What wonderful memories I have of my summer in Yellowstone National Park, in affiliation with ACMNP, summer of ’69, 49 years ago! How fortunate was our team at Canyon Village, inspired by God’s creation, serving with the national staff led by founder Warren Ost, joining in community with ACMNP young people, and offering special moments to park visitors as we worshipped as one body on Sunday mornings at Artist’s Point.
Frankly, the trek to Yellowstone from North Carolina, was probably a stretch for me, but after orientation with Rev. Ost in Atlanta, I felt God was leading me to new experiences in His world, serving with fellow believers from around the United States.
After a brief time at the Tower Falls Hamilton Stores, I was reassigned to Canyon Village, living in the dorm, behind the store, and my summer was off and away to new experiences in park employment and within the faith community.
Each Sunday morning our team led a Bible study for the youngsters and our pastoral student leader had worship time with families, overlooking Artist Point, an altar unto itself!
Towards the end of the summer, we celebrated Christmas in July, a remembrance of time when Yellowstone was blanketed with a summer snow storm that reminded park visitors of Christmas time. A touring Choir shared portions of the Messiah to park visitors at the major campground locations.
Over the years, my family and I have visited the park three more times. The ACMNP memories always return and surprisingly so, I find my way around the park famously. Maybe God’s hand is guiding us, affirming my 1969 trek through the Park, growing spiritually, in community with fellow believers. The words to the hymn, “There a Sweet, Sweet Spirit in This Place,” seem to apply to my wonderful summer of 1969, and I give thanks everyday for my experiences with ACMNP. God’s blessings to all who continue in this service in the years ahead.
Alma Jo L., Yellowstone National Park, 1969
The Lord said, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”