My first intercontinental journey, which I was to make alone, was to the United States of America. As I already described in the article Panama, we (actMED) in cooperation with DNA (Disciple Nations Alliance) translated the Coram Deo Basic Course (the German materials can be found at RealityCheck.academy).
Journey with barriers
In March 2016 I travelled from Cologne via Düsseldorf, Amsterdam and Salt Lake City to Phoenix. Due to the flight times I arrived one day earlier and could spend some time in Phoenix before I continued my journey to Camp Pinerock (Prescott).
Already the drive from the airport to the hotel, where I was supposed to spend the first night in Phoenix, proved to be a big challenge and a test of patience. After I got out of the Yellow Cab to check into the hotel, my wallet was gone. Long story briefly told: I experienced a real God story! After a few phone calls, the two women at the reception of the taxi office’s hotel were able to describe the problem. The search for the taxi that had carried me could begin. I could already move into the hotel room, because the costs were settled in advance over the credit card. So I had to wait what would happen in the next hours, or not? The first plans of a pleasant dinner in the center of Phoenix I had already rejected anyway.
Despite the excitement, I had found some sleep when I was suddenly woken by the ringing of the phone. It was the lady from the reception. She told me that someone from the airport police had come to the hotel. The taxi driver had found the wallet in his car and handed it over to the airport police! Never in my life have I been so happy to meet a policeman! All cards and cash were still available. The journey could become thus nevertheless still another full success. Thank you Jesus that nothing happened in the purest sense of the word!
Sightseeing in America
So I could still use the evening to educate myself culturally. I didn’t want to miss the visit to Walmart anymore. Fortunately he was open long enough and could be reached on foot. Such an American shopping market one must have simply visited times, if one knew these so far only from American films and/or series. For me it was a quite exciting experience.
On my first real day in America I was chauffeured directly from the hotel to the center by a UBER driver to continue my sightseeing program from the evening before. In addition to the city center, I also visited a typical American mall.
Continuation of the journey to Prescott in the camp
In the afternoon my journey continued from Phoenix to Prescott. With small buses we drove out of the flat desert to the north into the cooler, higher situated Prescott. While there was only sand to see in and around Phoenix, it was much greener in Prescott. On the way I got to know an international “colleague” from Africa. Judith was trainer for the discipleship course in Mozambique, which was created by actMED. In the small bus, which brought us out of Phoenix, we sat next to each other and could get to know each other on the way and talk about our mutual friends Eva and Jens.
Camp Pinerock lives up to its name. It is – in my eyes – a typical American camp, which is surrounded by a large pine forest. The rooms were similar to those of a German youth hostel. The food was good and also the group rooms for the forum were modern and mostly comfortable.
The camp was home for five days to over a hundred people from all over the world. The participants came from England, Japan, China, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Nepal and many other countries. Although we are all scattered all over the world, a great group feeling developed quite quickly, because we all came there for the same reason and with the same interest.
Exciting speakers gave lectures, individual organizations that are partners of DNA presented their different areas of work and there was still enough time to get in touch and get to know each other.
In addition to walks across the site, there were also walks on the Thumb Butte through the Prescott National Forest and so there was plenty of time to make international friends and learn from each other.
Although I had set off alone into the distance and did not know how much and whether I would understand anything at all because of the language barriers, I was not disappointed by the journey. I got to know so many exciting people, who inspire me meanwhile and with whom I am still in exchange, that I am now looking forward to the next forum as much as to a family reunion (I have a great family 😃). In 2016 I arrived as a stranger. Now, two years later, it’s felt more like coming home.