Mitchell hung by his clenched fists just under an overhang, thirty five feet up the craggy Shoshone climbing wall. Over and over again he attempted to pull himself over the awkward ledge, but each time a poorly gripped shoe slipped or a sweaty hand slid. He’d been stuck on the same spot for twenty minutes. At first his friends were cheering him on vehemently from below, but now they had quieted to an occasional hoot. None of them thought he would make it. The longer you’re stuck on a spot, the weaker your grip becomes until regardless of willpower or determination, tired fingers just can’t hold on.
“One more heave,” he thought.
From below it looked like any of the other failed attempts, but this one was lasting a little longer. He was pulling himself higher than before, and twisting his body in a different way. His feet were holding. Once again his supporters cheered, only louder this time, jumping and screeching like surprised howler monkeys. He was actually doing it! After twenty two minutes of hanging from the same ledge, Mitchell hoisted his body over that exhausting impasse, and proceeded to scale the rest of the wall.
That night, during the Trinity group debrief, a time to reflect on the day, Mitchell shared that it was the most meaningful part of his Tuesday. Everyone agreed it was truly epic.
Something about camp and service both breaks down and empowers youth in extraordinary ways. Thrown from their comfort zone, high on a ledge, prying rotten planks in a stranger's backyard, or sitting at a fire late at night, they encounter a challenge, and in grappling with it something changes. They gain confidence, put on humility, and hopefully draw a little closer to their Creator.
Trinity’s youth got to go to Shoshone the last week of June. Through service in Idaho’s Silver Valley, goofing off, fresh mountain air, and honest conversations they learned that they are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ’s image to do good works wherever they may be. Yes that’s from Ephesians.
Much corn-holing, song singing, river floating, and horseback riding were had in the evenings, while in the mornings the kids set out in separate groups to help out the local community in the ongoing Idaho Servant Adventure effort painting fences, demolishing decks, and chopping wood. Under the stars we worshipped, learned and reflected. Did anyone mention a day of roller coasters and water slides at Silverwood?
Thank you Trinity for your prayers and support, this trip full of sweaty car rides, meaningful service, and sacred conversations couldn’t have happen without you!