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Travelling around as we do makes attending a weekly church service a bit of a challenge. Yes, I could just sit in my umbrella chair behind the camper, with Bible in hand, and worship, but it isn’t the same as fellowship with other believers. So one of my first quests after we finish setting up camp is to find a church.

We arrived in Custer State Park late on a Friday afternoon, but first thing on Saturday morning I took my bicycle for a ride down to the small chapel we passed on our way in.

To my excitement, there was a note pinned to the door declaring a service each Sunday morning at nine.

A Christian Ministry in the National Parks (ACMNP) had three teams of young people providing worship opportunities in our park, at three different locations. The one held at the Coolidge Chapel was only 5 minutes from our campsite. Their worship booklet said:

“The ACMNP has been serving in America’s national parks since 1951. ACMNP is an interdenominational ministry that embodies and extends the ministry of Jesus Christ through worship, witness and the development of Christian Leaders.”

We didn’t know what to expect, but we were going to try it out.

And are we ever glad we did. On our first Sunday we were greeted by John, Hannah, Emily and Lily, college students, from across the U.S. and the world (Lily is from China). Emily played the piano, Hannah led the worship and John gave the message. Each week they rotated roles (except for the piano playing, which was probably a good thing)! From the other park outreaches we met Holden, Ashleykate, Kyle, Allie, and a few others whose names I never got.

But…they were just kids.

Or were they?

Because over the next month and a half, these “kids” brought it. They challenged me with scripture, music, and prayer. They shared how God was working on them, and in turn, I walked away looking for how God was going to work on me.

If the sermons had titles, I didn’t get them. But here are the titles I gave them in my notes, along with some of the lessons God used to keep me from being Weary by Wednesday:

Happy is Fleeting, but Joy is Fulfilling (and it sticks around): Lamentations 3:32-33. God never lashes out, but God will solve all injustice.

Your Tongue is Your Future: James 1:19-26. Never run after the devil with your mouth shut…you should be praying.

Faith in His Word: John 11:40. Did I not tell you that if you believed, you will see the Glory of God? Are you believing?

Why are you Angry?: Genesis 4:6-7. Sin is crouching at the door. The motivation of sin is to have you.

The Blood of Jesus: John 19:31-37. Sometimes we forget the God we serve is a table flipping God. Remember everything Jesus did for you.

What are We Truly Thankful for?: Luke 17:11-19. Why are so many filled with discontent? All the lepers had faith of some sort, and all did believe that Jesus could heal them. He was not only a leper, but a Samaritan, and only he went back. Why so ungrateful? Affluence and access to so much, as well as a feeling of more-ness. What’s truly important is who we chose to invest in. Gratitude shapes our hearts.

What is the Purpose of Being a Christian and Loving God?: John 13:33-35. People know when you are loving them with other motives. John 14:1-4. Love makes room for people, even when you don’t have anything left. Andrew brought Peter to Jesus. Jesus speaks identity into Peter’s life. If our love doesn’t make them confident we aren’t loving well. Love moves people to action.

They covered a lot of ground. They worked hard to be here (each having to work another job within the park this summer in addition to meeting, planning, and preparing for the worship services they led). They loved openly.

No, they were not just kids. They were a blessing to me this summer and a fine example of living their Christian faith with a job well done.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV)

Thank you doesn’t seem to cover it, but each of you made this summer an awesome experience. Love you!

(Pics are missing John…whoever’s wedding you went to, I hope they were happy, lol!)

Thanks for sharing your Wednesday with me. Wherever you find yourself this weekend, I hope you will find a place to worship and fellowship!