All eight of us sat around the kitchen table yesterday at basecamp contemplating what the past six weeks have brought us. Today we finished our 40 day Off The GRID programme, and we have a lot to tell you!
Before we get into that here’s what we did in Week 6:
We enjoyed our last Sunday at Hope Community Church and on the way home picked up two hitch-hikers who we had over for lunch. In the beginning, although we didn’t know them, we were able to have a wonderful dialogue about food, travels and faith. Please be praying that seeds were planted and that God continues to place believers in their paths that make them ponder who He is and His affect on their lives.
Although we weren’t able to start our final tramp on Sunday afternoon as planned due to weather, on Monday morning we headed off into the rain and into Kahurangi National Park. Fun fact – Kahurangi has very large, carnivorous snails! That evening, the rain turned over to snow and Michelle saw snow for the first time! In the morning, we woke up with snow on the ground, the Weka birds shrieking and the feeling of Christmas morning. Then obvious next step was to sled down the hill.
Next, we tossed around in the snow at the top of Gordon’s Pyramid! The snow at the hut was beautiful, but the snow at the top of the mountain was even more so. Looking and praying over New Zealand, we were able to praise God for his awesome creativity as well as pray into the 60% of people in region that claim to be non-religious. We want to challenge you to pray for the people in your area each time you experience God’s wonderful creation. We were then able to bask in the pure joy of childishness while diving into deep, fluffy snow and rolling down the hill.
Can you spot the team on the side of Gordon’s Pyramid below? You might need to zoom in on the snowy area!
The next day we marched into the icy mud for our last day in the bush as a team. While hiking out, Norm and two of the guys sumitted the Lodestone and met us at Shadowfax (the van). The weather was beautiful and so were the traditional post-tramp tacos.
Looking back on the past six weeks, we have learnt so much, been challenged by God on many occasions, and built unique friendships. Here is a little summary from each one of us on what that entails:
The past six weeks have been filled with adventure, challenges, and fun! God has been teaching much about who I am, and who He says I am. Thank you for your prayers and support! – Aaron (USA)
When you surrender yourself to God, God will change your life through ways you can never imagine! Thank you all for your prayers and I know God will continue to work through our lives! – Michelle (Hong Kong)
You guys! Thank you so much for your prayers. I am so thankful for my time here. I had the opportunity to ask all the questions I had and build meaningful friendships. God exchanged doubt with curiosity, showed me that there is so much to discover and how great His plans are for each one of us – all of that in one of the prettiest countries ever! – Anna (Switzerland)
What an amazing experience this was! To live together as a team, building friendships and having lots of fun together. The most important thing, I learnt a lot about God and His plans. And I put my trust in Him for the next season! – Hilline (The Netherlands)
Hi ! This forty days are indescriptable for me : it was a step of faith for me to quit my job and go to the other side of the world with people that I don’t know at all… but at the end, it was really good. Be sure that you can find friends in any country around the world and if you’re somewhere where God wants you… you just can enjoy it! So far from home but so close to God! – Sylvain (France)
In the past six weeks, I’ve learned so much, from Norm and Christy, from nature and most importantly from God. What He’s been doing in my life, in these past six weeks, is incredible, and I know that it’s not gonna stop here. So thank you for your prayers! – Frida (Denmark)
Wow! Who knew that six weeks could turn a city girl like me into someone who loves the outdoors? I have had the opportunity to thrive these past 40 days, building heartfelt friendships with my teammates and learning more about who God is and how he has and will revolutionize who I am and how I can show more of him through myself. – Micah (Canada/Malaysia)
Is tramping in the countryside of New Zealand through nature amazing or is it amazing?! Its Wow! Now I have some great Memories to take home. But what is much more important: God changed the way I am, how I live and how I refer to myself. Thanks to all the people who prayed for us! – Jonathan (Switzerland)
Thank you for praying for us!
Written by the entire Off The GRID 02/2018 Team