What began as a men's retreat became a youth retreat, as Tim Norton (serving in Navajo, NM) and Rick McCafferty (serving in Anchorage, AK) hiked beneath the Navajo people's sacred Hesperus Peak, just outside Durango, Colorado.
"We expected men to come on this retreat, but just like everything in Native Ministry, you have to be flexible. Instead, we had four boys, aging from 10-17, one man, and Rick and I" explained Tim. "It wasn't what we planned for, but God used it to His glory and great connections were made. We had some great conversations with the youth and their dad! It was a mountain-top experience in every way!"
Between hiking, devotions, and candid conversations, these seven men experienced God in the beauty of their surroundings and in the inner workings of their hearts.
"Each night, the boys took turns sharing their thoughts on the day and what they had learned. Pretty basic stuff," Rick said. "But there were times when one of them would open up a little more. Three of the boys, all brothers, had experienced some hard times in the past few months when their sister attempted suicide. They really wanted to know how to help her and be there for their family. There was a true desire to learn more. It was great to be able to talk them through it and lead them to God's Word."
"The boys really connected to the devotions around the campfire each night," Tim recalled. "We told the stories of David and Daniel, but as teenagers: how they dedicated their lives to God, meditated on God's Word, and had faithful and reliable mentors to help guide them, but also how they had "giants" to face, just like they do - all important lessons for Native teen boys. Their dad, who joined us, really enjoyed it, as well. This trip emboldened him, and he was excited to get back and get more people to church!"
"Everyone really enjoyed themselves," Rick added. "And they all asked to do it again next year, so we're putting it on the calendar. This is just the beginning!"