Monday, January 29, 2007

Suspending the Normal

Take a moment. Step into the mind of OLT member, Sam, as he strives to put into words the essence of his work with college students through the wilderness setting. He labors to explain and define the unseen power of God’s ministry to students through creation, community and Christ’s call on our entire life ...
“Leading trips in every condition with every kind of student has not only been deeply wonderful, but it has also made me acutely aware of one thing:

Suspending normal is as simple as replacing self-serving cafeteria lines and big tables in a clean environment with a bag of ingredients, a four inch "stove" and the forest floor. Add in a cold layer of snowflakes and a pinch of darkness, and voila! Mealtime is brand new, requiring inter-dependence among these experts on self-sufficiency.

Suspending normal means replacing i-Pods with silence, homework with play, and wrist-watches with listening to the natural cycles of hunger and sleep.
Furthermore, it means removing the distractions that keep many of them from dealing with essential questions about life and faith.

This is the heart of it for me. Students frequently say that God is more easily found in nature than other places (even if they aren't sure there IS a God), as though the outdoors were his living room where they feel comfortable sitting. For so many, their internal questions converge with the activities and experiences and conversations on a trip and they begin to respond to Christ's invitation, "Come, all who are thirsty...."

What a privilege it is to watch them grapple with this first-hand, and then later, to hear from campus ministers about how these students' lives continue to be transformed on their campuses.”

Francois and I are going to "suspend the normal" with students this summer in Ontario, Canada on a 30 day kayaking trip: Leadership and Discipleship in the Wilderness... more details to come!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

One resolution

Happy 2007! One resolution I made was to post more on the blog. That wont be too difficult since I only posted 2wice last year.
This picture of Francois and our friend Ryan is taken on the summit of a mountain in Wyoming. Ryan works in OH and wrote an email recently looking for some help for his spring break trip. It is a good example of why we do what we do. Here it is:

"FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY!! An all expense paid trip to FL, THAT'S RIGHT!!! There is no catch except the giant SNAPPER you will be eating for dinner! No need for certification but it is certainly not a problem if you have it! this is a great opportunity to apprentice with a veteran instructor or to work with a great guy, and work with some fabulous student leaders!

WHEN: March 9 – 18

Where: 10,000 Islands Florida

What: OWU Wilderness Trek, Canoeing. It is called, “Creation Speaks, a theology of ecology” The group will be looking at the connection between the ecology of the everglades and how it connects to the ecology of relationships and life together! The curriculum and design is being created by the student leaders. Your role will be to be present, Risk management, Assist student leaders in their leadership, teach technical skills that are beyond student leaders reach."