I wish there was an easy way to sum up what Boulder was like in a word or two, but when you visit a city that is less than 5% Christian and see the true power of God in the midst of the darkness, that’s pretty hard to do. That’s what last week was. Boulder, Colorado was a reflection of the darkness of the world and the true power of God in the midst of it.
Because we did not write on what happened on Thursday of the trip, I’ll recap a little bit. Thursday morning, we spent some more time with the family that we were staying with. That family, the Shipman family, truly reflects the call to follow God. They felt the call to Boulder last summer, and after flying to Boulder and looking into their calling, they packed up, left their home in Arkansas (where they had been workers at Camp War Eagle), and moved to Boulder . When they moved, they were fully aware that they would have to look for work and find a home, but God’s calling was more important to them. God provided a free home for 6 months as Kolby, the father, has searched for a job. Their devotion to the gospel and God’s calling in their life was very eye opening and exciting.
We took the opportunity that day to go climbing as well. We split up, intending to move at different paces. Reaching the top of the mountain was an incredible experience, and as I opened up my Bible at the top, I read Psalm 97. It is an incredible description of God’s power, describing mountains that “melt like wax before the Lord.” I was overcome by how incredible God truly is, and as I stared at Boulder, I realized even more how much the city needed him, how much everybody needs him. We serve an awesome God, and the world needs to know His name.
After a time of reflection as a group, we again split up for the night to attend different meetings. While Brittany took the opportunity to spend a little more time with her friends in Denver, and as Steve and Emalie went to a gathering called “Theology on Tap” (a open discussion hosted by The Well), I went to see a Christian ministry on campus called the Navigators. I’m actually a part of the Navigators here at the University of Arkansas, and I was excited to see what God had in store for the night. God was certainly at work there, too. The group is one of a small handful of Christian ministries at the University of Colorado, and there were 40-50 people there. The people sitting directly in front of me were, believe it or not, also from the U of A, visiting a friend in Boulder. Additionally, the Navigators were planning to go to Haiti after we returned to Arkansas, and I smiled as I realized the ties that God had created between our group and theirs. The study that night was on Philippians 3:2-11, and I saw that God was truly at work in this ministry, calling them to follow God and seek the joy that only He can offer.
I think that one of the biggest things (but certainly not the only thing) that I saw clearly in Boulder was the power of prayer. As we confronted a number of people that were stiff to the gospel, it became clear to me that there was nothing that I could do to “make” these people know Christ. It forced me to really put matters into God’s hands because only He can soften their hearts. As I saw the Buddhist University (Naropa), I was again faced with the truth that I could do nothing to change what it was and is, a university full of people that do not know Christ. Only God can move that place of darkness out of Boulder.
I tend to make prayer something less than it is. I seem to pray before eating, before going to bed, during Bible study, and in times when I am accustomed to praying, but 1 Thessalonians 5:17 calls us to “Pray without ceasing,” something I have neglected to do. In light of how God protected us in Boulder and directed our conversations and gatherings, it is clearer to me now more than ever that prayer is a powerful tool that we should not neglect to use. In staying in constant contact with God, we know that we can better serve him and his purposes, and we will find joy in doing so. God is calling me to serve when I can help and to pray even when I cannot, and I am ready to accept that calling.
Thank you again for all of your support and prayers. They have truly been felt here in Boulder.
Written by Adam Yawn