Teenagers who scale mountains, wake up at 5 a.m. on their own accord, cook and clean their own meals, research the mysterious of God, can it really be real? Well our superstar Seekers showed that given the tools and the opportunities, they truly can excel. Come read how in our 2016 Awakening Trip Recap.
How else could we possibly title our trip to New Zealand, the land of Misty Mountains, hobbits and dragons?? It was indeed the trip to rule all trips, complete with Lord of the Rings sword "fights" and death-defying leaps off of bridges! Our first overseas Veritas trip was one for the books, and none of us will forget our adventures, even to our eleventy-first birthdays! Rather than drone on about how great this trip was, I am going to move aside and let the Seekers do the talking. After all, they are the very reason we made this trek, and it was their adventure foremost (but make no mistake, the four adults enjoyed the adventures [and the food ;)], too!). Click on the links below to read each Seeker's account:
Conner- "Through all of this God-like adventure, we learn a great lesson. What are the parts of life we are called to fill. The difference between a man and a boy who knows how to shave is doing and talking in every part of life whether in a relationship or in work or in his life with God. God calls us to do amazing things. Will we listen to him or pretend to?..."
Tessa- " I’ll always remember what Cassie told me: “perfect love casts out all fear.” I didn’t understand it; Perfect love? What am I supposed to love perfectly? I realized it wasn’t a question of what I am supposed to love perfectly but of who I am supposed to love perfectly. The answer to that was kind of obvious. That simple verse stuck with me throughout the whole experience. Every time I doubted myself, I wondered what exactly it was I had been nervous about and then disregarded it because I knew that if I gave my complete trust and faith in God, I virtually had nothing to worry about..."
Erik- "Our group traveled to Milford Sound where we explored New Zealand’s fjords by boat. My favorite sight on the tour was when we saw the streams of water falling down the mountain sides. Since the mountains were partly covered by clouds, it appeared like the water was flowing down from heaven. It was simply awe inspiring and almost looked unreal, like a scene from a sci-fi movie..."
Ariel- " Don’t get too greedy. Whilst playing the card game “Greed,” it seems like getting greedy and taking too many risks does not actually pay off. So, be sure to not be super greedy..."
Jathan- "On my latest adventure across the world I learned a cool concept called Imago Dei. Imago Dei is the Latin term for the “image of God” and we were all created in God’s image. And knowing this I have to recognize that every human being carries the image of God, no exceptions. Whether it is my mother or a murderer they we both created equally and should be loved the same..."
Grant's blurb: As you read, the seekers all had various experiences, trials, and lessons learned: from the deep to the surface, from fear to exhilaration, and we hope you enjoyed sharing in them. We are so proud of all the dedication and work the Seekers have put forward in the program, be it their first year or third. We have seen them come so far in their leadership both in the program and in their community. If any group of young adults put forth the effort and earned this trip, it is these five. We had an amazing time digging deeper into who we are as women and men created by God to play unique roles in every aspect of our lives. Thank you to all those who helped make this trip possible and to the Seeker's continued application of Veritas' mission and vision in their lives. I know they will share all they have gained spiritually, physically, and nutritionally with those in and around their sphere of influence for years to come. May the Lord bless you all, keep you, and thank you for making this breathtaking trip a reality! Please feel free peruse our photos below and to check out our Facebook page for additional photos on the trip in the near future.
Awakenings accomplished: Without getting too wordy, per my usual, and trying to let the seekers speak for us all, I shall briefly tell you of our successful Awakening trip. From food to fun, pain to elation, questioning to more questioning answers, anxiety to deep contentment, I believe all who experienced this 2014 Awakening trip would agree that we could not have asked for more or better. All of the challenges this trip provided were faced and dealt with expertly, from our oldest veterans to our newest greenhorn; and we as staff and volunteers could not be more proud or overjoyed at the progress, and growth, by all (even ourselves!). This being said, I will leave the majority of the trips explanations up to our Seekers (who led most of the trip anyway); so, if you would like a more enriching engrossment of the Veritas experience, here are a few one liners to whet your appetite, followed by links to our Seekers' perspectives:
All healthy, gluten free, dairy free food: Check.
Explore new areas of town and Carson National forest: Check.
Brave gusty gales of freezing wind: Check.
Discover that the soul is vast, yearning, connected, and full of life long questions: Check.
Hear how Christ brings it all together for our full joy in life: Check.
Conner's perspective: 'Familiar yet New'
Ariel's perspective: 'Always more around the next corner'
Tessa's perspective: wrote a piece on her's and Ariel's website, 'New Mexico, New Me'.
This trip will be a completely new experience for our Seekers. We have the knowledge, we have the skill, and we have planned and ironed out the logistics as best we can; however, brand new state, brand new environments, and brand new trails...well... this is going to be interesting, exponentially more challenging, and way more exhilarating to accomplish. The massive peaks of Shasta National Forest, high altitude alpine lakes, and towering trees of the redwood forests await over a grueling six day journey that culminates in the various views and novel attractions of San Fransisco. Actually, need I say more? Here is to August 5th, and let the forging begin!
Forge: defs. by dictionary.com
to form or make, especially by concentrated effort; to move ahead slowly; progress steadily; to move ahead with increased speed and effectiveness.