This past summer we had the opportunity to take a small group of students from one of our City Life ministries rock climbing at a nearby cliff. Although a few of these students had previously joined us for events at our indoor climbing gym, most of them were experiencing what it was like to climb on an actual rock face for the first time. Thomas was one of those students who was about to try something brand new.
In the year that I’ve known Thomas, I’ve noticed something. He’s willing to try things that might be outside his comfort zone but he probably won’t be the first in line. His confidence is partnered with a desire to find understanding. During this day spent on the cliffs, Thomas watched how his City Life leaders and his fellow peers tackled the challenges. He observed the safety systems which consisted of ropes, harnesses and hardware and how they worked. He listened as others shared advice on climbing past the difficult sections of the rock face.
Finally, the moment came when Thomas was ready to tie into the rope himself and with full support from those on the ground he began to make his way up the cliff.
Thomas has a lot in common with so many students who are living life on the outskirts while looking for understanding and meaning in the world around them. Our City Life staff do an incredible job of sharing Jesus with these students in their patience, authenticity, and relational approach to ministry.
It’s through these types of friendships that we see young people coming to a place of understanding about the Gospel. Through teaching scripture and sharing their own life stories these leaders are inviting those on the fringes into a relationship with Jesus and it’s incredible to see.
As Thomas was nearing the top of the cliff I asked him if I could take his picture to show his mom and he obliged. It was one of the biggest smiles I saw all summer. Great job Thomas!
*Names have been changed