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“What did you do this summer?” This was a popular essay topic we were tasked to answer in our years in leading up to college.
And although we are no longer asked to fill up a spiral with adventures at water parks and campgrounds, comparing summer vacations is still popular among students.
As editor of The Bells, I have a medium in which to share my summer happenings. So here’s a taste of what I experienced.
During the last week of June, I took a road trip to Colorado and Wyoming with my two sisters, my parents and my grandmother.
We stopped in Colorado Springs to visit my aunt and uncle, where we also visited the Garden of the Gods.
We took plenty of Instagram-worthy pictures of the red rock formations that rise up from the ground.
Being the sentimentalist that I am, I convinced everyone to scour the park for a certain rock formation that we’d stood in front of six years prior to recreate a family-loved photo. From there, we headed to Grand Tetons National Park.
Once we left Jackson Hole, Wyoming, we no longer had cell phone service antil we traveled back through three days later.
As soon as we drove into the park, we passed signs warning us of nearby bears, which had us all pressing our noses to the car window in search of a black bear.
During our first morning in the Grand Tetons, I convinced my family to rent kayaks. I took a single, and everyone else rode in tandem. We were given a map of the area and told to return in two hours. Getting out on the water, feeling the cold wind flood through my jacket and being surrounded by the majestic mountains created an exhilarating experience. An hour into kayaking, we knew that trouble was approaching in the form of dark storm clouds. From there, it was a race against time to get back to the marina before the storm hit.
Once we safely got back to the marina, we drove into Yellowstone National Park. We got to see Old Faithful, a geyser known for shooting out water high into the air every hour-and-a-half.
Once I returned from Wyoming, I boarded a plane with my 17-year-old sister, Haley, to Anchorage, Alaska for a mission trip. I will never be the same after this trip.
We started our trip out with a glacier tour. Then, we had the privilege of visiting four churches in the area, where we helped knock on doors, distribute door hangers, pray with people, sing and preach atrevival services, and assist with electrical work.
One of the best experiences from the trip was when we were out distributing door hangers on residents’ doors.
Two little boys were selling lemonade, and one of our mission workers asked the boys if he could pray for them. One of them agreed for the price of a cup of lemonade.Then, a small group from our team prayed for the boys. Tears rolled down a boy’s cheeks as they prayed for him.
The rest of our group put their hands out of the bus windows and interceded on both boys’ behalf. We also had a street service at the town square in Anchorage.
Our choir sang songs, and several people asked to be prayed for while we were there.
I also got to see two baby black bear cubs walk across the street in Anchorage as if they were headed to church as well.
Alaskan natives said that God must have been answering someone’s prayers because seeing these magnificent creatures is a rare occurrence. It made up for not seeing a bear in Wyoming.
This trip helped me step out of my comfort zone. I realized while I was there, that the knowledge I have about Jesus is too precious to keep to myself. I have to share it. The Bible says that “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (1 Tim. 1:7 NKJV)
My summer was truly the summer of a lifetime. Do you have cool stories from your summer vacation? We’d love to hear them. Send us your stories for us to post at firstname.lastname@example.org.