The openness I experienced from National Parks employees is unparalleled to any other community I have met. People were not only willing but eager to share what brought them to the parks, and their stories are honest and often painful. These relationships opened my eyes to my tendency to try and present my life as “perfect”- I was pushed to match their honesty with my own story. So many of them come to the parks seeking something, and that guides the conversation so easily to sharing my faith with them.
I often caught myself in awe of how powerful our God is- I came seeking meaningful conversations and other employees were the ones initiating most of them.
As the summer wore on and our ministry picked up momentum, particularly with international coworkers, I grew in my faith and marveled at how God desires to use those who are willing to follow Him. Giving Him my summer was a leap of faith but so much fruit came of it. I felt Him ask me to trust Him even more- so I gave Him my year. I postponed graduate school, and I stayed in the park and continued ministry until November. I then followed Him to Southeast Asia, where I’ve been for four months helping plant a Deaf church that translates and teaches the gospel in their local sign. All of this started with nervously giving a great God my summer, and watching Him use it, strengthen my trust in Him, and grow my desire to make Him known! I still miss my time with ACMNP- it is such a powerful ministry in a crucial location that is working in the lives of team members and coworkers throughout the nation.
Ally M., Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, 2017
The Lord said, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”