F5 is not only about hiking, we love to serve too! At F5 we use our fitness and fortitude for much more than just hiking. Compelled by our faith and in a spirit of fellowship, we love to serve and have fun while we do it too! We do this through, among other things, our service project just before the main event every year. This year our pre-event service project was hosted by the Leadville Colorado Seventh-day Adventist church.
The participants split into groups, each taking charge of a different project.
Most of these projects entailed yard cleanup for elderly people in the community. Everyone we helped was so thankful. Some asked us if we were always in town, and what group we were a part of. Of course, we were happy to share about F5 and the church nearby.
In the early afternoon, we all joined in together on one bigger hedge-trimming project. Just before our lunch break, it began to rain. An hour or so later as the group finished lunch and got back to work the rain stopped. When we finished our work and were praying with the homeowner before leaving the rain came back. God was holding it off just enough so that we could finish the job. This was just one of the many ways we saw God working throughout the weekend.
Shawndra, the event’s organizer said: "The teamwork and cohesiveness was so beautiful and enjoyable. Our faith was encouraged and strengthened in multiple ways.”
A large part of the service event was a wellness fair for the community. Complete with educational materials and demonstrations, a BMI machine, blood sugar screening, and everyone’s favorite: a free massage.
The venue location was on the main street where everyone was walking by all day long. Local couples, tourist families, and backpackers walked past us all day long and many came inside.
The morning started slow, but eventually, it picked up and became more busy. Each participant had an opportunity to interact with our guests making positive and deep connections.
Our favorite connection from the day was a Colorado trail through hiker who ended up staying a few nights in the church basement with our group.
To finish the weekend off the F5 team was blessed with the opportunity to lead out in the church service for the Leadville Seventh-day Adventist church.
Brian reported "It was an amazing experience to fill the small local Leadville church on Sabbath with a vibrant, service-minded, and adventure-seeking group bringing music and a testimony of service... I pray the community was as blessed as I was for being a part of the experience."
A beautiful Sabbath afternoon hike to an alpine lake afforded an opportunity to acclimate to the high altitude before the main event. Although we got caught in a rainstorm and everyone was soaked on the way back, there was still plenty of laughter, fellowship, and fun!
“The service event was the highlight of our time together in Colorado. It was wonderful to have more time to get to know F5ers and be around people who want to serve others” says Lauren. “I am looking forward to serving Telluride in 2024!” she adds. Many of the pre-event participants left already feeling full even before the Main Event had ever started and looking forward to 2024’s pre-event!