Mt. Hood at Sunset

Mt. Hood at Sunset
Psalms 121 "I will lift my eyes to the hills. Where does my strength come from? My strength comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip; he who keeps you will not slumber."

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mountain Top Experience

Day two was another great day for John in Colorado! Had planned for a favorite hike nearby but when I drove over found that trail was not yet open for the season. Tried two other spots but they were also still closed. By then it was lunchtime and I sat there alone a bit frustrated that my well laid out plans for the morning were falling apart and to top it off it was starting to rain.

After praying a bit during lunch for some direction on afternoon activities, I decided to head over to Frontier Ranch, one of Young Life's camps in Buena Vista, Colorado, about 100 miles away. At the time I thought it was what is known as "work week," the week before camp begins where volunteer high school and college kids from around the country come to spruce up the camp before campers arrive. Turns out it was the last day of the first week of camp so that when I arrived the camp was buzzing with activity with kids and counselors running around all over the place.

Kept telling myself that I needed to get in a bit of a workout so I decided to climb up the mountain that overlooks the camp. Each camp week, all the kids from the entire camp go up the mountain together and plant a cross to kind of end the week on a high point. Turned out to be the high point of the trip for me as well. Wish the pictures could capture the moment better, but sitting there surrounded by crosses put there by kids that I could hear running around far below, laughing and having the time of their lives really put things into perspective. Was touching to see all the names and verses carved in the wood and the bandanas left behind and tied to the crosses by campers who had come before me. God didn't need me to climb that mountain to get my legs in shape, God wanted me up there to remind me why I was here. It's not about Stacy and me climbing a mountain, it's about giving more kids the opportunity to come to Young Life camp and experience God's love for themselves.

I walked down that mountain on a high that I didn't think could be topped. I stepped into the dining hall looking for a familiar face, and there I see my good buddy Steve Pickard. Steve was my Young Life leader in high school and was kind of my spiritual mentor. He came over and gave me a big hug and we had a great dinner and evening together. Turned out he had come over from Wichita to surprise his daughter Ashley, who is working at the camp, for her twentieth birthday. We all went to club together and then Steve gave me a big pep talk for the upcoming climb. He recently climbed to the base camp at Mt Everest and he happened to have his album from the trip along with him. We went through the album together and had a great time catching up.
God couldn't have planned a better day for me and I left camp that night charged up for what lies ahead.


  1. Wow John...I am inspired and impressed by your committment to God and Young Life. What a great journey you and soon Stacy will be on. It sounds like really neat God things are already hapening and will continue...that is how He works. After looking at the pics and am a bit freaked for you guys. Be careful...but I know you will be cared for. Climb on my friends!!!

  2. John & Stacy,
    I am so pround of your committment to Young Life. I know God will bless you on this tripand fill your heart with determination.
    One of my favorite sayings is: If God brings you to it, He will bring our throught it."
    He has brought you to the mountain and he honored, regardless!!
    Praying for you,
    Jerry & Nancy

  3. Hey there, been praying for you two. Put your picture on the fridge to remind us. How cool to run into Steve. We're so excited for you guys that it's finally here!

    God Bless!

  4. Sounds like everything's coming together! Can't wait for the next post.