Surpassing Expectations

I am so glad I did ACMNP! I went into the ministry thinking it would be a fun way to spend the summer. I love the National Parks and thought it would be exciting and a good summer job. Headed to Sequoia I had high expectations for the summer, however in reality my summer surpassed those expectations. God’s majesty and power can be seen everywhere in the park. I spent my free time exploring as much of the park as I could. Although Sequoia is known for its large trees, there are also impressive mountains, beautiful valleys, massive rocks and flowing rivers with waterfalls.

God’s hand can be seen everywhere throughout Sequoia. Every day I looked out my bedroom window at the giant trees and majestic mountains towering above me.

It reassured me that God is real and in control. Over the course of the summer I got the opportunity to go on many hikes throughout the park. Standing next to the giant Sequoia trees and hiking through the mountains made me feel so small, however, it gave me peace knowing that the same God who created this amazing land cares for me and is watching over me. Through the grandeur of the mountains, the impressive size of the trees, and the remarkable animals that live there, I was praising God all summer long.

The people in the park also exceeded my expectations. I met an eclectic group of people that lived, worked and fellowshipped together. Many of the summer staff were from outside of the United States. Together we learned about each other’s cultures, similarities and differences. Many of my coworkers knew I was there with ACMNP or was one of the “Christian Girls” as we were sometimes referred to. At times this opened the door for sharing my faith in conversation with others. Our team would invite our coworkers to our services and encourage them to come to Bible studies we had. These were great opportunities to share our faith, but the most effective way we got to share our faith was through our actions. People knew I was a Christian and I hoped and prayed they would see Jesus in me.

Surpassing Expectations

A majority of my conversations and interactions with my fellow Sequoia residents had nothing to do with the Bible. But as the saying goes “actions speak louder than words.” That summer God taught me that there are a lot of good broken people in the world and they aren’t necessarily going to want to hear about God or have any interest in the Bible; but that doesn’t mean we can’t show them what the Bible is all about. I strove to show my new friends the love, faithfulness and forgiveness of Jesus through love and kindness. I prayed for them, that God would open their hearts to Him and that He would work through me. I’ll admit I wasn’t perfect, but I know God can use each one of us for His plan. I know seeds of the Gospel were planted that summer, and I am so grateful God chose to use me as one of His instruments in Sequoia National Park.

Renae S., Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, 2009

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