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Friday, Day 5
Written by Senior Noah Pendley
Unfortunately Friday was our last day in Denver. We woke up and hopped onto the bus to head towards the REI flagship store. This store was the first REI store created and was once a train station until it got changed to the store in the early 1900s. Luckily for us, there was a Starbucks connected to the store, so we all decided to meet there afterwards to prepare us for the rest of the day.
We then walked in the chilly windy Denver atmosphere to visit the Denver Union Station where there were little stores and places to eat. After spending a brief amount of time exploring the history of Union Station, we decided to grab a bite to eat at the local food market area called the Denver Milk Market. This hit the spot for everyone, and what better way to end a meal than celebrating our leftover appetite with homemade ice cream. Sarah, our Joshua Expeditions tour guide, brought us to her favorite ice cream place, “Little Man,” where we sat and ate homemade ice cream in old timey seats full of rust.
At last we were off to the airport, and it finally kicked in that our spring term was finally coming to a close. We landed in Atlanta after midnight, and everyone got picked up safe and sound. We all had a great week seeing God's creation and helping be the hands and feet of Christ, with lots of laughs and jokes thrown in.
Thursday, Day 4Written by NCCS Student Anthony DuHamell
To start our fourth day of Spring Term, breakfast was a key component that would help how the day went; we then departed for our third day of service. Our service consisted of setting up a stage for the Dream Center at their main location as they are having an event for the community on Saturday. Upon finishing the stage's assembly, Gerald, the bus driver, took us to a local recreational center to set up another pop-up shop for those in need.
The pop-up shop had shoes, clothes and other items that were given away to anyone who needed them. NCCS students were given the opportunity to serve others by setting up the shop, face-painting, coloring, leading games, and being the entertainment for the kids that showed up.
Next on our list for the day was lunch, and Mr. McCormack wanted to make sure we got the chance to try In-N-Out. We all enjoyed the chaos of thirty people figuring out which order was theirs as they brought them all out at once with no names attached.
After finishing the “best burgers” we headed to Winter Park to enjoy the Ski village and Tubing. At the Park we had the option of three lanes to go down ranging in speeds. While going down the mountain we were also able to tether the double tubes to other peoples' tubes to make a group comprised 4 or more double tubes. The massive groups made us move faster going down the mountain and almost flip us over.
From Winter Park Gerald drove us to Dave & Busters for dinner and entertainment. After dinner we headed back for our final nightly devotion which was led by Sutton Thomas.
Wednesday, Day 3Written by NCCS Students Luke McArdle and Reed Grizzle
As our third day of travels come to a close, we must reflect on the wonderful memories we have gained. When the morning sun rose above the blissful mountains of Denver, we knew we had to fulfill our purpose for which we came. We headed for a local park to start our second day of service. Clothes, shoes, and sports equipment were setup to provide needed items and entertainment to the locals in the neighborhood.
We walked around the apartments, knocking on the doors, and told those that answered about the event. I played soccer with some kids. One of which was also named Luke (my name) and another kept calling me dog water. Alas, all good things must come to an end so, after much soccer was played and many clothes given, we departed.
Our next destination was Chick-fil-A where we filled our stomachs with familiarity. Afterwards, we set out towards our next destination; The Flatirons. We decided to be daring and pick a strenuous hiking path. We hiked up the mountain for around an hour and a half. The sights were beautiful and inspiring. McCormack was not a big fan of the snowballs that were lobbed about, and he made this very clear. Halfway down the mountain, Maggie Phillips let out a shockingly loud scream, as she had been granted a massive scholarship towards college.
We left the mountain and returned towards our temporary humble abode. A few hours later, we once again boarded our trusty steed, the bus, and thanks to Gerald, our bus driver, we safely made it to the hockey arena. The home team, Colorado Avalanche, tossed harder than the Falcons in the Super Bowl. The Minnesota Wild are a bunch of frauds and should not have won but, alas, the Avalanche were determined to throw the game at all costs. Thereafter, we rallied towards Gerald and headed home to rest for another day of doing God's work and serving others tomorrow.
Tuesday, Day 2Written by US students, Addie Tyler and Maggie Phillips
To start our second day, we went to the Dream Center in Downtown Denver, where their main goal is to establish relationships and build community with those they serve. This includes the local homeless population, as well as anyone in the community with any need that the Center can meet.
While there, we began preparing for a pop up store that we will help the Dream Center run on Wednesday in a nearby park. We took inventory of donated clothes and loaded trucks full of essentials to bring for the event. When we finished with the prep work, we made bags of items such as bread and water to hand out to the homeless people camped on the surrounding blocks. We walked through the neighborhood for about 45 minutes, with the volunteers from the Dream Center, and handed these bags to anyone who wanted one. While we were delivering the bags, we also brought along large trash bags to collect any trash we passed along the way.
After we returned to the Center, we loaded the bus and made our way to Colorado Springs to hike in The Garden of the Gods, where we walked among the beauty of God’s incredible creation. At the Balanced Rock formation, we found an amazing view of the city.
For the last outing of our day, we visited nearby Manitou Springs, where we explored multiple different stores, played in an old-fashioned penny arcade, and heard people busking in the streets. Once back at the hotel we were able to enjoy some dinner and devotional time together.
Monday, Day 1
Written by US Students, Ryan Bayes and Jack Lachnicht
Our first day of spring term was an amazing experience. We got to school early, took our group picture, and were off on our journey. At the airport, things went smoothly. Nobody lost their boarding pass, and we all made it through TSA.
Once we all boarded everybody anxiously waited for the plane to take off, some of us flying for the first time. Nearing the Denver airport, we all marveled at the snow covering the ground beneath us. However, the best part was the view of the Rocky Mountains as we drove to Red Rock Amphitheatre. We had to climb what felt like a thousand steps to get to the top but it was well worth it. The mountains proved a beautiful backdrop to the tall red rocks of the amphitheater.
Afterwards, we checked into the hotel and had dinner at Cherry Cricket in downtown Denver followed by a devotional back at the hotel. So far, the trip has been terrific, and we expect God to lead us to even better experiences throughout the week!