JACKSON, Tenn. – March 30, 2003 – The Global Opportunity Pray team was scheduled to spend spring break hiking in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and praying specifically for the other GO teams each step of the way. Those plans were adjusted when a member of the team was injured on the first day of hiking.
About 12 miles into the hike, sophomore Jonathan Blair severely sprained his ankle. “At that point, everything could’ve crashed, but everyone kept a good attitude.” According to Blair, the team camped early that night, then, made their way to a lodge.
“The real blessing was that we were only a mile away,” said Ben Mandrell, an associate campus minister at Union the leader of the GO Pray. On Thursday, the team revised their schedule and went back to their van, planning to drive to a different trail. On the way, the van broke down.
The team had cell phones, but there was no signal in their remote location. Fortunately for the team, they happened to break down near a telephone worker repairing lines along the road who was able to patch in and call for a tow truck. “Even when things went wrong, God provided for us,” said Mandrell.
After the van had been repaired, the team drove to Brentwood, Tenn. and spent their final night together in an unused space at the Baptist Children’s Home.
According to Mandrell, the GO Pray team lived up to its mission and name through each difficulty. They prayed on the trail and by the campfire. They prayed in the van and by the side of the road waiting for help to come. “The purpose of this team was to pray for the other GO trips,” he said. “The team made a conscious effort to focus on prayer, and the Lord accomplished what He wanted to accomplish.”
In spite of his injury, Blair considered the trip a great success. “I sensed the presence of God at work on the trip. He gave us a focus and a peace,” said Blair.
Other members of the team agreed. “God was working to maintain in us a positive attitude,” said freshman Brett Logan. “When one person gets down, it’s easy for the group to get down, but that never happened.”
“Our objective was to pray,” said Nathan Hooper, a sophomore at Union. “We accomplished that.”
By Chris Allen
Director of News and Media Relations