I was talking recently to a friend who was curious about our experiences with sharing God’s message of Hope while being in the wilderness on one of our Shiloh’s Edge trips. She wanted to know if there was a noticeable contrast to sharing the Gospel surrounded by His creation verses sharing it in someplace like a coffee shop for instance.
I shared with her the story of Mr. Roboto. Perhaps my favorite story about a kid being impacted to the core of his soul by the majestic power of Creation. I’d like to share it with you.
Several years ago, on one of our Rocky Mountain backpacking trips we met a student who was new to our ministry. He had heard about the trip from a friend and was interested in joining our team.
Fast forward to the middle of a challenging 12-day wilderness trip through the heart of the beautifully rugged Wind River Range when this student broke his sunglasses beyond repair. Normally not a huge deal, but on this trip sunglasses were a vital piece of equipment. Even in the middle of summer, the route we had chosen required many miles of snow travel at high altitude. Snow blindness was a very real concern with the intense rays of the sun from above as well as those reflecting up from the surface of the snow under foot.
Taking a piece of duct tape and folding it onto itself, we made a strip of non-sticky silver material. Then we carefully cut two small rectangles from the material, one for each eye. We added some string to keep the contraption attached to his face and off we went. If you’ve ever seen the artic snow goggles traditionally used by the Inuit, then you get the idea we were after. Instead, the pair of MacGyver googles made him resemble a robot. Instantly his name changed to Mr. Roboto. And he genuinely loved it.
As Mr. Roboto and the team crested a high mountain pass a few days later, we took a well-deserved break. Due to the altitude and the strenuous climb there wasn’t much talking. I vividly remember Mr. Roboto staring out over the miles of granite mountains, snow fields and valleys before him. It was there that I saw the power of Creation in a special way. In a quiet voice, I heard Mr. Roboto say these beautiful five words. “There must be a God.”
It wasn’t our evening groups around a campfire or the daily devotions that impacted Mr. Roboto; it was the undeniable power of God’s beautiful handiwork that spoke to him.
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” Isaiah 40:28