After roughly 3,000 miles of flying, 450 miles of driving, 150 miles of bus riding, and even a couple of miles or so of hiking/walking, our team has returned safely from our journey to Colorado.
|Matt's idea for a group picture.|
Friday morning, we got up, ate breakfast, cleaned our rooms throughly, and prepared to leave Sky Corral Lodge. Before we left, we attempted to take a group picture, but, apparently, Matt is terrible at taking a selfie and getting everyone else in the frame. We finally asked Jim to take a picture of our entire group.
|Our group: Matt, Patrick, Kim, Joe, Greg, and I.|
After we had finished taking pictures, we loaded our six team members and luggage (plus Jim) into the “Mommy Missile” (a small minivan) and drove into Fort Collins for lunch. We had a delicious lunch at BeauJo’s
(a Colorado style pizza restaurant) with Jim, Luke, Jon, Mallory, Riley, Kelly and Rani (all staff members at Sky Corral). After lunch, we met our shuttle, rode to the Denver airport, and went through security. At this point, our group officially split, with both Greg and Patrick catching direct flights to Washington DC.
|Joe is overjoyed to be sitting next to Matt.|
|Overjoyed for sure.|
Matt, Joe, Kim, and I went to the gate to catch our flight to Chicago O’Hare where we were to board a connecting flight to Roanoke. However, there was a slight problem. Our flight ended up being delayed for over an hour as the ground crew tried to fix a climate control issue with the plane. Unfortunately, this delay caused us to miss our connection to Roanoke. When we arrived at O’Hare, we spoke with the United representative who told us that the airline would not be able to fly us into Roanoke until Monday. They offered us hotel vouchers, and told us that they could fly us into Greensboro the next day instead. We ended up staying the night in a Wyndham
near the airport. We each got our own room, and we used our meal vouchers ($7 apiece) to order calzones at midnight for dinner/breakfast.
The next morning, we got up, checked out of the hotel, and rode the shuttle to the airport. Security in Chicago went much quicker than in Denver. Thankfully, there were no more delays, and our plane left a scheduled. We four took up the entirety of the first row in the plane, and had plenty of leg room for the first time on our entire trip.
When we arrived in Greensboro, Nic was there to pick us up and drive us back to Blacksburg. After a quick stop at Plateau Plaza Bojangles
for dinner, our team split one last time as I picked up my car and we drove the last fifty miles to Blacksburg separately. Our trip was then officially over.
|Taking off from O'Hare.|
We had a great week of fellowship, service, and growth in the Rocky mountains, and I believe God taught me a few things while we were there. One morning, I was reading from 2 Chronicles 34
. In verse 27, the Lord tells King Josiah that He will delay His punishment of the Israelites for their sin because “your [Josiah’s] heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God…” That was my prayer this past week: that my heart would be humble and responsive. There were two things in particular that stuck out to me.
First, the Lord impressed upon me the importance of thankfulness. At times this week, the work was tough and tiring, but the Lord reminded me to be thankful that I have the strength and mobility to serve in this way. It also struck me while we were on our hike on Thursday afternoon that some people do not get the opportunity to enjoy God’s creation in this way, and, since I am able to, I should be thankful for that opportunity.
The second was the importance of prayer in the ministry of Sky Corral to the surrounding community. There were several times throughout the trip where the staff explained to us that sometimes the only way to minister to the people in their community is through prayer. Because of the culture of that area, they often pray for long periods of time that the Lord would change a person’s heart before they are open to hearing the gospel.
With that being said, if you would like to join me in praying for Sky Corral and their ministry in Colorado, here are a few suggestions. Please pray for the staff at the ranch, that they would have wisdom and discernment as they watch for the best time to reach out to people in their community. Pray for Luke as he works at the local fire station and looks for opportunities to share his faith with those around him. Pray for Stove Prairie Community Church and their outreach to the surrounding area. Finally, pray that the Lord would soften the hearts of the people in the community so that they would be willing to receive the gospel.
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