Robert Kay was only a teenager when he first set his sights on Everest.
There was a thirst for adventure rooted deeply in his heart, and no ordinary mountain was going to suffice. As the years of discipline and rigorous training added on, his climbing aspirations only gained momentum.
Robert’s passions and abilities lined up in such a way that it almost seemed he was born to conquer Everest . . . but with time, he began to realize it was all part of an intricate design to draw him to the nation of Nepal.
At twenty-six years old, Robert’s quest for Everest finally brought him and his wife Patty to Kathmandu . . . a trip that would change their lives forever.
The unparalleled beauty of the great Himalayan Mountains didn’t hold a candle to the light they saw in the eyes of the people they met. Even in the face of abject poverty and significant hardship, the Nepali people warmly welcomed foreigners with trustful, open hearts
“They are friendly, peaceful, and fun-loving people,” Robert said. “My experience has been that most Westerners first go to Nepal for the beauty and adventure, and while they are definitely not disappointed with that, they leave even more impressed by the people.”
It has been said that true calling is discovered where our talents and burdens collide, and it was in this way that the Kays’ calling to the nation of Nepal became perfectly clear . . . Somehow, arriving in Kathmandu had been like coming home
Ever since their first trip, the Kays have been making regular visits to Nepal, building lifelong relationships that transcend the cultural differences and months of distance between them.
After seeing firsthand both the great potential and desperate needs of Nepali children, Robert and Patty chose to become sponsors—it was an easy decision that has radically changed eight young lives.
“These eight kids are thriving in their classes,” Robert said. “Their teachers have publicly held them as outstanding examples of hard work and loving, caring siblings. But even more important, they have all become Christians, making an eternal impact.”
The Kays’ continued investment in the lives of these children—emotionally, spiritually, and financially—has been sustained through building meaningful relationships with them.
“These precious kids call me ‘Dad’ and Patty ‘Mom.’ I spend as much time with them as I can when I’m in Nepal,” Robert said. “We have become one big family in spite of the language and cultural barriers. I guess we are a bit like a TV sitcom!”
It would be easy to view abject poverty much like Everest—an ominous mountain seemingly impossible to overcome . . . it would be easy to close our eyes and pretend it isn’t there at all.
But while standing in the shadows of overwhelming need, we often underestimate the power of relationship—we fail to recognize that something as simple as writing a letter can be among the greatest weapons we have in the battle against poverty. Because relationship sustains investment and investment transforms lives.
“We need to find a country in the world that truly moves us at the deepest level,” Robert said. “We need to learn about this chosen place, and do what we can to become personally involved in someone’s life there . . . it will change our lives and the trajectory of entire families for generations to come.”
Through years of training and experience, Robert came to understand that reaching the top of Everest would require both patience and humility—one step at a time. And as a sponsor, he has found that the road to overcoming poverty is very much the same: one country, one village, one family, one child . . . one relationship at a time.
Where do your talents and burdens collide? What part of the world draws you in?
Perhaps this is where you’re being called to invest—to build a relationship that could instill hope for generations to come. While we certainly cannot defeat poverty alone, we each have the capacity to overcome a small part of the mountain.