A Moment Of Summer Ministry Orientation From The Top Of Clingman’s Dome
Shelby Newman, 2011 Staff Member
The 2011 Smoky Mountains Resort Ministries summer staff recently had the opportunity to view their mission field from two very different perspectives – high on top of a mountain and down in the city on the Gatlinburg Parkway, among the hustle and bustle of the crowds. We hiked 2 miles to the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Clingman’s Dome. For some our twilight hike was challenging; others found it easy. Before reaching the tower at the top, we stopped at an overlook in the trail. Suddenly we were there, fully at home in our surroundings. The problems, joys, and relationships of our homes faded at that moment into the beauty of God’s creation. We gazed out over the slowly sinking sun of the horizon into the fog of the Smokies and pondered God’s power, His beauty, and His love as we sang praises to Him and meditated on His word. In this moment, God reminded us of our mission and purpose for the summer – to take the message of peace, joy, and salvation found on top of the mountain down into the fast, loud, and bright cities full of suffering and lost people. What a wonderful vision for the summer! As we go through our summer orientation, discovering our gifts and strengths, and confronting our weaknesses, this mission remains our heart and our focus. Isaiah 52:7 speaks of beautiful feet on the mountains which bring good news, proclaim peace, bring good tidings, proclaim salvation, and pronounce God’s sovereignty to the valleys below. As the staff begins to build relationships and participate in ministry this summer, we hope to have beautiful feet – beautiful, calloused and sore, from fervently bringing good news, good tidings, peace, and salvation to all we meet.