Back to Bald Mountain
For the fourth year, Climbing For Christ partnered with Heritage Christians Services so that some of our friends — not to mention brothers and sisters in Christ — can enjoy God's creation.
Here's the report from C4C member and Heritage staff member Diane Sturmer on the annual Bald Mountain Climb, held Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 in Old Forge, NY, where the relationship between Climbing For Christ and Heritage began:
We had an incredible time on the Adirondack Adventure retreat! We prepared for the hike with a warm-up hike on Monday on Cresent Trail off of Big Moose Road, returned to Heritage Hollow for a warm feast of pasta and meatballs (thank you, Janet, for getting us ready for Tuesday), devotions led by Larry on the Armor of God, and a time to prepare both spiritually and physically.
We made trail mix, prepared our backpacks and were joined by two of our friends from Climbing for Christ, Bob Stanchus and Mark Eiwen from Rochester.
The morning began with Carol waking up and saying, "It is my birthday" at about 4 a.m. We headed to the trailhead at Bald Mountain and began our adventure with a prayer and group picture! Mickey from Lapham Apartments signed us all in on the trail book and we began a journey up the mountain. We hiked for a while and then discovered many of the rocks very wet from a recent storm. One of the prayers we had quietly prayed was for wisdom and we decided as a group that the way was too slippery to continue, so we came back down the mountain.
Bob from Climbing for Christ continued Larry's devotion from the night before and used his hiking equipment to talk about putting on the Armor of God. Anne from Scribner assisted.
He talked about being prepared from our hiking boots to our hats to conquer the battles set before us. It was just what we needed as we headed to Rocky Mountain. Chris Brown signed us in the trail book and then we were off again to conquer the mountain.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." — Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
We met hikers along the way, enjoyed lunch in the woods, and finally we were at the top! It was beautiful. We could see fall colors everywhere and the Chain O' Lakes below. And, as promised, we celebrated Carol's birthday. We called Heritage president Bob Pieters to share our fun with him and then Carol's folks. Carol's mom and dad sang "Happy Birthday" with us and then we said a prayer for our friend Sue St. John.
We met a couple who were celebrating 30 years together. They asked us to pray for his mom, who was in a nursing home nearby, so everyone gathered and the HCS hikers prayed for her. We enjoyed hearing their story and they enjoyed meeting everyone. Tracey, from Scribner said, that she had hiked two mountains in one day!
At the bottom of the mountain, we gathered to thank God for the beautiful day, safety and continued a tradition that started back on our first hike with Climbing for Christ. We all put out boots together in a circle for a photo. We had enjoyed the great outdoors for almost 5 hours. We said good-bye to our kind friends Mark and Bob (they headed to Rochester), and we headed back to Heritage Hollow for a wee bit of a rest and then we were off to Inlet and Old Forge for some shopping and a celebration meal!
So grateful for all the support and prayers that made this time so amazing! Thankful for Janet, Raynae and Bob Pieters' vision to have a place where we could enjoy this beauty, relax and take on a challenge, too! And, thankful to God for the wonderful time in His creation and the friendships along the way!
Here's the report on the third outing, a National Trails Day hike on June 2 at Northampton Park in Ogden provided by C4C member and Heritage staffer Diane Sturmer:
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV)
It was a beautiful day! We hiked for more than an hour through the woods on trails that brought us to rabbits, monarch butterflies and the beauty of Springdale farm. We hiked around some wet areas from Friday’s rain and climbed some challenging hills. We all enjoyed each other’s company along the way. Afterward, we returned to Rodwell Lodge for a time of music and devotions. Climbing For Christ member Bob Stanchus shared Scriptures with us and people shared about what they meant to each of us.
When we talked about the verse “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me” from Philippians 4:13 we shared about the hills that we had just tackled, but we also talked about the challenges we have each day. The invisible mountains of loving people who may not always be kind to us and reaching goals that we want to accomplish. Many shared prayers for family members that needed encouragement with their health, loss of a loved one and more.
Bob, Gary and Elaine Fallesen, Brittany and Alison Fiore from Pine Hill, and I were honored to finish our morning with a time of singing. A special thank you to Joe Starling, Pat Sturmer and Jenny Hart for sharing your gifts of music with all of us before and after the hike. Jenny was quite the drummer!
Here's the report on the second outing (an Easter Saturday hike on April 7 at Mendon Ponds Park) provided by C4C member and Heritage staffer Diane Sturmer:
A small crew enjoyed a wonderful time hiking around Birdsong Trail. Andy Davies helped from start to finish. We shopped for supplies, set up and placed a thankful box out for people to share what they were grateful for. Andy welcomed fellow hikers, opened with prayer and led the group out on the trails.
The chickadees landed on our hands. We listened to the sounds of the woods — birds chirping and the wind blowing through the trees. We also enjoyed getting to know one another as we shared this special time. We saw deer running through the woods and sometimes we just enjoyed the quiet. It was a time of refreshment for all.
When we returned to the Nature Center, we gathered to share songs that celebrated Easter with Pat Sturmer and Jordan Rowley.
Jordan shared about Climbing For Christ's recent trip to Haiti. We were so excited to hear about the new medical tent that was recently purchased by Climbing for Christ, opportunities to share God’s love in the mountains with the people of Haiti, and God’s faithfulness during some of the challenges along the way.
Mike Raha shared from Psalm 136 about giving thanks because His love endures forever. Many others shared what they were grateful for.
Thank you (left to right in photo taken by Jordan Rowley) Pat and Diane Sturmer, Mike and Linda Raha, Andy Davies, Jane and David Sturmer, and Lida Merrill for a very special time out on the trails. Happy Easter!
Here's the report on the first outing (snowshoeing on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Mendon Ponds Park) by Diane Sturmer:
We had a wonderful morning on Birdsong Trail. There were about 25 of us from HCS (staff and individuals), Climbing For Christ, and the Rochester area enjoying the snowfall that came in early Saturday. We were all grateful to God for His answer to our prayers for snow! We headed out to the trails and enjoyed feeding the chickadees, squirrels, cardinals, and all the beauty. Janice Johns opened us up with a prayer of gratefulness. She said she was so thankful she could walk again. Later, we returned to the Nature Center for chili, a time of devotion with C4C staff member Jordan Rowley about what compassion means and what it is like to travel to other parts of the world with Climbing For Christ. Alicia Lenahan presented a card to Jordan from all of us to encourage him.
Next, we had a time of singing with Jordan, Joe Starling, Patrick Sturmer and Jake (who played drums) from Stone Road. Others that joined us with musical instruments were Alicia Lenahan, Mike Lehning, Andy Osborn, Lynn Byron, Mary Beth Ferguson, Mike Cavanaugh. Staff Geneva Cochran, Genny Torres, Andrew Cotter, Jaime McNamara, and Stephanie Wagner. All were great at helping out to make it a nice time. The Kimble family and Bob Stanchus from Climbing For Christ were great company and a joy to have with us. We also met many people on the trail.
Many thanks to Mendon Pond Day Hab for preparing birdseed for us and snowshoes loaned from Mendon Ponds, Drew and Jennison, and the guys from Fairport Road. Thank you! Big thanks to Larry Havlen for helping with set up and out on the trails, Joe Starling for set up, music and photography, Pat Sturmer for coming out with drums and camera, and Jordan for sharing his heart and music. The Kimbles going the extra mile to help us through the trails and during clean-up time and also to Bob for all his help out on the trails and back at the Nature Center.
So grateful for a great team today!
We give Him thanks for another wonderful year of a divinely orchestrated partnership and look forward to our fifth year together in 2013. Watch for the 2013 hike schedule!