We're back! What a great, great time PurdueCORPS had in Colorado. We left last Friday evening and arrived Saturday around lunch. After lunch on Saturday we split into teams to accomplish some work projects around the Westminster RP church. Sunday half the students and I stayed in Denver so I could preach at the Westminster church. The most senior took the other half down to Colorado Springs, where he preached for the Springs church. What should have been an hour and a half return drive turned out to be four and change due to inclement weather.
On Monday morning, we started our mini-conference, titled "seeking extraordinary character." For the first time, Pastor Long and I led this. We did four in-depth character studies: we first studied Moses and humility; second, we looked at Nehemiah and leadership. Third, we studied Peter and kingdom-vision. We ended up studying Daniel and faithfulness. We were quite encouraged by the great applications the students got out of the studies; please pray that God would cement these applications into our lives!
Monday afternoon we spent playing with homeschooled students in a nearby gym. It was quite the raucous and fun time. Then after dinner we went ice skating. I think that will be my last ice skating venture for a while. Not only am I pretty bad, but my incredible flat feet cramp up in rebellion whenever I ice skate. I was, however, pleasantly surprised at the skating grace of some of our young ladies (alas, the guys tried but are lacking gracefulness). Tuesday afternoon we went hiking at Eldorado National State Park. It was a great, sunny hike - in five or six inches of fresh snow. So after we changed our socks and shoes, we went to a fun Mexican restaurant.
Wednesday and Thursday were our days of skiing at Winter Park; Wednesday night we stayed at a great and fairly cheap lodge forty minutes down the road. The first morning was great, but the afternoon turned quite wintry and snowy and cold. Though I did feel quite manly with a freshly-caked beard of snow. The second day, however, was quite possibly the most perfect day for skiing ever. It was warm and sunny with fresh snow everywhere. Despite a twisted knee, thrown shoulder, lost snowboard and more spectacular spills than we could count, everyone in the group had a good time. Most impressive were Graeme (our interning Australian) and his father, both of whom outskied us without breaking a sweat.
So we have lots of reasons to give thanks to God - especially for no van troubles (rather amazing if you had seen one of the vans we used). What really made the trip great, though, were the students who went. It's great to see God working in them to love His Word, to love each other, to love serving others, and to love having fun.
Plus, on the way back home, I got to sing Spin Doctor's "Two Princes" at the top of my lungs for the youngsters who hadn't heard it yet.
In the end, a great trip, but it was also great to get home. I missed my family. I think the kids grew while I was gone.
I think most people know, but here's a public announcement of Olivetti baby #3 on the way. He/she should be joining us on the outside sometime this September. God is good!