We just finished our debrief week in Hope, British Columbia, and ended the semester with a few days of fun in Banff. Our debrief week helped us reflect on the experiences that we’ve had over the past few months, and to do so, each of us presented a short testimony to the group about which parts of the semester impacted us the most, as well as some challenges that we have overcome. It was a week full of learning more about each other, seeing how God has been at work throughout the semester, and seeing how we’ve progressed since the beginning of Outtatown. It was so cool for us to be able to look back to how we were impacted individually and as a group, because all of us have grown in so many different ways since September.
In Banff, we had a ski/hot springs day, dinner with our small groups, and a free day to explore the town, hang out with our peer mentoring groups, and relax for a bit before the trip home. On our ski day, we took a gondola up to Sunshine Village where we could then take a chairlift to the top of a mountain. At the peak, we were at over 7 000 feet in altitude! Since we were so high up, and the wind chill was -32⁰ Celsius, we really had to focus on the task at hand. As difficult as it was to ignore the bite of the cold winds and low temperatures, once we learned to do that, it helped us to appreciate God’s creation around us. There were mountains everywhere, and the falling snow made everything sparkle.
During our small group dinner, we had one final chance to check in with each other and share about what we had learned in the past week. In my small group, the way we always start our weekly discussions is by sharing one thing that challenged us, one highlight, and one thing we’re looking forward to. We had a great chat and, after dinner, we reunited with the larger group to go to the hot springs. It was the perfect way to end the day because we all had sore muscles from skiing. It was nice to relax and wind down after a busy week, and we all felt so refreshed afterwards.
After such an eventful and rewarding semester, we all have many stories to share with loved ones at home. As difficult as it was to leave the group, we are all looking forward to catching up with friends and family over the next month as well as preparing for Guatemala.