When I applied for ACMNP, I couldn’t believe my luck: I had been chosen to go to Yellowstone! I finished my junior year of college, packed up my stuff, and drove from VA to CO to WY. I was both excited and nervous about what was ahead. I showed up and found out that I would be the only girl on our team rooming with someone who wasn’t with ACMNP. I was nervous as I got my room assignment and they said a girl had already moved in to my room that morning.
What would she be like? Would we get along? Would we be friends?
That was the day that I met my roommate who became a lifelong friend. What started out as simply talking while unpacking belongings in the dorm room morphed into a close friendship that bonded us over watching movies together at night, ordering pizza from the pub down the road, eating ice cream by Lake Yellowstone at sunset, commiserating together on a 15-mile hike in 90 degree heat, and talking about what love meant to both of us.
I still think about ACMNP every summer since I participated in it, hoping for a chance to go back to the wilderness and get to be an extension of Jesus’ love to those around me. Sure, it was exhausting at times, planning Bible studies and weekly services, being with people of different beliefs and denominations, but the memories and friendships made that summer are still with me today.
My team still supports each other even while being hundreds of miles apart and I still talk with and visit my old roommate who ended up joining ACMNP herself and went back to Yellowstone to serve with them.
I’m grateful for my summer with ACMNP in Yellowstone, and I hope that others who feel an itch to serve God while loving on a community that loves nature as much as they do take the chance to join and partner with ACMNP.
Adriane S., Yellowstone National Park, 2015
The Lord said, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”