Recently, you went on a 48 hour solo camping trip in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. What were your expectations of that time?
I expected a time of fellowship with God and a time to get away from the daily distractions to focus on my relationship with Him.
Did it meet your expectations? Looking back, what did you learn from that experience?
It did meet those expectations. I found it was hard to silence my mind even out there! The wilderness setting helped by getting out of my familiar surroundings. But even there, it was hard for me to focus. This shows me how crucial it is to intentionally get away from distraction in order to focus on the Lord.
I’ve heard you say several times that, originally you were not a fan of the “wilderness”, now you are back for a second year at this “Wilderness Bible College”, what has changed?
Humility plays a huge part in that for me. I’ve been learning that I need to be humble and be who the Lord made me. I can’t really hide who I am here but, I’ve found that I actually enjoy going out and being in God’s creation more than I thought I did. I am often in awe of creation and it is so enjoyable. Also, I now have more of a willingness to try something. When I go into something I think I might not like with a good attitude and an open mind I find I enjoy it more than I thought I would.
What has God used to challenge you most here?
I’ve been challenged most in using my time well; in dividing my time spent between homework, people, and spending time with the Lord. I’ve been learning to be disciplined in spending my time wisely.
As a leader what has God given you as your strengths? And as your weaknesses?
I would say God’s gifted me in encouraging people to keep on going and push through hard things. He’s also grown in me an openness to hear other people’s opinions. I find I am more willing to listen to other people’s input into my life and situations. My weakness as a leader would be to step forward and be a leader that takes responsibility for what is happening and not let that fall on someone else.
What effect has the community life of MWSB had on those strengths & weaknesses?
I’ve had so much opportunity in building relationships with people and encouraging them. In my role as a leader here, I have had the opportunity to listen to other people and value their input. It has helped me to see that other people look at things different than I do and their input is helpful. This community has helped me to take responsibility, to admit that I am wrong and to receive the consequences.
How has this been valuable to you?
I value the opportunities to be able to exercise strengths, to grow in them. In my role as a leader, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. I’ve been growing in how to act as a leader in humility and love, not just dictating leadership but leading within relationships.
What encouragement would you give to someone who is interested in the school but doesn’t necessarily see him or herself as “outdoorsy”?
I would encourage them to recognize areas of self-consciousness or lack of confidence and to not let that hinder their interest. I would encourage them to take their focus off of those insecurities and to look around and just enjoy God’s creation. I would also say to be willing to try hard things. Even if they are hard, you can look back at all the fun memories you built and see how good it was for you try those hard things.