There are a whole lot of things I could say about this past Journey–the spectacular sunrises, the scrumptious meals, the property tour, the pillow fights, and the bald eagles. Yet while these items were fun, they were not the source of the true excitement which we, as a team of 13 young men seeking God with 100% of our hearts, experienced in the Northwoods of Michigan. True joy sprung up from unexpected circumstances as we followed in faith the footsteps of Christ where He personally revealed Himself to us. A few of these encounters I will here attempt to relate.
On the evening of our arrival, temporal joy was simmering as each member anticipated what would ensue over the next few days. Our evening meeting seemed to move languidly along . . . when, unexpectedly, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit one of our team-members shared a personal struggle that shook our whole team into acknowledging the seriousness of reality. God was challenging us not to waste the week ahead of us.
Another event which brought us closer to God and each other, was the evening we left Malachi at the Conference Center. We were returning to our cabin after dinner at the lodge, when we realized Malachi was not with us. Then and there, we purposed never to go anywhere except as a team; so, we stopped, searched, and searched again until we found him. After pretty much the same thing happened with Dillon on another occasion soon after, we made it such a point of reminiscence that it never happened again! We were a team; and we made sure be a team together.
Then there was the early morning kayak venture. Though I was otherwise preoccupied, the reports I heard caused me to marvel at God’s work through nature. A few of the guys got up at 3:00AM to witness a cloudless, moonless, wilderness sky from an unobstructed view at the center of the lake. This event was a life-changing turning point for one member of our team.
I think I can say that God’s presence was most evident during a meeting spent in prayer for each other and for our families. Simply put, what seemed to our senses to be no more than one hour was, in reality, three.
In application of what we learned over the course of the week, our team decided to memorize and quote James 2 together. With 23 verses, we were assigned to memorize two, each person quoting them back to back. I have never seen a group of young men so intent on memorizing Scripture.
I can’t wait to see what God will do with our team now dispersed to our respective areas of ministry. We are still a team. We are knit together, and continue to be through prayer. "Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God . . ." (Romans 15:30).