What a week it’s been so far. We arrived in Estes Park, Colorado on Monday to drop Taylor off at Ravencrest Bible School for the year. We spent a few days hiking through the Rocky Mountain National Forest being amazed by the beauty and variety of God’s creation. We hiked a number of trails including reaching the summit of Deer Mountain which was over 10,000 ft above sea level. It was a great time for Beth, Taylor and I to spend together before the big day on Wednesday…drop off day.
We got registered, grabbed his books and then headed up to his room to unpack him and get him situated. He has four other roommates for the year from all over the world. One is a second year student from Canada, one is from Florida, one from France and one from Norway! They’ve got a nice size room to share (and a private bathroom in their room).
We walked around the campus a bit and then lost Taylor as he was shown around by a couple of second year students (there are 7 of them). No surprise to me it took Taylor about five minutes to make friends. Within the first hour he had met just about everyone, knew their names and where they were from and watching him interact with them you would have thought they had known each other all their lives. We met one second year student who shared a bit of his story with us – that he had come last year without really knowing what a relationship with Christ meant and that he year totally changed his life and his relationship with Christ. So encouraging to hear.
We found Taylor and he showed us around a bit more of the campus – including an incredible view from balcony of the library that was truly breathtaking.
Beth and I attended the parent’s meeting where Matt and Laura (the dean of men and women) shared what God has placed on their hearts for the upcoming year. The goals Matt has for these guys is so in line with our prayers for Taylor that it can only be a God thing. We were fighting back tears at times as we heard them sharing.
This was followed by a delicious (and healthy dairy free, gluten free, nut free) dinner. We were able to get this picture taken in front of the water feature outside of the dining hall which I think will be one of my favorite pictures.
We then went into their classroom for a fellowship time of worship, introductions of staff and students and a devotional my the school president, Frank Cirone. Hearing him speak was just that much more confirmation that Taylor was right where God wanted him. Frank spoke on Mark 3:13-14:
“And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach”
??Mark? ?3:13-14? ?ESV
He is any engaging speaker that grabbed your attention, he used Lord of the Rings references which I’m sure Taylor loved and he was preachi g out of the word. ??His main three points from the passage were we are to come to the one who knows us, grow with the one who loves us and follow the one who leads us. He challenged the students to let go of anything they may be still holding onto as they entered this year.
We then watched Taylor jump into a game with many of the students and finally realized we had to say our goodbyes to Taylor – very teary goodbyes for Beth and I as we headed back down the mountain. Our last image of him is as we passed him he was standing on the side of the road outside the student center waving and telling us he loved us (More tears just writing this).
God has confirmed in so many ways that this was his plan for Taylor and Beth and I couldn’t feel better about sending him out here. Over and over he gave us confirmations through conversations, teaching and watching him interact with others. The final confirmation for me came at 1:00 this morning. I was woken from a sound sleep and felt like I needed to pray for Taylor. As I was praying I sensed God tell me to read Matthew 25. I had no idea why but I did. Chapter 25 is three things: the parable of the ten virgins, the parable of the talents and the final judgement. Now, why I felt like I had to read these I didn’t understand but then I felt God saying each one makes a point: the first: that He has Taylor in a place where he will be preparing him, second that our investment in this year will come back with so much more, and third because of this year Taylor will have an opportunity its to know The Lord deeper and to serve the Lord richer and when the final judgement comes that Taylor will be with the sheep.
We love you Tayman.