La Vida Promotional Tour 2015

By Amber Dvornski

It has become a yearly tradition for Nate and Rich to spend a week traveling to different churches to promote La Vida.  This year I got to take part in this trip and traveled with Nate to CT, MD, VA, and PA to visit various churches and Christian high schools.

In preparation for this trip, Nate, Nathan Landis (our LEAP intern), Rich, and I made several phone calls to the churches we wanted to meet with.  Many hours were spent calling, leaving messages, emailing, and finally setting up appointments.

It was really encouraging to see people get excited about the ministry and how it could be a powerful experience for their kids. A consistent theme we heard over and over was that kids these days are busy. They have sports, academics, extra-curricular activities, vacations, and the list goes on. Now more than ever, kids need time to step away from their normal routine and rest. La Vida gives kids the chance to get “unplugged” and experience God in His Creation.

In total, we met with twelve churches and two Christian high schools.  Many of these churches were involved with La Vida in the 70’s so we were trying to reestablish a connection with them. We visited other churches because of a connection we had with a current student or Gordon alumni. We are realizing how important it is to have someone at the church who has already done La Vida and can represent the program to their pastor.

Trinity Episcopal Church’s new youth pastor, Amanda Lavelle, is a Gordon grad. We are excited that they are bringing two groups on a La Vida Expedition this summer.

Bill Norcini is an active member at Paoli Presbyterian Church.  His daughter Elizabeth has spent two full summers as a Sherpa in the ADK's and is a very valuable part of the La Vida staff.

Bill Norcini is an active member at Paoli Presbyterian Church. His daughter Elizabeth spent two full summers as a Sherpa in the ADK’s and is a very valuable part of the La Vida staff.

Wes graduated from Gordon in 2013 and is the youth pastor at Truro Anglican Church.  We are hoping to see his students backpacking and canoeing this summer.

Wes graduated from Gordon in 2013 and is the youth pastor at Truro Anglican Church. We are hoping to see his students backpacking and canoeing this summer.

These three students are La Vida from Walnut Hill Community Church. Their church has supported La Vida a number of years by bringing a group of students every summer.

These three students are La Vida alumni from Walnut Hill Community Church. Their church has supported La Vida a number of years by bringing a group of students each summer.

Another encouraging aspect of the trip was the people who hosted us along the way. They had all worked for La Vida at some point, and they fondly recalled memories of past trips, students, and co-workers. Their experiences with La Vida as Gordon College students helped shape who they are today. I always hear Rich saying that people 10, 20, 30 years from now will view their La Vida trip as an important transformational experience, so it was neat to interact with people who are doing just that.

The Moody children, Nate and Amber.  Chris and Wendy helped open up the base camp property in the 80's and have been regular supporters of La Vida since.

The Moody children, Nate and Amber. Their parents, Chris and Wendy, have been involved with La Vida since the mid 90’s.

We are hopeful that the many people we met with will bring their students on a La Vida Expedition in the near future. Thank you to all who were praying for us as we travelled from state to state!

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