Ready For Takeoff!

Hello Everyone,

The programme is now over and this is already our last post. The time flew by and we learned a lot in the past 40 Days.

This week we have really focused on our approach to the programme ending and how we will begin to transition into the next season. We started the week with the longest tramp we have done. After the church on Sunday we left our basecamp for the last adventure as a team.

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Our first evening in a hut, we went out to see the night sky.  It was such a clear night that we could see the Milky Way, and was just overwhelming that God made something so beautiful and cares for us.

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On our second day we headed off for our longest day of hiking yet as we were challenged with a 7 hour day. We began the day by trying to climb Mt. Arthur, but ice and snow held us back to reach the peak. We found another rock face that was close to the summit, where we enjoyed the view and tried to hold on against the wind. The rest of our day consisted of many ups and downs through the ridge and over Gordon’s Pyramid to our second hut.

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In our study we talked about wisdom and how we should ask for wisdom to be with us on a daily basis. We also discussed how to manage media usage when we get our phones back – sometimes it is good to think about how much time media takes up in our lives.

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The last day on our walk out of the backcountry, we split up the team to talk about living a pure life by honouring God and marriage. The boys took a slight detour to climb the Lodestone Mountain, which proved to be quite a challenge but it was a good bonding experience on their last hike together.

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Yesterday was our final day as a team, and we headed out around the world and to our normal lives. We hope that we can take all the things we learned and experienced with us and use in our daily lives.

We want to thank you all for your support. It is just awesome to have people all around the world thinking and praying for us and we believe that each single prayer can change our lives.

Prayer requests:

  • For safe travels for all of us as we head back home
  • That we can be shining lights in our countries and in our daily lives

“Go to the people of all the nations and make them my disciples.” Matthew 28:19a

Written by the entire Off The GRID team

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Back Again!

Hello Everyone,

We are back again!  The last two weeks were packed with activities and a lot of spiritual growth.

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First we went on a 3 days hike in Richmond Forest Park, and climbed Dun Mountain, where we saw the sunset. While on the tramp we talked about the Spirit of God and the fruits and gifts that are given to us by Him.  We also had three small accidents while tramping, and praise God that it was nothing serious.

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From there we went to a homestay with Sharon and Dennis Capell. They were very welcoming and serving and we had an awesome time at their house. During this time we learned more about the early church and what the mission of the Church today should look like. We also learned a lot about ourselves and spent time giving each other words of encouragement, which made us grow closer together.

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After these 5 challenging days, we headed off for our road trip around part of the South Island. We went down to Greymouth, then to Christchurch, where we enjoyed our stay another 2 days at a homestay with the McArthurs.

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While on the road we took a few daywalks at different stops and explored a lot of New Zealand’s amazing nature. We are also learning more about what it looks like to be a leader of a group and how we can apply it to our daily lives.

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The last stop on our trip was Hanmer Springs, where we stayed for one night. That night we had the oportunity to swim in a natural hot spring and relax a little bit.

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Now we are back home at Off The GRID basecamp and are preparing to head out for our last tramp that starts today. This is our last week which means that we are starting to think about what we want to change when we get back home.

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We really apreciate all your prayers and support! Yall are such a blessing!

Wuhuu liebi Schwiiz.  

Oisi Ziit da in Neuseeland neigt sich langsam am Endi zue. Mir danked allne wo a ois denkt hend und fuer ois bettet hend (und fuer die fein Schoggi wo d Petra liebevoll mit em ganze Team teilt het<3). Mir versuechet eusi Ziit no voll usznutze demit mer no vill choend leerne und wachse. Mer wend ois nonig z fest ufs heichoo  fokusiere sondern de letschti  Trip mit em Team no gnuesse. Aber mer freued eus natuerlich heizchoo und oisi Erlebniss mit eu z teile.  Ganz liebi gruess und bis bald! Petra&Silas (Switzerland)

Prayer requests:

  • That we all may be filled up with the Holy Spirit and focus on where we want to make a difference when we get home.
  • For safety on our last trip and that we can enjoy the last week as a team.
  • That the things we learned in the last few weeks can be burnt on our hearts and that we can set an example for other followers by what we say and do.

“Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Written by Peyton (USA) and Silas (Switzerland) on behalf of the entire Off The GRID team

A Sign Of Life

Hello Everyone,

It has been over a week since our last post, as we have really been Off The GRID!

First we completed a three day tramp in the Richmond Ranges followed by a four day homestay, where we were challenged and learned a lot about ourselves. Right now we are in the midst of a roadtrip from Nelson to Greymouth on the WestCoast to Christchurch on the EastCoast where we are currently for two nights.

We’re still growing and learning many new things. Thanks for yall’s prayers and support. We’ll be back to basecamp soon and will give you a full update then!

Written by Silas (Switzerland) and Peyton (USA) on behalf of the entire Off The GRID team

High Skies & Low Tides

Hello Everyone,

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The third week of Off The GRID started on a high note when we were the first team to climb Ben Nevis (peak is at 1600 meters). It was our first ascent of a mountain, and we learnt how New Zealand weather can change really quickly, with sunshine and clear views halfway up changed into major cloud coverage (10 meter visiblity) and 70 km/hr gusts at the peak of the mountain.

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In our Bible study we focused on how, with a sense of purpose, we can be disciples to those in the communities around us, to those we meet as we kayak and tramp, and to those in our home cities when we return. We learnt more about the cultures of everyone’s home countries, and started to pray that God may move mountains in them.

On Tuesday we performed a service project by helping the Department of Conservation (DOC) plant trees in protected forest area, and helped weed around other newly planted trees. It was a good opportunity for us to give back to the community.

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We finished going through the Old Testament in our Bible study, and realized that God had laid it out so that one final sacrifice was only needed to forgive all our sins. It amazed us how God had aligned this like the stars in the night sky.

The team headed out on Thursday on a three day kayaking trip in Abel Tasman National Park, which was filled with seal watching, cold sleeps, great conversations with fellow trampers, weka birds stealing food, and many great water fights between the three kayak teams.

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The park was amazing and the nights were clear to see the moon and the stars, just proving to us how big God’s imagination really is. It was a relaxing time for us to reflect and digest the lessons we are learning and figuring our how to apply them to our own lives.

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We ask for continual prayers for our safety as we head out on our second last tramp and a long road trip down to Christchurch.

Other prayer requests are:

  • That we will meet fellow travelers along our paths that we may share our hope in God with.
  • Continual strength in our studies as we get further into them, and further tested to push our selves spirtually.

2 Corinthians 4:18 

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Written by Petra (Switzerland) and Tate (Canada) on behalf of the entire Off The GRID team

Following His Example

Hello Everyone,

The second week of Off The GRID consisted of lots of adventures and experiences while continuing to grow closer together as a team.

We leaned in and learned more about each other this week, and how we can serve one another and those God puts in our lives.  Christ has given us His example in the Bible of how to serve.  We did some practical ‘serving’ at Off The GRID basecamp, pulling weeds and cleaning up the facility.

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To start the week we went on a tramp in Kahurangi National Park and we got to have some experiences in the snow and ice!

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GOPR4325.JPGOur courageous guys took an icy plunge into the mountain tarn near the hut where we stayed for two nights.

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This week in our study time we learned about the covenant God made with His people in the Old Testament and also the importance of having God’s presence in our lives.

When we returned home from our tramp we had to say goodbye to one of our team members, Denise, as she has decided to leave the program due to various different reasons. We will miss her and are sending prayers her way.

Later in the week, we had a special treat for lunch one day as we got to all catch our own fish and have them cooked right there for us to eat!

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We spent this weekend going to Golden Bay and Wharariki Beach where we got to see many seals and explore the beach including some caves and sand dunes.  God’s creation at it’s best!

