The Great Adventure

Jackson Hole Wy Barn & grand Tetons Mountain Range

by David Cook

I am the door;
if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved,
and will go in and out and find pasture.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Messiah Yeshua

John 10:9-10 NASB

Steven Curtis Chapman has won five Grammy awards and 56 Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association.   Steven has sold more than 10 million albums and has 8 RIAA-certified Gold or Platinum albums!  But not everything in his life has been peaches & cream.  In the great adventure of life, we experience mountaintop highs and valley lows.

Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman

After Steven and his wife Mary Beth had a few children they adopted three girls from China.  Their daughter Maria Sue Chunxi Chapman died from a tragic auto accident in their driveway on May 21, 2008.  The loss of their daughter was a severe test of faith for them and their family.  We read of a man of true faith from long ago who tragically lost all of his children in a single day.

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head,

and he fell to the ground and worshiped.  He said,

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

And naked I shall return there.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Job 1:20-21 NASB

YMCA Rocky Mountain Cabin

During my youth my father and mother would take our family to Estes Park, Colorado for a summer vacations!  It was breath taking when this Missouri boy first ascended the Rocky Mountains from Loveland, Colorado and viewed the distant snowcapped peaks and valleys among the pines and aspens. Rocky Mountain Scene in Estes Park Colorado We would stay at the YMCA of the Rockies just above Estes Park.  During my college days I went on an adventure in Estes Park, Colorado.  It was the summer of 1975, the first “Student Venture” Summer Project.  Student Venture is the High School ministry of ‘Cru’   I’m on the lower left with Pat Hurley, (youth speaker, stand-up comedian and author) and some other bros from around the USA, including my friend Jim Powers, who is holding a Bible.

Student Venture 1975 Summer Project in Estes Park Colorado

Estes Park Downtown Dusk

It was a fun summer, living in Estes Park all summer and working on a construction crew building a Swiss Chalet on the mountain adjacent to the YMCA of the Rockies.  I’d start the brisk morning off with a t-shirt, work shirt and jean jacket.  By the time lunch time rolled around I had my shirt off, sharing my lunch with chipmunks and watching mountain climbers in the distance.

Colorado Chipmunk

David Cook on the Wind River Trail in RMNP above Estes Park

Years later, each of my three children have each had great adventures on the mountain ranges in the USA.  My son Derek led the way in the summer of 2008 he went on the SROM 40 day backpacking and mountain climbing expedition in the majestic mountains of Wyoming.  SROM is a premier Christian outdoor leadership education and wilderness adventure ministry, .

SROM 40 2008

Derek on the 2008 SROM 40

Mountain & Lake Buffalow Yeah Moose


Grand Teton National Park is one of the most awe-inspiring places in all of God’s creation.  The National Park is in the Jackson Hole Valley, with massive mountains, pristine lakes, cold mountain rivers, and abundant wildlife; elk, moose, black and grizzly bears, bison, deer, and more!

Derek on SROM 40

Derek, Eric, Nathan, Kevin on the SROM 40.

Gannett Peak

Rainbow over YMCA Chapel in the Colorado Rocky Mountains

At the end of the summer Derek got to climb Gannett Peak with expert climber Austin Haller and Elisa from SROM and one additional climber the “Fantastic Four” ascended the 13,809 feet (4,209 m) peak.  Gannett Peak is the highest peak in the state of Wyoming and straddles the boundary between Fremont and Sublette Counties along the Continental Divide.

My daughter Courtney spent the summer of 2009 in Estes Park working at the lodge at the YMCA of the Rockies!  Later that summer, her brothers and I came out for a visit and mini vacation backpacking and camping along the Wind River Trail in the Rocky Mountain National Park above the YMCA

CNC on the trail in RMNP

Derek on the trail in Colorado

It was a blessing for Christopher, Derek and I to visit Courtney that summer in Estes Park and go backpacking and camping up above the YMCA of the Rockies and see the bright starry nights!

Starry Night at the YMCA of the Rockies

Derek & Chris having breakfast above the YMCA

DC camping above YMCA of the Rockies summer 2009

 My son Christopher was blessed to go with the 2011, 40/40 “Amazing Team” with on a backpacking and mountain climbing adventure on the Wind River Range & Vedavoo in Wyoming which reflects the amazing beauty of God’s creation.

SROM Roping Down Mountain

CRC Mountain Climbing


CRC laying down SROM

CRC Camping on the Snowy Mountain

SCROM Mountain Sunset

The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains,
The world, and those who dwell in it.
2 For He has founded it upon the seas
And established it upon the rivers.
3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive a blessing from the Lord
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Psalms 24:1-5 NASB

Knowing the true and living God and living in relationship with Him in this life and in the one to come is the greatest adventure of all!

Mountains & Valleys

Now it will come about that
In the last days
The mountain of the house of the Lord
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it.
3 And many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
That He may teach us concerning His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”
For the law will go forth from Zion
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 And He will judge between the nations,
And will render decisions for many peoples;
And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they learn war

Isaiah 2:2-4 NASB

Derek on the 2008 SROM 40

My son Derek’s love for the outdoors was fostered near Estes Park, Colorado in Rocky Mountain National Park during family vacations as a young boy.  In his twenties Derek connected with SROM as a 40/40 Intern in 2008. The experience of going through SROM’s 40-day course as a student and then serving immediately afterward as an assistant field instructor made a lasting impact on his life.  In November of 2014 Derek joined the staff of SROM.  Say a prayer for him for God’s protection and provision as he begins a new adventure with this premier outdoor ministry!

[1] Give thanks in all things, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, and God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him, Romans 8:28-29.