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Whitewater Rafting and Love that Bears


The below letter was written by our Director of Christian Education & Campus Pastor, Jim Hart, after a joint-campus whitewater rafting trip last week. 

I believe yesterday was easily one of the best days I have had at Crossnore. Leading up to the trip I was not excited, which is crazy, because I get excited about white water. I had all the typical complaints going on in my head. “The water is always cold. You start the trip with a bucket dumped on your head. Or, if you are Mr. Jay, in Yandle, you fall out to the boat at the put in. It’s not really whitewater rafting, it’s more of a float. Given a water gun and free rein, I cannot control myself and any semblance of maturity I have goes out the window. People end up angry with me. Maybe I should stay on campus. There are weeds in the garden, bikes to fix, late emails, budgets…” Excuses!

But, my attitude began to shift just a little when I saw all the kids from Winston step out of their vans, excited for the day. Seeing Mr. Myck and his ever-present smile, Mrs. Yvette and her gentle spirit, and all of the super happy kids from Aldersgate brought me joy. Spending the day in a boat with a few girls from Beverly gave me hope that every boat does not have to be filled with drama. They were awesome!

I am still smiling this morning as I write this, thinking about all the laughter, yelling, crying, and blue lips. If you ever doubt that what you are doing at Crossnore makes a difference or doubt where God is calling you to serve, take some time and go whitewater rafting on an overcast day in 53ish degree water with a bunch of kids with water guns and buckets. Hear their laughter. See their excitement as they conquer their fear and jump off a cliff. Experience their tears because they cannot feel their toes.

It is written in 1 Corinthians 13:7, “Love bears all things, believes all things hopes all things, endures all things.” The Greek translation for “bear” literally means that love is like a roof or cover that keeps things that threaten away. Your love for the kids you serve bears (“stego” in Greek) all things. You are a protective roof over each of them. I pray today that each of you are a strong “stego.”


P.S. If you were accosted by a 250 pound, balding 12-year-old with a water gun yesterday, I am sorry. I kinda feel bad…maybe.

It was just too beautiful not to share. By His power, may you all be a strong “stego” in the lives of those around you today.