On July 12, Grace Bible Church of Elmhurst sent 53 individuals to Fraser, Colorado for a week of adventure and intense spiritual conversation.
For the week long trip, the students spent their days enjoying the breathtaking Colorado landscape at Timberline Lodge. According to their website, “Timberline Lodge serves within the body of Christ, ministering to youth and youth leadership in a community setting for the purpose of building on the only sure foundation of our Lord Jesus Christ through biblical teaching, Christian discipleship, outdoor adventure and service to others.”
The group consisted of 45 high school students and 8 adult leaders engaging in a wide variety of activities and challenges each day. Each day was a bit different, but the common element of every day was the small group discussion sessions. The main focus of discussion during the week was about a video series entitled Gospel Journey Maui. In the series young people from all different faiths come together for extreme outdoor adventure, and discussion, asking the question ‘Can everyone be right?’
In a typical day the group watched an episode from the series, and discussed in meetings and small groups the questions and issues presented. Students attempted to tackle such difficult and significant questions as ‘what is your purpose in life?’, ‘what happens after we die?’, and ‘who is Jesus?’ The goal for many students was to learn to articulate what they believe and be able to share it with friends and family back home.
Rachel Fogle, one of the adult leaders on the trip said that it was particularly exciting for the students when one of the cast members from the series came to the camp. He encouraged the students to take what he called the “48 hour challenge”, to share their faith with someone with 48 hours of returning home. One student responded that he wanted to take the challenge, but didn’t want it to end there. “What comes next? Who will I share my faith with after that?”, he said. Many students were equally challenged by the message.
The rest of the group’s time was spent in team building exercises and outdoor activities. Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park and whitewater rafting down the Arkansas River were some highlights for the students, and the inspiring landscape was the perfect backdrop for their spiritual discussions. Fogle commented that the group was drawn closer together through the experience. “The details just kept coming together; the Lord’s hand was so evident throughout the trip”. More information can be found on the group’s trip blog at gbcoasis.com/colorado.