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The next day we had a bit of rainy weather so we decided to take our team underground to explore and get out of the rain!

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Sunday after church our whole team decided to go Skydiving due to the beautiful weather! This was the first time for four out of the five of us but we all loved it.

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Thank y’all for your prayer support of our team and we ask you to continue praying for us as we grow closer to each other and the Lord. The program is about one third of the way complete and it is starting to become more intense from both a physical and spiritual side.

Prayer request:

  • That we will be able to feel God’s presence and to see Him working through us
  • Continued safety and good weather for the team on our upcoming kayaking trip
  • For our team to be prepared and excited to share our faith with others that we may come across

“As you share your faith with others, I pray that they may come to know all the blessings Christ has given us.” Philemon 1:6 

Written by Peyton (USA) and Rafi (Germany) on behalf of the entire Off The GRID Team

Creating A Foundation

Hello Everyone,

The first week of Off The Grid was a success with all of the team mates learning about everyone’s background and the different cultures we come from.

We spent time organizing our gear, and ensuring that everything was in our backpacks that we would need to survive out in the New Zealand back country for our first tramp.

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Team heading out on first tramp

We focused on creating a strong foundation in our faith, from which to grow from, with learning about creation and seeing the beauty behind God’s imagination, which was seen on the tramp in Nelson Lakes National Park.

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A view of mountains on our 3 hour tramp

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Crossing a small river

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Silas and Tate taking a very cold swim!

While out in our first hut, where we stayed for 2 nights, we were given the chance to really think about why we have been placed by God on the Off The Grid program.

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Personal Bible study in hut

After all of the wonderful things we did and learnt, we were then confronted in our Bible study with the first Sin by Adam and Eve, showing us how easy it is to be tempted by worldly desires. We all have those small or big things in our lives, which stand between us and Jesus.  During our time in New Zealand we got the chance to think about them and make real changes in our lives.

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Making sure we have all our gear as we leave the hut

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Heading back to OTG base camp Thursday

We really had an awesome week full of growing and learning. Yesterday we picked up Denise at the airport and finally we are a complete team now. Also, we are looking forward to the coming week and to see what God is going to do with us.

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Learning how to work as a team on the ‘lava’

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Beautiful walk on coast before picking up our last teammate at the airport

Thank you for all your prayer support over the last week. Please keep praying for us as the program begins to come more challenging physically and spiritually.

Hello dear swiss friends!

Mir hend echt e supper Ziit daa in Neuseeland. Es isch so spannend z gsee us was fuer Hintergruend mir alli choemed und wie ois Gott da ane gfuert het. Ich danke oi allne fuer oii Unterstuezig im Gebett, das isch echt wertvoll fuer ois. Oisi ersti 3 tegig Wanderig hemmer bereits hinter ois und mir sind alli so gspannt, was ois noechscht Wuche erwartet und was Gott fuer ois parat het. Es isch e mega intensivi Ziit und mir alli sind parat, vo Gott z verendertet werde. Ganz liebi Gruess vo de andere Siite vo de Welt. 

Prayer request:

  • Grow together as a team and that we are challeneged by God in our faith.
  • Safety and good weather for the team on their next trip into the mountains.
  • That we will have the opportunities to share our faith with fellow backpackers we meet on the trails and in the huts.

Written by Silas (Switzerland) & Tate (Canada) on behalf of the entire May 2017 Off The GRID team

Welcome Off The GRID May 2017 Team!

Hello Everyone,

Please join us as we welcome this new Off The GRID team that began today.

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Back L to R: Silas (Switzerland), Petra (Switzerland)

Front L to R: Rafael (Germany), Tate (Canada), Peyton (USA)

The face that Petra is holding represents Denise, their teammate who has not arrived yet.

Please pray for this team as they embark on a 40 day journey with each other and the Lord.  More updates to come!

God bless,

The Off The GRID Leadership Team