Travel Tip – New River Gorge National River
Travel Tip – New River Gorge National River|
New River Gorge National River is one of America’s incredible National Parks. It has over 70 thousand acres along the New River between Hinton and Fayetteville, West Virginia. The name is New River but it is actually one of the oldest rivers in North America. Geologists think it has been around for at least 65 million years. Some of the rocks exposed on the river are estimated to be 330 million years old. The New River is a favorite spot for white water rafting, hiking, fishing, viewing nature and wildlife, and if you are so inclined, worshipping. I spent a day visiting and loved it.
I stood on top of a mountain looking down at the falls below, worshipping our God of Majesty. Standing there with me was a group of Christian young people from Fairfax Presbyterian Church in Fairfax, Virginia. I enjoyed watching these shiny innocent faces chase each other around and enjoy the view. Belle was a hit among these Godly young people as they stood in line to pet her.
“Are you all Christians?” I asked a group of girls.
“Well, the two of us are and these are our friends who came on this trip.” My heart was warmed that these girls were sharing Christ with their friends. They were on their way to help build houses for people in need.
The green trees contrasting against the foamy while falls and colorful rocks below was a example of the beauty God created for our pleasure. I breathed in the fresh mountain air and enjoyed the presence of the Holy Spirit.
But the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him, Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. NASU
In the evening, I went to New River Gorge’s Outdoor Play and watched Honey in the Rock. There I learned about the history of West Virginia’s role in the Civil War and how they became a state. I didn’t remember from my history classes that they broke off from Virginia because Virginia had decided to join the South and the “mountain” people of Western Virginia wanted to stay with the United States of America.
I also learned what the National Park Symbol means. On it is everything National Parks try to preserve. The symbol is in the shape of an arrowhead, representing the preservation of culture and history. There are pictures of mountains, trees, grass, rivers, and a bear, representing the preservation of our wildlife and natural resources. I breathed a prayer of thanks for a country that cares to protect the land.
While I was at the play, I met very pregnant Heidi and her husband Chester. She told me, “Our biggest goal for this baby is to raise him to know the Lord.” They belong to a church that has no name. “We don’t want a name. We believe we are the church and everyone that has asked Jesus into their life is a part of it. Why do we need any name other than church?” Apparently, this church has groups meeting in several parts of the United States. “We read the Bible together and worship every Sunday.”
I sat next to a man wearing a plaid shirt and jeans. His teeth needed the attention of my brother-in-law, the dentist, and his wiry form and leathered, lined tan skin told a story of mountain living. “I’ve lived here all my life,” he said. “My mama and brothers have all been in this play. Mama helped with the costumes and my brothers sang in it when they were young.”
“You live in a beautiful state,” I remarked.
“It is but we haven’t respected the land. The money people came down from up north and destroyed it with mining. My grandparent’s generation didn’t respect it and now we’re paying the price. We’re trying to fix it but some of it can never be fixed.”
As I watched the play and experienced the terror and sadness of the Civil War, I listened to the sounds of Amazing Grace as the people turned to God with their losses. I was overwhelmed by what these people sacrificed to preserve my great nation. Because of them, I get to live in a land of peace.
For thus says the LORD, "Behold, I extend peace to her like a river, And the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; NASU
To see pictures, go to Photo Gallery\West Virginia- New River Gorge National River