The OC is a huge course thing; You have to run the whole entire thing. First was Elijah's Chariot, we had to get on this bus sit in the seats and do our count off. If we didn’t do it fast enough we’d have to run around Mount Sinai another time. Mount Sinai is this huuuuge mountain of tires and you have to run around it twice, I think... or more. Then you climb over it… after that we run to the slough. I fell in it every single day. We had to do other stuff too. Boot camp felt extra long because we had the missions conference before bootcamp even started, so bootcamp was basically nearly 3weeks long. The owner, Bob Bland is… an interesting guy. He often said, “When I was a Child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child, When I became a man, I put Childish ways behind me”. The speakers were really interesting. When commissioning finally came I got to stay there until Monday. The day after commissioning, we basically did nothing. We sat around and ate each other’s junk food.
At the airport I turned all of my money into Euros so I didn’t have any money to spend on food at the Airport. I wanted to have a lot of Euros to spend because I knew that Italy was going to be a great place to shop. So, I got to watch people eat their fancy food (Chik-fil-a and Ice cream). We got on the airplane around 8ish. This was a German airline called Lunesta or something. I highly recommend this airline if you decide you’d like to go to Europe. Anyways, it was pretty great. They gave us food at 10pm at night, several drinks… and they gave us pillows and a blanket and… the flight attendant guy was attractive and German. We finally got into Torino, Italy. We stayed in my Leader’s apartment then the next day we went on a train.
We went out and evangelized with them for the week that we were there with them. We basically did presentations. In the presentations we sang songs and did dramas.
One time, we decided to stay for lunch and had it at a park. They made us an amazing lunch and even provided soda.
After that week was over, we took a train and a few buses to the alps. Our trains came in late, so we missed one of the trains and that would cause us to take a lateish bus. This normally wouldn’t be a problem, except we had to walk the last 5 miles. We didn’t get in until past 11pm. We prayed that the bus driver would take us the last 5 miles, but he didn’t. Our leader said that he knew that God wouldn’t answer our prayer. He then told us this scripture where God said that he wouldn’t listen to our prayers if we were living in sin. He then told us that he knows that people on the team have been breaking the rules. So, he was basically telling us that we were living in sin and that God didn’t answer our prayer. I personally think that God wanted us to hike the 5 miles so we’d be more prepared for the actual hike. Oh, another thing that we were told was that things like illnesses, depression, anxiety and stuff like that is a “Spiritual illness”… caused by you sinning. They aren’t supposed to tell us their personal beliefs like that. They believe in praying it away instead of taking meds for it. Hmmmm, actually made me question my salvation.
The hike was very difficult. It was way harder than I thought it would be. Going up the mountains was the worst part of it. Also, we had to actually scale the side of a mountain. It was really dangerous and I was slightly afraid. When we finally got to the top of the mountain, our leader told us that we went the wrong way. I was really annoyed because we did all of that for nothing. We did climb a few mountains. It was worth it in the end because the view is really pretty. It got really cold at night when we were in high elevation, some nights it even got really windy. This is sort of embarrassing, but we only hiked for 4 days because we were too slow. We didn’t even walk to a campground (not counting the 5 miles). We took buses instead. I was actually happy about this. I mean, my feet and knees were wrecked. It sort of felt like our leaders were blaming us for this, we tried our best and we had more time for evangelism.
We got to camp out in pretty valleys on the mountains, there were flowers everywhere. There were also bunkers from WW2. It was really cool because we camped out near some of them.
Our leaders bought us pizza, twice.
Europeans have no shame I mean at these parks, there were saggy old men in speedos. It was pretty scary and what has been seen can’t ever be unseen.
The sight seeing in Venice was really cool. I liked all the architecture. It was fun buying stuff, too. I went to this one store, and the lady who was checking me out went to the “back” of the store and got 4 shirts. She stuffed them in my bag and said “gift”. Also, there are a lot of Asians in Venice… strange.
I went to a lot of masks stores and one person even allowed us to try them on and take pictures. It was cool…
I went on this trip because it was an evangelistic mission trip. However, I ended up being disappointed. We did a few presentations where some people laughed at us and video taped us. We also handed out pamphlets. Some highlights were when we got some children to dance with us in a park and one time an older gentleman joined in one of our songs and did the hand motions with us. Most of the time people did not want our pamphlets but in one location they reached out their hands for them, that was nice. I do pray that somewhere along the way we touched someone and led them to Jesus.