Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
How can a Grand Canyon River trip help understand how to take pleasure in distresses? You’ll have to read this three part article to find out! In addition, this teaching can also be found in the DVD entitled, Enjoy the Ride.
I’ll never forget what happened a few years ago while floating down the Colorado River. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and hopefully will encourage you as it did me. I’ve been blessed to be able to lead trips down the Grand Canyon. I pray that you’ll be able to join me on one of these trips in the future because it is one of the top five classrooms on the planet!
Depending on the trip we can usually take up to 24 people down the river with us. With that many people we need to take two boats. Two boats means we need two leaders, or boatmen. Each boatman has an assistant called a swamper. The swamper has one of the most difficult jobs on the river. They are the first one up in the morning and the last one to bed at night — and the time in between is work, and I do mean work! They are long days that leave you very tired when the sun goes down.
Long time friend Tom Vail was one of the boatmen on this trip. Tom has over 25 years of river experience. We’ve traveled together many times, but this trip was very special.
He and his wife Paula are sold-out Christians and love the Lord Jesus Christ. That makes him very unique because there are very few boatmen on the river who are Christians. In fact, Tom didn’t know any others until this trip. But on this trip we were blessed to find out the other boatman, Wes, was also a Christian. Praise God!
Wes had never been on a trip where the Bible was used to give answers about the Grand Canyon. We were able to share with him and he asked great questions. We’ve always used the trip as an opportunity minister to the non-Christian boatmen and swampers. It’s such a unique opportunity because we spend long hours with them and we’re able to break down the stereotypes they may have towards Christians.
So, again, on this trip the two boatmen and one swamper were Christians. That left the last swamper whose name was Lee. Lee was not a believer, but he was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever had the privilege of spending time with. He was also one of the most hardworking young men that I’ve ever met. We truly had a great time together.
[Read the rest of the article at Reasons for Hope.]