In Death Valley I lived in a brand new location, with people I had never met, in a place that was further removed from civilization than anywhere I’d ever visited, much less lived. It was extremely difficult for the first few months.
Part of the difficulty was due to some stresses with friendships back home as a result of being away, but the majority was simply homesickness.
Thankfully, I expected this difficulty and was able to work through it accordingly. But this ended up being the most valuable piece of my experience regarding my personal growth. The world seems more open to possibility now, and though it would still be difficult to leave friends and family behind, I feel that I could go anywhere and do just about anything.
The most surprising thing for me were the friendships I made with people. It was surprising because some of the people I least expected to connect with ended up being some of my best friends in Death Valley. For instance, a man in his mid-50’s, coming to Death Valley out of homelessness and alcohol addiction, who comes from a radically different theological perspective than I do, ended up being a really good friend. I was surprised at how God worked unexpectedly through relationships. It has given me a refreshed perspective on how God can work in, through, and around me in ways I’d never thought possible.
Eric F., Death Valley National Park, 2014
The Lord said, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”