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I'm More Valuable Than I Thought . . . Thanks to You

By Maxwell Curry, HigherTrek 2019.4 Alumnus

How do I walk with Jesus in a way that is sustainable and will last a lifetime?

This was the one question I wanted to answer when I signed up for HigherTrek. I’m a young believer who, prior to HigherTrek, had become exhausted by the cycle of spiritual highs and the inevitable crash that follows.

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I arrived at HigherTrek wanting to ensure that twenty – even fifty – years from now, I am still consumed by the life-giving love of Jesus. I did not want to become an old man who reminisced on my younger years when I was “so on fire for Jesus” but never followed it up with anything. I hoped to become a lifelong disciple-maker. As strong as my desire to develop a deeper relationship with Jesus was, I never could have expected to grow as much as I did in just two weeks. I’d like to share how it happened, and maybe the most important spiritual lesson I’ve ever learned.

Two themes characterize my time at HigherTrek: depth of relationship and exposure to older disciple-makers who desired not just to teach us, but to actually get to know us. These things challenged and refined me.

To be honest, I was apprehensive about spending two weeks with complete strangers. Sure, we all got to know each other ahead of time, but at HigherTrek we’d be living together and around each other 24/7 for two weeks straight. My apprehension had dissolved by the end of day one. HigherTrek knows how to create an environment where we all felt the freedom to be ourselves. Before the first day was over, we laughed together, shared life stories, and even shed a few tears. That set the stage for the rest of our time together.

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I can’t just gloss over the importance of what I just mentioned.

We weren’t forced to share all of our sin and shame, but the more we got to know each other, the more we all wanted to. We quickly wanted to know more about each other’s lives, what we’ve struggled with in the past, and what we’re currently struggling with.

For every guy in my group, this brought to light things never before spoken aloud. Because of that, we experienced the freedom that comes from vulnerability. 1 John 1:9 says that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” You might have heard that guys build deep relationships at HigherTrek and share things they’ve never shared with anyone before. What’s really being communicated to you is that most of us have never had a safe place to confess sin without feeling judged. This ministry is impacting guys like me because we’re experiencing what it means to be cleansed from all unrighteousness.

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It was clear that, for the first time in our lives, we all felt like we were not alone. The most comforting statement I repeatedly heard as we shared our stories was, “Hey man, me too.” All of us had sin in our lives that was compounding guilt and shame the longer we held it in. All of us were freed from that burden. No more guilt, no more shame, and freedom from sin, just as Jesus intended for those who give their lives to Him.

Now imagine what can happen when you get a small group of guys, fully bought into the Gospel, and expose them to older men who have been making disciples for decades.

There was one commonality between every man we came into contact with: the Word of God was a daily part of their lives. What I gleaned from them, in addition to their great teaching, was that their relationship with the Scriptures led to a satisfying life (not necessarily a problem free life), and that none of them struggled with following rules or with legalism, both things that had been too easy for me to associate with my faith. Not anymore.

Furthermore, nearly all of our presenters had done extraordinary work for the Kingdom within the context of an ordinary occupation. Seeing laypeople impact the world the way these men have was a mind-blowing observation for me. In my young faith, I’d adopted the mindset that useful Christians were in full-time ministry. I now see the power and necessity of laypeople and their role in the Kingdom. This changed how I view myself. I’m far more valuable to God and His Kingdom than I realized.

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Consider the possibilities that are unleashed when a young man realizes the mission field is all around him. Consider the possibilities when he realizes there’s no divide between sacred and secular. In the Kingdom of God, we never stamp a time card or clock in and out. Opportunity is endless.

One of the final requirements at HigherTrek is formulating tangible applications you will implement when you go home. I want you to know that my faith is more active now than it ever has been, and it is because of what God did in my life during HigherTrek.

This includes both my personal disciplines, like spending time in the Word every day and striving for continual prayer, and also intentionally seeking out relationships for the purpose of making disciples.

I approached HigherTrek as if it were just another program, and I was hopeful I wouldn’t have another spiritual high then crash. My expectations were exceeded. HigherTrek created a foundation to increase my faith and sustain my lifelong walk with God.

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When Christian asked me to share my experience with you, he mentioned he might share my story in December, when he shares HigherTrek’s financial needs and asks for your support. So, as a way to give back to the ministry that did so much for me, I’ll take a minute to address that subject as well.

First, if you supported HigherTrek in 2019, then you played a role in making my program possible. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You answered my prayers and changed my life.

If you’ve not had the privilege of investing in young men through HigherTrek, I want to invite you to the party. There are thousands of guys like me who want to walk with Jesus in a way that is sustainable and will last a lifetime, and I can guarantee you that just as it was with me, through HigherTrek, God will show them how and get them started.

With deep gratitude,

Maxwell Curry, HigherTrek 2019.4

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Maxwell Curry is originally from San Marcos, California where he attended Living Streams Church. He now resides in Phoenix, Arizona where he majors in English with an emphasis in Professional Writing at Grand Canyon University.