Monday, April 22, 2013

Trek Prep Devotional - Jim Perez

I just want to reiterate what was mentioned last night.  The Youth's Trek experience rests entirely on the shoulders of their Ma & Pa.  When I was a "Pa" eight years ago, I was probably more nervous about that calling than any other.  I recognized that I, along with my wife, had to invite and keep the Spirit with our new family.  There were a lot of prayers sent upwards over this solemn responsibility. I also did a lot of "homework".  This series of devotional thoughts is a great idea.  I also found the following book very helpful to give me some stories to share with the youth

{ I have a copy if anyone wants to borrow it}

also [haven't crawled all through this site though]

One of the members of the Willie Handcart company said in his journal, "No person can describe it, nor could it be comprehended or understood by any human being in this life, but those who were called to pass through it".  So, for you to have a true understanding of what it must have been like, it helps to read about the handcart pioneers.  We aren't trying to recreate the pioneer experience, but I believe that it helps to know some true stories, that you can share.  I think it is important for them to realize what a sacrifice it was for the true handcart pioneers.

One summer I took my family on a summer vacation, and as part of the trip, we followed the Mormon trail from Chimney Rock, Nebraska into SLC in one looong day.  We stopped at monuments along the way, and forts, until the LDS folks branched off.  We learned trivia about the main wagon trains traveling on one side of the river, but Brigham had the LDS pioneers cross and travel on the other side of the river.  We saw a sample of provisions for the Willie/Martin handcart pioneers, and a list of survivors.  I still remember one family of ~ 8 commemorated on a plaque, the only survivors was a 16 yr old and a couple children

As a Ma/Pa you need to be ready for those youth from fringe families. Be ready for that, encourage and embrace it.  You may be the only Ma/Pa that some of these kids have, and may be the only one that has shown any interest in them for years.  These kids won't "fit in", they won't know the others very well, be on the lookout and encourage others in your family to wrap their arms around them in support and love.  Be ready for a relationship that may last through the years.  We received wedding announcements and communication from our "kids" for years after our trek.

Approach this calling with solemn responsibility, it isn't just a hike and a cart pull.  All of that is just a foundation for a spiritual event that rests entirely on your shoulders... Be Prepared

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