Death Valley National Park, CA, NV, 2007
What surprised you most about this park location?
There was a harsh image in my head detailing a completely inhospitable landscape which was host to scorching heat and little else. However, this was quite the opposite. The Desert's ability to provide shelter and nourishment for both plant and animal life was complex and beautiful. The scenery was something that one would only see in paintings or movies. In fact, the mountains often times did not seem real, but more like a canvas that was draped over the valley floor. The beauty and witness of creation is prevalent in each direction and one could not escape how truly spiritual this place is.
What was one of your favorite experiences?
Early on my time was spent meeting people, swimming, golfing, and exploring the park. I was amazed at how much of a cultural melting pot this little community was. People of every race, culture, continent, and religion all crammed into the tiny ranch. Not to mention the wide variety of tourists who visited during the season. I cannot stress how important it is for the ministry team to get out of their comfort zones and build up friendships.
What encouragement can you give to future team members in this location?
I urge each individual on the ministry team to function in the same way as Furnace Creek—be an oasis. Make time for others; the main responsibility is to always be available. ACMNP is so much more than providing a worship service for those who are passing through. It's a mission field, and there is much work to do!