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It’s amazing to realize that the last time I left on a big road trip was over 6 months ago. And while that gargantuan trip took a couple of months and I’ve had some cool adventures (like my trips to Urbana, Crusade Winter Conference, Jubilee, and the Verge Conference) since then, it’s been awhile since I’ve needed to pack up the Pathfinder for another big trek! But the time has come…
Road Trip 14 is upon us.
In a few days, I’ll make my way toward Boulder, Colorado, to attend the Ascent Conference. This biannual gathering of mostly church-based college ministers is made all the more significant by the fact that the organizers are the most influential folks in that church-based branch of campus ministry. (Read about the Ascent Network here.)
Of course, once I planned to visit the conference, I immediately began weighing the value of driving over flying. I ultimately decided, indeed, to make this my fourteenth gigantic, multi-state, college ministry-explorin’ road trip.
my path (roughly): I’ll go from Dallas to the Denver area via the West Route, which means heading through Wichita Falls (where I’ll be eating lunch with any college ministers who want to hang out) and Amarillo, TX. I’m hoping to spend about a week in Central Colorado (which, as you may know, has a wealth of potential college ministry explorations). Then, I’ll take the East Route back to Texas – via Kansas and OK.
the dates: Thursday, April 15th through the end of April (approx.)
the details page: For a growing list of ALL the explorations, you can keep checking in to the official Road Trip 14 page.
connecting to the trip: Yesterday, I posted all sorts of details on the nuts-and-bolts of connecting to my adventures, so you can check that out to see the options. But there are definitely ways you can actually participate as I venture through the country, too!
- prayer: I sincerely appreciate any and all prayin’ you want to do. I’ve included some requests at the bottom, and I’ll update you on occasion as the trip unfolds!
- ideas: If you’ve got thoughts on what / who / where I should visit, please let me know! I know you don’t expect me to be able to do everything… but I also trust God to work through His people. Your ideas and suggestions are invaluable for these trips.
- connections: Likewise, if there’s anybody whom I should connect with or anyone who needs to know that I’m headed their way, feel free to set that up! Again, I can’t meet nearly everyone I would like to. But a large portion of the connections I’ve made on these trips have come about through mutual friends – as well as finding places to stay and other hospitality.
distinctives of this trip: God seems to provide each trip with some unique focuses and adventures, and I’ll be far better at recapping those than I am at forecasting them! But presently, here are some of the ways RT14 is standing out:
- companion!: For the first time ever, a fellow college minister will be joining me on a road trip! My buddy Mark Warrington will ride up there, attend the conference, and spend a couple of extra days before he flies back home (and I continue on from there). I’m super-excited at the chance to involve someone else in the first leg of RT14.
- revisits: I always love exploring new ground, but it’s also fun getting to re-visit ministries and ministers I’ve encountered before. On this trip, I will get to spend some significant time in areas I’ve seen in the last few years. Not only does that mean I get to see some cool friends again, but it also gives me an extra incentive to go a little deeper and get a little more creative! Which leads to #3…
- roads less-traveled: Few details are in place, but it seems like this trip may involve a healthy dose of lesser-known schools! Too often, we only think of college ministry in terms of Top Tier State Schools, Prestigious Schools, and The Big Cities. So I love opportunities to explore the many other campus tribes that help make up this rich fabric, beginning Thursday with the Mustang tribe of Wichita Falls, Texas!
prayer requests: If you feel like prayin’ for me, that would be awesome. Here are specific requests as Road Trip 14 approaches:
- continued mouth healing: You may or may not have been following my mouth-health saga on Twitter or Facebook, but it’s been a tough 11 days (so far). The ulcers-on-my-uvula (seriously) shouldn’t have any long-term repercussions, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been ROUGH in the short-term. Yet the situation has definitely improved. Please pray that all will continue to heal – and that soon enough, I might have normal eating and sleeping.
- planning: As best I can tell, living in God’s adventure on these trips involves some combination of (1) God’s very specific direction about what I should do, (2) my experiential wisdom about what I should do, and (3) lots of space for God to surprise me. Pray that the “mix” would be right in the coming days and weeks.
- reception & community: Pray that college ministers and others would be interested in connecting, and that the fellowship and mutual benefit would be sweet. Hopefully I’ll get to learn a lot – as well as running into people that can be encouraged by what I’ve learned, too.
- surprises: Pray that God would bring people, experiences, and opportunities that blow me away.
- road-trippy things: Safety, speed, good directions from my Garmin, etc., are always worth praying for.
Writing this official Road Trip 14 post makes this whole trip seem rather… official. Yikes. Can’t believe I’m leaving in 3 days!