Hello once again, friends and family! We’ve been enjoying our Outtatown life to the fullest in British Colombia, and I’m so excited to share about it with all of you!
After a very scenic drive through mountains and valleys, we arrived at Camp Squeah, near Hope, British Colombia. Despite what feels like ever-present rain, we are all filled with awe at the mountains and magnificent trees around us! A highlight of the week was joining with the South Africa site for sessions concerning relationships, led by Emily and Kevin. They are incredible speakers and very insightful, and asked us questions that made us deeply think and dig into our own values and beliefs. On one of our days with them, they invited us to anonymously submit any questions we may have concerning relationships, God, or life in general. After laughing at a few of the goofier questions, they dove into the tricky ones, and answered them with wisdom and grace. Kevin and Emily taught us the value in having healthy relationships, platonic and romantic alike, and also the value of being single or unmarried.
Another highlight this week was that we participated in different church visits in Vancouver, where we attended services of a variety of denominations and beliefs. It was really eye-opening and incredible to have an opportunity to see how many different ways people worship God. It also allowed us to take into consideration and discuss what we want to get out of a church experience, and what values are important to us. Our guide, J, taught us that there are three different categories most churches will fall under based on what their primary focus is: body, herald, and temple. A ‘body’ church may make community a priority, while a ‘herald’ church may place outreach as its primary goal. A ‘temple’ church may focus on creating a beautiful temple to worship the Lord in. It was super interesting to learn from him and discuss how we see the church, and what values are important to each of us.
On Wednesday we went caving together a little ways outside of Hope! Gearing up in jumpsuits, headlamps, and helmets, we felt many emotions rush through us; giddy excitement, yet fear of the unknown as we took in the dark cave entrances and imagined the rock that would soon be all around us. We were split into small groups of three or four, and told to head into the caves, one group at a time. Many of us were facing anxiety as we crawled into the gloom, but as we pressed on through the caverns, all of us felt our courage grow. It wasn’t long until we were singing our way through the caves, the sound of our songs flooding the caverns, and us, with joy. There were some points where the walls of rock pressed in so tightly on every side that we had to crawl forward on our stomachs, but together we helped everybody make it through. We encouraged one another and guided each other down the right path, uplifting one another and belting out tunes. Many of us conquered fears, and as we emerged back into the daylight above-ground, many hugs were shared and proud smiles exchanged.
We finished off this incredible week by bungee jumping at Whistler Bungee! As we walked onto the bridge over the canyon we’d soon be jumping into, we were once again filled with fear. With encouraging cries of “you can do it” and “you’ve got this,” one by one we were coaxed to the edge of the bridge to take the leap into the gorge. Terror, yet complete exhilaration, pulsed through our hearts as we took turns flinging ourselves into the canyon and flying over the river below. A few of us had to nearly be pushed off the platform (myself included!) due to hesitation, but as we soared through the air, a lot of the fear left us. It was the initial jump that was the most terrifying part for many of us, and choosing to take that first step off of the sturdiness of the bridge. We really bonded as a community over this experience through uplifting and pushing each other on through our fears. It was awesome to see someone who was so terrified initially, returning after their jump full of pride and beaming with excitement at what they had accomplished. We definitely pushed ourselves and conquered our fears that day. It was an experience that none of us will ever forget!
This week was incredible and packed full of adventure! We’re thinking and praying for all of you back home. Thank you so much for your prayers and support, and we send all our love your way! We are off to spend next week in Vancouver and continue our explorations in BC!
Thank you for reading! Best wishes,