FIRST-PERSON: TruthQuester conquers fear, learns about trust on rock

YOSEMITE, Calif. (BP)--Wow! Wow! Wow! That's all I can say about July 15.

I can't believe that I went rock climbing in Yosemite -- especially since I can't stand heights. When the TruthQuest team rappelled off a 30-foot high rock, it took me forever to get down.

After I finally returned to the ground, I thought our adventure was over. However, North American Mission Board missionary Steve Hughes told us that we should conquer a bigger rock to have a better feeling.

At that point I said that I was not doing anymore climbing for the day. Once was enough for me. At the small rock I wasn't able to practice climbing like everyone else, so my first official climbing before I could rappel was on a rock that was more than 130 feet tall.

I really love my fellow TruthQuesters for praying for me before I went up because they saw how nervous I was. Their support really encouraged me to conquer my fear of heights. I have the biggest fear of heights and I always like to be close to the ground, so doing something like this was really different. Climbing up the mountain, there were times I wanted to give up and forget about the climb, but I knew I couldn't.

Anyway, while climbing that rock I could think of no one but God. When I felt like giving up I prayed to God and I started to quote Scriptures like, "No weapon formed against me shall prosper," "I'm more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ." I was determined to get to the top. Well, it took me a while but I made it, and boy was the view gorgeous.

Being up at the top of that rock and looking down at what I just climbed was an incredible feeling, but I still had to go down. I didn't want to rappel down it after I looked down, but I knew I wouldn't forgive myself if I climbed up but didn't complete the package.

So I went back down, and when I touched bottom I thanked God because if God hadn't given me the strength to conquer that I wouldn't have made it.

My faith has been increased so much because of this experience. Since I conquered this obstacle in life, I know that I can do anything if I put my mind to it and give my fear to the Lord Jesus Christ.

God really showed me what he could do once I stopped being afraid and put my trust in him to get me out of whatever I go through.

Whenever I face anything now, I can always look back on July 15 and remember what God did, and it will give me confidence to face the trial and conquer it.


Chip Luter, one of 12 teens in the TruthQuest: California initiative of Baptist Press, FamilyNet and LifeWay, is a 2002 graduate of Brother Martin High School in New Orleans who plans to Dallas Baptist University this fall.