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Evangelic Expeditions

Utah Base Camp
Dispatches

 

Mission: Utah 2007

Date: Oct. 20-27, 2007. (Eight days – Saturday to Saturday.)

Place: Ogden, Utah.

Team: 10-member maximum.

Cost: $700 for the full week or $100 per day for those not staying the full time. This includes ground transportation (rental vehicle, gas), food (three meals a day), study materials (DVD and manual), lodging, and a financial gift to Utah Partnerships For Christ (UPFC). This does not include airfare or transportation to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Deadlines: The deadline for registration for this trip is Oct. 1. Completed application and deposit must be received by that date. Deposit: $100. Balance due by Oct. 12. To apply e-mail info@ClimbingForChrist.org.

Purpose of mission: We will be staying at the “Big Blue House” – as the home of Utah Partnerships For Christ (www.upfc.org) is known. UPFC missionaries will give an educational class to train our team on understanding the perspective of the people of Utah, and how best to communicate the Gospel of Christ to them. For one week we will interact with the climbing community in and around Ogden, sharing the life-saving Gospel. There is a wealth of climbing near Ogden and our daily schedule will be based on the team that forms and their climbing preferences. Possibilities include bouldering, sport, trad, and hiking. Evening activities include possible visits to climbing gyms and outdoor shops. On non-climbing days we will do street ministry with the UPFC and see the sights. We also plan on doing a service project at one of the local climbing areas. There are opportunities for personal growth in your spiritual walk and sharing. Each team member will be expected to do at least one daily devotional with our team. Our desire also is to meet brothers and sisters in Christ who are climbing in the Ogden area and sign up six new members for Climbing For Christ to jump-start a Utah chapter while we are there.

Tentative itinerary:

  • Saturday, Oct. 20 – Arrive, fellowship, and team meeting.
  • Sunday, Oct. 21 – Worship at Washington Heights Baptist Church. UPFC class in the afternoon. Possible evening worship at Washington Heights’ Café Velocity.
  • Monday, Oct. 22 – Climbing.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 23 – Ministry.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 24 ­– Climbing.
  • Thursday, Oct. 25 – Climbing.
  • Friday, Oct. 26 – Climbing and service project.
  • Saturday, Oct. 27 – Depart.

 

Utah: Diversity in climbing, not religion

By Todd Paris
Director of Evangelic Expeditions

Every time a missionary comes to my church I am always thinking and praying about what if anything God would have me do to help them. When Russ East visited in late 2006 it wasn’t any different. As Russ, who is supported by my church, talked about the new building that his organization, Utah Partnerships for Christ, was buying to use to house ministry teams I was thinking: “Utah? Hmm, there is some excellent climbing there, I think.”

I started to do some research on Utah and specifically the Ogden area, where the Utah Partnerships for Christ's “Big Blue House” is located, I discovered that the area offers an incredible diversity for climbers. David Robb says it best in the introduction to his book Ogden Area Climbing Guide: “There are several types of rock and routes to choose from, mainly quartzite, limestone, gneiss, and the disconcerting sandstone/conglomerate rock of Echo Canyon. There are alpine style rock climbs in the Willard spires, easy access sport routes at 9th street, hard limestone test pieces at Causey Reservoir, long traditional routes on the Macabre Wall, superb bouldering in St. Joe’s boulderfield, and the alluring combination of sport and trad routes overlooking the city on the Schoolroom Wall. There really is something here for everyone.”

The word diversity might be used to describe the climbing in Utah, but not the religious preferences. I also did some research on the religious makeup of Utah as well and I found that the state is considered to be 95 percent “Christian.” Why then would Climbing for Christ want to send a mission team there you ask. Well 75 percent of those that would consider themselves to be “Christians” belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints, also known as Mormons. The Mormon church teaches a works based salvation instead of a salvation of grace through faith. The Mormon hope for salvation is an uncertain hope based on their good works, unlike our confident hope based on the finished work of Jesus on the cross.

Our desire in going to Utah is to be testimony of the love of Christ to everyone that we come in contact with regardless of their religious backgrounds. We'll also check out the excellent climbing opportunities while we're there.

 

The Word

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
— Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)

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