Nine of us are going on this trip, and we are all going for a variety of reasons.
Moira Carlson: It’s about getting out into the world and experiencing things that I’ve never really experienced before. It’s about learning how to work together in various situations.
Khalil Daibes: The first time of being far away from home without anyone getting food for me and washing clothes and things I take for granted because of my age. It’s about learning what I am capable of doing with limited adult assistance i.e. time management, cooking a complex dinner for our group. Experiencing part of the world I’ve never been to.
Evana Smith: A relaxing fun time with friends. A reflecting time and being out in nature.
Ela van Sertima: The pilgrimage means a chance to step back and take a look at myself because in life things move really fast and I do not have time to think and really try and figure out who I am. Even if I come out of the pilgrimage and I’m still not clear on who I fully am and what God means to me, my goal is to just learn something new about myself. When I’m old and looking back on this trip and J2A, these people will have a lasting effect on me like I had been with them the other day.
Darius Kassotis: For me the pilgrimage means a chance to see if I can survive with minimal help from adults.
Robbie Jones: Pilgrimage is a time to get away from the norm; to experience a different world and a different lifestyle. To me, it is a time to grow spiritually and mentally. It is a time to be gathered as a community in one faith; yet also celebrate our spiritual differences. These differences as well as our similarities will help us to achieve our projected growth. It is a time to try new things, and challenge ourselves to do things we wouldn't otherwise do.
Wendy Ann Deslauriers: The pilgrimage is an opportunity to seek God through each other, our experiences together and in unexpected moments. The vast beauty of Alaska's landscape should provide many opportunities for encounters with the Divine and many moments of both challenge and awe. It has been an honour to watch the youth grow towards adulthood in these last two years and I trust that God will guide us during the pilgrimage outside of our normal lives such that our journeys continue.
Steve Sibbald: I pray that this pilgrimage will give me two experiences. Because we have selected Alaska as our destination, I want to have quiet contemplation in beautiful natural settings, where I can approach God and listen to his wisdom. But I also expect that the entire group will have wonderful, candid talks about a multitude of profound topics, in which case I will have the privilege of learning, teaching, being changed and witnessing change in others.
Kevin Elder: I choose to be a part of this pilgrimage to help and guide the youth and their journey to adulthood. Personally I also plan to reflect, recharge, and rejoice with God in nature.