We’ve been laid low but this was a Rocky Mountain high!
We have been on the go since the end of July when we made a pilgrimage to Six Flags Amusement Park in Gurney, Illinois. The next day we visited the Field Museum in Chicago.
Personally I wanted to tour the factory where Jelly Bellies are made and distributed. Then we were off to the other side of Lake Michigan for our annual week’s stay at Maranatha, a missionary and Bible conference center positioned just next to Lake Michigan.
The boys and I enjoyed the unprecedented (for us) 7 foot waves that came thundering over us and upon us. The rip tide was unbelievably strong! At the pool, which is located next to the beach, they have a pole with flags on it: a green, yellow, and red flag to give swimmers some indication as to what to expect.
We sat under solid Bible teaching for a week and heard from a missionary (former Moody Bible professor Ray Badgero sp?) whose aim it is to restore the name of the Lord among Native Americans on an island just off Vancouver Island…very exciting to hear of his passion for Native Americans.
Then it was back to Earlham! We arrived home around 9:00 p.m. Saturday evening and didn’t have to think long about where to go to church on Sunday morning. There’s no place like home! Even though I had no part in the service there was no place I would rather have been.
Two days later Luke (17) and Benj (15) and one of their friends and myself headed off to Colorado. Ultimately the goal was to get Luke and his friend Andy down to some place south of Colorado Springs for a two-week world view conference called “Summit”, but before we did that we thought we might as well go backpacking for a few days first!
So I called up afriend who lives in a southern suburb of Denver and asked him to arrange something relatively easy. The first day we ended up hiking nearly 1,700 vertical feet in four miles….before we ended up discovering that we were on the wrong trail…so back to the car we went. I looked at it as extreme physical rehab, a sort of X-Games for the physically impaired. I was a bit wobbly toward the end but found my core being strengthened with each step.
By the time we made it down to the cars it was nearly dusk and we had little drinking water left. But we found the correct trailhead. And so we did what any normal person would do in our situation. We drove the 20 minutes to town, ate at a Pizza Hut and stayed in a hotel. The next morning we were up early and had a gentle hike (2-1/2-3 miles) to an alpine lake which shall remain nameless. The fishing was out of this world! We hauled in several different species of trout…. and not just trout… these were big trout! So instead of backpacking just a few miles we hiked 13-14 miles in total.
For me this trip was hugely symbolic… an undeniable proof of God’s preserving grace in my life. It was neat to have the sense that in one year’s time, nearly to the day, I had gone from backpacking with Benj in the Bighorns to now backpacking again. If not a complete circle it is nearly complete. Thank you Lord!