I really love to hike. More than almost anything in the world, I really love being in the mountains. I could spend hours and hours there. They fill my heart with so much joy, and are such a reminder of the beauty of God’s creation. This past weekend, I was in the Haute-Savoie, which a region in the French Alps, for a conference. The first morning, a group decided that they would go on a sunrise hike. Partially because I was afraid of missing out on time in the mountains, I tagged along. This hike sounded like a really great idea until my alarm went off at 4 in the morning. I would consider myself a morning person, but there is something really unholy about 4 am. I pulled on my hiking boots, put on a few too many layers, poured a large cup of coffee and followed my friends out the door. I quickly realized that my tired head had trouble speaking in English at 4 am, which means that there was no hope of being able to speak French. So, I just puttered along behind everyone praying that some sort of language would come to my mind.
You learn a lot about the world while in the wild. As we watched the sun rise over the mountain peaks, and the rays of sun shine off of Mont-Blanc, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of thankfulness. It was one of those moments when I had to pause to think, “OH MY GOSH THIS IS MY LIFE! I AM WATCHING THE SUN RISE OVER THE FRENCH ALPS!!!” I was so thankful that I did not miss the sunrise. It is easy to capture a picture of that moment on the mountain top, of the perfect view of a new morning. But, there is so much more that goes into that one moment. There was the decision to get up, pour the coffee, and follow along even when I was tired and couldn’t understand what anyone was saying (after seven months in France, the latter is something I have grown used to). Then, more importantly, there was the decision to keep going.
There have been many moments in the last seven months where it would have been easy to say, “Well, I tried”, pack up and go home. But if I would have done that, I would have missed out on all the wonderful things that God is doing in Grenoble, in France, and in my life. I would have missed the sunrise. One of my favorite verses comes from Hebrews 12. Paul writes, “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2a). That is my prayer every day in France, that I would run with endurance towards Jesus. That I would run and not grow weary, and without ceasing, keep my eyes fixed upon Him. It is easy to grow tired and discouraged. It is easy to snooze an alarm that shrieks at 4 am. It is easy sometimes, when I have felt like I have run for hours and hours without ceasing, without result, to question where God is, what He is doing. But in those moments, I pray that we would endure whatever it is we are facing. That we might be able to rest in the goodness of God, and trust that He will again bring us to the mountain top, again to watch the sunrise. I pray that we would not give up, but that we would get up, follow where God leads, so that we might not miss the sunrise.
The past month has been jam packed! We continued to have International Youth Group and Campaigners on Fridays. We will have the International Youth Group for two more Fridays. I am having such a hard time believing that the year is almost over!! We have also started prepping for camp, which is the third week of July. Please be praying for me, and all the people involved, as well as the three girls from Grenoble who will be in my cabin. It is such a blessing to have the opportunity to spend this week together.
May was a month full of conferences. Along with all the other first year staff people, I went to San Sebastian for training. This was such an encouraging time. It was great to share stories and experiences with people who are doing the same thing. We also had our General Assembly for Jeunesse Ardente (JA), Young Life’s representation in France. People from all over who are involved with JA came to the Haute-Savoie for the conference. It was amazing to see how God has worked through this organization for so many years in France.
Thank you all for your love, prayers and support on this exciting journey! If you would like to know more about is happening with Young Life in Grenoble, or if you would like to give financially, I would love to talk with you more!