It made no sense for me to be backpacking from Munich to Venice (nearly 550km!) with 3 guys I had never met. I was to spend a month following God’s voice, where every day we would ask God where to go, who to meet, and what to do. It would be where my first backpacking experience would be going through the Alps, yes those Alps; where 8 hours of hiking a day was routine; where not having a place to stay turned from a worry to an afterthought; and, praying for complete strangers in the street was typical. Nothing really makes logical sense anymore — and I love it.

 

The Munich to Venice route is actually becoming quite a popular and commonplace trek within the hiking community. There are tons of resources and advice on how to do it, where to stay, and routes along the way. The difference between theirs and ours, is faith. Why I decided to do this was because God remained the focus of the trip, not simply getting to Venice as quickly as possible or to say I walked the whole thing. Early on I realized, I really don’t mind if I don’t get to Venice. Not because I couldn’t do it, but because the most important part was listening to where God wanted me not just getting to a city before a certain time.

 

This trip probably was and will remain, for some time, the greatest adventure I’ve been a part of. We climbed summits reaching over 2,700 meters. We slept on the floors of apartments belonging to people we just met on the street that day. We prayed for dozens of people to receive healing. We spoke in church services and prayer meetings. We worshipped with people who didn’t know us for more than ten minutes. We rebuked a thunderstorm. We saw mountain tops most people would go their entire lives without seeing.

 

Honestly, it was the hardest trips I’ve ever been on. I learned what it meant to love God with literally everything I have. Expedition Rising Son demands faith. I quickly realized the areas of my life where God was not the focus. There was nowhere to hide, nowhere to pretend, and nowhere I could fake it. And this is where God wants us to be: plain, honest, and vulnerable. God was with us on this trip; and, I would not be sharing this story with you if it wasn’t for Him.

 

Garrett Troutman

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