Though this year seemed to take so much from so many….for us, we saw God move in BIG WAYS!!!!
First, as I reported nearly a year ago, we felt the calling of Hebrews 10:25 telling us not to “forsake the assembling of ourselves together” in worship at the outset of the school year. We felt that God was telling us that no outbreaks would happen to us as we remained faithful to what He was telling us to do. We knew we might sound crazy, but we had to obey what we felt God was telling us to do. And we met. Together. With face masks on during Tupos. As distanced as we could in the Modern Worship Space of Canyon First Methodist Church.
AND THERE WERE NO OUTBREAKS THIS YEAR!!!!
We thank God that He protected us during this year of uncertainty. We had closed everything from Free Lunch on Tuesdays, to 5th Quarters after football games, but we could not close corporate worship together. After talking with many of our alumni nurses, they too believe this is a miracle from God considering what they have seen.
2nd, during this time, we actually averaged a higher number and ended with a higher number of students at Tupos and in our Mentor Rings than ever before! We thought that Covid would have devastated our reach to the campus, but that did not happen. Our reach grew instead!
3rd, we just got back from the mountains for our Mentor Trips. The girls went to Center, Colorado and were able to stay in a nice cabin. The men backpacked in Tres Ritos NM. We filtered water and stayed in tents at 35 degree temperatures at night!
On those mountains, God moved in such beautiful ways. The woman wouldn’t tell me all that happened, but when they got back to the Wesley (about the same time the men arrived) they were laughing and crying and hugging for about an hour after their long trek back to Texas. That told me everything that I needed to know about how God moved in their lives. Those girls took 41 on their trip, and the men had 31 on ours! I believe that was the biggest groups we have taken to date.
For the men, there is just something special about that mountain. I think it is the getting away from technology, sitting around a fire, laughing, telling stories, hiking, playing various games in the woods, but especially extended prayer and Bible times together that has a way of transforming a person. Those mountain top experiences, though we can’t live there forever, are vital to a Christian’s walk.
On one of our hikes I told them to look at our camp and to take note of what they saw. As we got halfway up I told them to look around again and take note of what they saw. As we got to a high place on the mountain, we could see just a tiny dot of what was our camp down in the valley below. I told them that just a few hours before, we were encapsulated in those tents down there. Those tents surrounded us as we slept. They were also big when we stood by the fire that morning. But as we climbed higher and higher and gained some perspective, those things that once surrounded us, then became just dots on the horizon below us.
My mom used to always say, “the grass doesn’t grow on the mountain top, but in the valley.” I believe she is right. We long for the mountain top experiences. They are beautiful snapshots and moments of glory. But the deep growth that happens to us, happens in the day to day life decisions.
The Wesley Foundation grew through the hardships of the valley in 2020-2021. But it was so awesome to get up on that mountain top and look down on our camp with a little bit of perspective. The mountain tops are vital for that very purpose…to look down and get some perspective.
John Maxwell says, “Some people say experience is the best teacher. It’s not experience that is the best teacher, but EVALUATED EXPERIENCE.” The mountain tops of life are so vital to teach us to evaluate what we just went through. It’s important to get moments where we pull away from the fray and get alone with God and let Him help us decipher and evaluate what all we’ve been through at various moments along the journey.
WT Wesley Foundation Director