Big Bend National Park, TX, 2012

What was the best thing about this winter for you?  What was the biggest challenge?

The best thing about this winter was the camaraderie that happened between my co-workers and myself. Big Bend is FAR away from anything, as most of western Texas is. So I relied on people to get rides from, to show me around the park, and to encourage me throughout the day. Big Bend is not a busy park so there is a lot of down time to go on adventures with others. Challenges I faced were mostly living with creepy crawlies! I had to make sure my room was always clean, no food left on the ground, the windows closed until the lights were out, and just to get over things flying in my face.

What’s your favorite memory from Big Bend?

Before it got too warm, a group of us drove to the desert and spent the night under the stars! It was magical. There was no shelter between us and nature, but it was freeing being surrounded by a beautiful sky and remembering that God created it for us to enjoy. How often I miss the daily and nightly shows He puts on for us! Big Bend is truly a place of solitude and beauty.

How will you apply what God taught you this winter into your life back home?

I need more solitude, without a computer, in my "back home" life. I need to relax and enjoy more sunsets and full moon nights instead of the TV. God really filled my heart with a unique beauty that I hope to carry on with me.

"It was a great challenge and stretching experience to learn how to lead and equip others for ministry, not being over-controlling or non-present. In the seminary context, I hope to talk through some of these learning and challenging experiences with my professors."
– Jonathan, Calvin Theological Seminary 2011

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