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  • Writer's pictureBen VanOss

Copper Mountain Trip

It’s every Midwest rider's dream to leave the little hills behind and head west toward the Rocky Mountains for an unforgettable vacation filled with long runs, expert terrain, and fresh powder. There’s something special about a snowboard trip out west, but it’s not just the snow and the mountains that make it special; it’s the adventure with friends, fellowship, and the community built along the way. Last weekend I had the pleasure of leading JSAW’s Ski/Snowboard trip to Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado. The group of 6 consisted of myself, two young riders from the Hyland Hills Bible study I lead, my co-leader Jacob, and two riders from the Elm Creek Bible study that he leads. By the end of the trip, we had not only learned a few new tricks, but we’d also learned what it means to be a servant leader and have faith in God’s promises.

Every rider on the trip had a different level of experience, knowledge, and comfortability with the Bible, which resulted in some amazing moments that I got to witness. Throughout the trip, we were unpacking what it looks like to be a servant leader, which meant we were all over the Bible, from Old Testament stories like Joseph in Genesis and David in 1 Samuel, to the story of Paul on trial in Acts. As we studied, I began to notice one of the older, more Bible-savvy guys jump in to help one of the younger guys understand what we were reading. Whether it was describing the context of the passage, explaining the difference between the New and Old Testament, or summarizing the passage we had just read, it was encouraging to see this rider take on a leadership role and eagerly share the knowledge and truth he’s been learning at our Hyland Bible study with his peers. This kind of safe, non-threatening atmosphere where riders can talk openly about their faith is what these trips are all about.

On Saturday, we had a great day of riding on the mountain and an incredible time at the Woodward Barn, jumping on the trampolines and skating into the foam pit. On day two we were all riding together on the terrain park and the guys were trying some of the tricks they had practiced into the foam pit the night before. One of the guys had just landed his first-ever backflip on snow but on the very next jump took a bad spill and hit his head. Right away the whole group took a break from their own riding and jumped in to help. While a few guys looked for his lost AirPods, the youngest member of our group approached the hurt rider and asked if he could pray for him. He explained that last night when he felt sick, we prayed for him and he felt better so he knew God would make things better. It was so extraordinary to see God working in the lives and hearts of these young guys as they proclaimed the power of prayer.

The trip to Copper Mountain was not just about riding new terrain, but it was a journey of camaraderie, growth, and faith. As we rode the mountain and shared experiences, we delved into what the Bible tells us about servant leadership. Witnessing the exchange of knowledge and support among riders of different backgrounds and experiences was truly inspiring. From gnarly moments on the mountain to heartfelt prayers for a fellow rider's recovery, this trip exemplified the power of community, fellowship, and relationships as they pertain to spiritual growth.

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