Four high school students recently faced that question in a very tangible way. Ekklesia Mountain High's rock climbing course in Moab, UT, offered six days of challenge, not only in learning rock climbing and basic canyoneering skills, but also in the topic of trust.
EMH Director Ben Little shared his insights: “During the rock climbing sessions, the theme of trust was put into real practice when students had to trust the rope and trust their belayers to hold them.”
Like when they rappelled 185 feet into the inside of a stone arch. Or accomplished a multi-pitch climb, higher and longer than they ever thought they could go.
“We had a lot of variety in our climbing,” said Mr. Little. “We ascended desert spires. We descended into deep canyons. Some students were really afraid of heights or other aspects of climbing, and through the week they were able to overcome that. We used rock climbing to discuss real life: what does it mean to let go and trust God with our lives?”
|Micah rappelling into the dome|
The experience was formative for several of the students, who opened up and talked about difficult struggles from their past and the healing God was doing in their lives. And as they discussed the challenges of trusting God, the students and staff were able to pray for each other and support one another as they learned to trust each other more.
Senior Micah Ritschard did the Moab course last year, but this year he conquered new challenges. He was able to “lead climb” for the first time, ascending a route while adding protection to the face of the route, without the advantage of a pre-placed anchor above. “Lead climbing may be one of the craziest things I have done,” Micah said. “I just had to keep moving to not let it get to me.”
|Becca takes a study break. School continues "on the trail" for EMH students|
And it didn’t get to him. By the end of the week, Micah’s skills and confidence had grown so much that he was able to set up climbs for the group—a big accomplishment.
“We talked about ‘reckless abandonment,’” Mr. Little added. “Instead of holding back or trusting only part way, we want to be ‘all in’—really stepping out in faith the way God calls us to live.”
And of course the desert held other challenges besides rock climbing. Just ask Tori Housenecht:
|Marielena and Tori "on the edge"...|
Ekklesia Mountain High (EMH) is a wilderness program of Darren Patterson Christian Academy offered to high school juniors and seniors that integrates approximately 40 days of wilderness adventure and training plus an international mission trip into the school year. For more general information about EMH, please click here.
|And Marielena starting down...|
|And Tori on rappel.|