O: Loveland

Once upon a time there was a town named Loveland, Colorado.

Alright, it’s true, it’s still there.

In 2002, I along with seventy some odd other teenagers descended on the town as a ‘youth mission team’.

Note: I cannot express to you the irony of the phrase ‘youth mission trips’

In our duration in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains we hosted ‘backyard Bible clubs’ during the day and ‘block parties’ during the night (insane amount of Baptist-speak in that statement).

One specific night; probably a Thursday, we were hosting one of the larger neighborhood parties. The cotton candy machine was running, snow cones were everywhere, and the stage was set for an eventful, warm, Colorado evening.

Then the clouds started to gather. Off to the south, along the foothills of the mountains a storm was gathering. You couldn’t see the lightning, but you could hear the rumbles of thunder. The storm grew in size, gaining speed and strength. While this was going on, a group of wiser [more mature] people from the trip were in a corner of the lot praying. I kid you not, for all the teenage hormones, and crushing that I did that week I never forgot this moment…

With lightning now dancing across the sky, the wind picking up, and the thunder coming in over the voices of the people it looked like the show was going to be called for the night. Then suddenly, as the sun started to fade behind the thunderhead, the clouds shifted drastically to the east…and not a drop of water fell on that event.

Of all the random trips, and events that I witnessed in high school, this moment stayed with me to this very day. Now I know why. Even when all seems lost, we’re backed into a corner, and the very light…the hope…that we’re desperately holding onto looks to be fading away…

That’s when the impossible happens.

That’s where hope comes alive.

I tell this story, as I did to my girlfriend in the car tonight, because it illustrates the point that I was able to humbly realize last night. Things are hard right now, really hard, but even today when I ran across one of our players…that joy, that excitement, that hope just solidified my rationalization for what we’re doing. This is my mission field, and this is where my hope shall lie, and this is where my God shall dwell.


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