As you might know, one of the aspects of this ministry is to take students backpacking for 2 weeks.   For years, we have gone to Europe and have experienced many evidences of God’s provision along the way. 

Last year we could not get into Europe, due to Covid – and – it is the same this year.   We are scheduled to fly into Fairbanks, Alaska, on July 25 and come home from Anchorage on August 7.   There are 12 of us on this team – 8 guys and 4 girls.

We always begin with a day or two of orientation at our home.  When I ask the students to share reasons why they want to go on the trip, there have always been a few who say, “Oh, I just want God to stretch me.” 

Well – that is really easy to “say” while sitting in a circle with friends in our basement – all safe and comfortable.   It is a very different thing entirely when your backpack is floating down a canal in Venice, or the Denali River.  It is a very different thing entirely when you are “forced” to walk up to a stranger and ask questions that lead to sharing The Gospel with them.

It is a very different thing entirely when . . .. .  (Fill in with whatever stresses you).  Today’s world brings new stresses to all of us.  When are we “stretched” beyond our capabilities?  How are we handling them?   

God DOES want us to trust HIM, to focus on and rest in Him.  We tend to only trust Him when we are in situations that we cannot handle ourselves.

Psalm 73:23-26 says , “Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. You will guide me with Your plan, and afterward receive me to glory.  Whom do I have in heaven but You?  And with You, I desire nothing on earth.  My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.     

This is the life that God want us to live, walking closely, dependently with Him, not our own understanding but stretched beyond what is comfortable. Pray for the team as they prepare to learn and grow in Christ.