Friday, April 18, 2014

My Zion National Park Summer with ACMNP

Dearest Friends,

If I haven’t already had the opportunity to tell you, this summer I have accepted an opportunity to do ministry at Zion National Park through A Christian Ministry in the National Parks (ACMNP). I recently attended a weekend of training in Estes Park where I met my team and learned much more about what exactly we’ll be doing this summer – and let me tell you, I am so excited to see what God is going to do through us at Zion!

First, if you haven’t ever heard of ACMNP (I hadn’t, until February of this year!), a little background: ACMNP has been around since 1951 when the first Sunday services were held at Yellowstone. Since then, it has evolved and services are now held at approximately 28 different parks, with multiple services and even multiple locations at large parks. ACMNP estimates that around 1,400 services are offered every summer with 30,000 or so attending! If you are traveling this summer, be sure to check out and find out when and where services are held if they are available at the parks you’re visiting.

Our team this summer will be providing two Sunday services at Zion: 8am @ the South Campground Amphitheater (left) and the 10am @ the Zion Lodge Auditorium (right). If you happen to travel to Utah, come worship with us!

Second, a little more about Zion. Located near Springdale, UT, Zion National Park is full of sandstone cliffs and narrow slot canyons. If you want to see some amazing pictures, just Google Zion NP, Angels Landing, Zion Subway, or Zion Narrows. As a team, we certainly plan to explore, hike, go canyoneering, and anything else we can do outdoors! And we hope to bring others along with us as well. Surprisingly, as many park workers are trying to get away from life, most are not in the park to explore. We know, however, the power of getting people into God’s creation.

This leads me to my third point, and probably the part that my heart is most passionate about – relational ministry. If you’ve seen me do ministry before, you know that the relational aspects are where I live and move and have my being. J Part of serving for ACMNP is working a concessionaire job in the park. Our team will be living and working alongside mostly non-Christians who have a variety of issues, including serious drug and alcohol problems. While many of them have experienced judgment or even hate from the church (and thus are wary of ACMNP workers at first), at training we heard story after story of ACMNP workers who loved those people so deeply and sacrificially that they created lifelong friendships. Though I wish it didn’t have to be this way, it would be a blessing to be a part of redeeming the church or even the name of Jesus Christ for someone who has never experienced true love or grace. And what a celebration it would be if those people (even in the long term) ever came into relationship with the Lord!

This is where you come in. I am reminded of an illustration a preacher used once about how pointless and ineffective a flashlight is in a room full of light. We are leaving whatever Christian “bubbles” we might currently be in and going straight to darkness. We are going to need your prayer and encouragement in order to maintain our brightness – that it might be effective in shining into the hearts of those we’re ministering to. Would you be willing to commit to pray for us? Perhaps even writing out some of those prayers or other words of encouragement to send us while we are in Zion from mid-May to mid-August? Or some type of encouragement care package? As a seminarian, I am also our Team Leader. Would you pray for my leadership? And for Jon, a 27-year old transitioning to a new life in Austin, TX, and Molly, a college junior at Baylor? For God to move in our relational ministry and our Sunday services?

I cannot stress enough how much we need and will value your support throughout the summer. A letter from you may come at just the right time to give us hope to persevere. Your prayers will help cover us in ways we hope to tell you some about, but also in ways you may never know. As part of this endeavor, I am also doing some fundraising to cover expenses related to training and travel, as well as funds to cover my rent in Denver for the summer. This will allow me to save money for school and life expenses when I return in the fall. It would never be my intention to guilt anyone to giving. Seriously. If you feel led to come alongside me in this process in a financial way, I will be incredibly grateful. But I will also be incredibly thankful for your prayers and encouragement. My hope and prayer is that you will be blessed and enriched for your generosity in either or both ways. (2 Cor 9:10-15).

     If you would like to give financially to my budget below, there are two ways you can do so:
     1.     Through cash or check made out to Katie Loew. Unfortunately, there are too many of us to raise through ACMNP and therefore your donations are not tax deductible. I promise your money will be handled with utmost integrity.
     2.     Online through my GoFundMe account. Go to & click “Donate!” Then follow the instructions & enter your credit/payment info. GoFundMe is a trustworthy fundraising website that has been featured by CNN, NY Times, USA Today, etc.

      If you decide to fund me online, please send me an email telling me you have done so at (or if you'd like my address to support by cash or check). Also, please contact me via email if you wish to commit to prayer for my team and I or to commit to sending encouragement via snail mail during our summer. (Zion address to follow when available.) I am so excited for the summer ahead and so thankful for your support in my life now and in the past. If you choose to make your prayers, encouragement, or financial support known, I promise to be in touch. I cannot wait to share testimonies of God’s work!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and support my team and I! I truly appreciate it.

      In Christ,

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