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We must go.... ...live to feed the hungry, stand beside the broken.

Adventures in Yellowstone

USA | Sunday, 6 July 2008 | Views [1146] | Comments [1]

We experienced a love so giving and pure in Cody, WY. Before we left Casper, I called the first church that came up on a search for baptist churches in the Yellowstone area online and they immediately offered to take us in and feed us for our stay as we visited Yellowstone. Upon arrival, they had food already layed out for us, were welcoming with hugs and appreciation for our work as a summer staff team and were pleading for our help as they put on a block party for the neighborhood across the street. Though we were tired and in need of sleep - it was the right thing for them to ask us and it was right of us to accept the challenge and help our brothers and sisters in Christ. Yellowstone Baptist church existed in the way I believe a church should exist. It was not a business deal that we struck with them - it was a sincere and unselfish giving of space, time, food and money to house fellow Christians. It was a place that expected Christians to help Christians. It was beautiful. it was Acts. Paul would be proud.

Two days in Yellowstone was anything but relaxing - but nonetheless, I was able to see the glory of God revealed through nature in a way similar to my Grand Canyon experience. Our first day in, we took the upper loop of the park, visiting sights such as Tower Falls, Mammoth Hot Springs and the petrified tree. That same day, we encountered some animal friends - the first was a herd of buffalo lining the street on either side - one brave bison soul final crossing directly infront of our vehicle! (see the pictures...that was no zoom!) As we drove deeper into the park, we noticed several cars parked and on the lookout on the sides of the road and we saw a few people traipesing through the tall grass in the field to our left. So, we quickly fell in line with the cars parked in the turnoff and walked across to see two sets of giant antlers towering above the grass. Two elk were grazing and wading in a hidden stream. We were able to get very close and it was fascinating to watch them eat and exist in a setting that I have never known. Foreign soil with foreign inhabitants. As we walked away, one of the elk was staring us down. I was preparing to be bucked....

Our second day in the park was less full but still incredible. This is the day that we visited Old Faithful, saw the other hot springs in the park and drove through Grand Teton National Park as we headed to Jackson Hole, WY. Old Faithful was somthing else - hundreds and hundreds of people gathered around to watch this timeless shoot of water burst from the ground. It was incredible - as silly as that sounds - a bunch of people waiting around to see water shoot up - it was magnificent. She was scheduled to blow at 6:57. 6:57....everyone is poised, cameras in hand - aiming a the thing...just steam rising like any other hot spring. 7:00....small burst of water and a gasp from the crowd as they anticipate the blow that was not coming. 7:03....a slightly bigger burst of water...still small and another breath-taking sigh. 7:05...she blows. Ooohs and aaaahs not prompted by a cue card on a television set erupted throughout the group and we sat in awe of the thing. It was incredible.


We left Yellowstone and drove into Grand Teton National Park just before sunset. Those mountains - oh wow. We pulled into a marina nearby and watched with the boats as the sun began to sink behind the majestic rock, still partially covered in slowly-melting snow as its yellow path was drawn onto the surface of the ripples. It was glorious. Exactly where I needed to be...on the water - a place so familiar and real to me, all the while feeling small and fragile against these giants. It was remarkable.


The next day, we took a guided whitewater rafting trip down the Snake river at the base of the mountains. I have rafted on the Ocoe before and, though those rapids may be more thrilling, the scenery could never compare. Bald eagles and massive mountais watched as we hit rapids like: Lunch Counter, Cottonwood and Champagne. We had a great time, working as a team (with our two "paddle leaders" being the only two who had never whitewater rafted before...great) and we got through - everyone stayed on the boat and we succeeded in tiring our muscles, participating in the what will probably be the only workout we will be able to have all summer! It was wonderful.

We are now here in Salt Lake City, UT serving this community in what is our 3rd World Changers Project as a team. This city, which is one of the cleanest and most pristine cities I have seen, is dark, lost and completely unbelieving of the truth of Jesus Christ. SLC is the Mormon capitcal of the world?/nation?. This is a group of people who believe in an ever-changing God who is only reached by a prophet and works which take you to the various levels of heaven. It is a religion that is disgustingly oppressive for females, and this is also the people group that hold the highest rates of domestic violence, teenage pregnancy and use of anti-depresents. Their lives are centered and focused on the rewards they receive for being good people. It is the saddest place I have ever been and my body is physically burdened by the darkness here. Please pray for this city as the students here this week will be challenged beyond their experience or maturity level by the works of satan. We, as Christians, are the minority in this city and it is growing by the hour. We need prayer for this city - the women and children of the Mormon faith need your prayers and your love through those prayers. thank you. I love you all.

Comments

1

Anna,
We leave tomorrow 7/12/08 for Tupelo and I have been thinking about earlier trips and couldn't get you off my mind. I have been reading about your summer and know you are doing great work. I have a friend in Salt Lake City, and she said it was hard living as a Christian in that city. I remember you when we went to GA a couple of years ago. Keep the faith - Cherie

  Cherie Jul 12, 2008 5:46 AM

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