Two soldiers waved our van to the side of the road, where a mangy dog finished his scratch before ambling out of our path.

I was drenched with sweat in the tropical heat and humidity, as were my traveling partners. Along with 11 other men, I had traveled to this area to make the first contact with an isolated hill tribe.

About that time, the realization sank in. This is a big deal. Armed soldiers are stopping us along the border between two warring nations.

Several soldiers stepped into our bus and looked us over, evidently not liking what they saw. Grabbing our young translator by the arm, one of the soldiers marched him away while another remained on board to guard us.

The air was heavy and dead in the oppressive heat. Finally, we saw our guide returning — flanked by soldiers.

As they boarded the bus our guide told us, “The army orders us to leave this area and not come back.”


We looked at one another as the bus turned back from the roadblock. Each of us had chosen to make this trip and search out this tribe. Everyone knew it would be risky — possibly dangerous.

So what was our next step? Should we obey the soldiers’ orders or continue our quest? To the man, we all decided to stay in the area and find the hill tribe.

Ed Cole, founder of Christian Men’s Network, taught me years ago that “the place of agreement is the place of power.” We had all agreed that muggy morning on the frontier to resume our search.

Traveling over another mountain by a different route, we parked, grabbed our gear, hiked a few more miles and found our hill tribe. Our faith in God and agreement together resulted in eventually building an orphanage in that isolated region.


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