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A Breath of Fresh Air: GodTreks Goes to Indiana Dunes

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

The GodTreks Adventure Club of Judah Christian School
GodTreks hikers on a cold and windy day at the Indiana Dunes

In their longest out-of-state trip since the summer 2022 adventure to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, the rapidly expanding GodTreks Adventure Club traveled three hours from central Illinois to the Indiana Dunes. There, on November 19, the trekking crew hiked four miles along the shores of Lake Michigan and witnessed another front of God’s might.

For the hikers in GodTreks, November is an opportunity to finish the year strong. For Michael Himick, founder of GodTreks, the best option for the windy winter weather was a hallmark hike at Indiana Dunes: “You can’t have a trip to Yellowstone every time. But at the Indiana Dunes, with its 200-foot-high sand dunes washed up by the Great Lakes and blown down by high winds, you see what the Midwest has to offer, the history, the nature, all of it. It’s all God’s creation.”

GodTreks club members who made the trip felt the same about their experiences at Indiana Dunes. Senior Owen Jones reflected on the time he spent not only with his friends but also observing the magnificence that the dunes had to offer. “My favorite thing was when we were hiking up one of the dunes,” said Owen. “Even though you aren’t going much of a distance up, fighting the wind and the cold combined with the incline is its own little challenge. But once we got to the top, and I looked out at the beach and the lake and the gray sky, I was just awestruck with how powerful it felt to see.”

For the club, another exciting thing is the recent influx of new members. “Once the word about Yellowstone got around, I received a number of questions from students about how to join GodTreks,” said Mr. Himick. “The best part was that we were able to include a good deal of people who wanted in last year but didn’t have the time.”

To Mr. Himick as well as the rest of the members, the explosion of new hikers means a new opportunity to share the fundamental mission of the club: providing an opportunity to see God’s glory firsthand. Fortunately, for hikers new and old, Indiana Dunes went well beyond their expectations, both visually and spiritually. Caleb Yant, an early constituent of the GodTreks Adventure Club, had a lot to say about how he saw God’s nature at Indiana Dunes: “It’s one of those things which is really hard to explain unless you were there feeling it yourself. Just the wind combined with everything else. It felt powerful.”

Mr. Himick added to this sentiment with his own interpretation of what it was like spiritually at the dunes. “I remember it vividly,” said Mr. Himick. “The culmination of the weather and the view and just our spirits as a group gave us an insight into God’s creation. In Yellowstone the main thing we saw as a group was God’s glory, but Indiana Dunes showed us God’s might, which is equally important but still different in its own powerful way. I think it moved us.”

Juliana Stranberg, Jacob Dupre, and Keira Aardsma of the GodTreks Adventure Club at Judah Christian School
Juliana Stranberg, Jacob Dupre, and Keira Aardsma on the shore of Lake Michigan

Although the trip to Indiana Dunes is over, there is no end in sight for the GodTreks Adventure Club. The growing hiking club proves yet again that one of the best ways to experience God is to experience His creation among others who are themselves created. The club itself is developing more with every hike it goes on, and the members hope that others will join and walk with them. The process of seeking the remote parts of nature and an understanding of God demonstrates how in all things, people who seek will find. “It’s a community,” said Mr. Himick. “We get together, hike around, and learn about God. That’s all there is to it.”

— Talon Fazio, class of '24


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