Well there may be a cache hidden some where around here!
If you have ever stubbed your toe on a rock or stumbled on an innocuous stick and there after chucked the offending ‘litter’ into a bonfire or into a nearby pond then you may have missed seeing the angry face of a bamboozled geocacher the next day as he looked for his lost ‘cache’. So then, what is geocaching you ask?
Sit down and I will tell you what you have been missing. Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game for all age groups using GPS-enabled devices or smart phones where participants walk and navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (a stealthly hidden container). The interesting thing about geocaching is that it is now a world wide phenomenon with diverse educational and health benefits (Search for your regional caches here) . Yup, even in Africa there are numerous intriguing geocaches on the increase now. Geocaching as they say takes an arm chair commentator and video game addicted teenager and turns them into an outdoor treasure hunter. Without any arm twisting you can get a whole family out of their living room with banana smiles peeking under snail shells and hedgehogs – looking for treasure (or rather caches as the lingo goes). It is actually more exciting if you have got children to tag along as they are naturally inquisitive and love treasure hunting! Families who usually sit quietly around a televisoon for hours on end can finally get to spend time walking and talking together as they enjoy the mud, rain and sunshine as they explore and learn more about their neighbourhood!
Before I get any further I do not want to claim to be a professional geocacher…I’m actually still a newbie…I’ve only found six traditional or straight forward caches so far in my two days of treasure hunting which started this week. I am yet to join the ranks of those who have solved mystery or puzzle caches. This type may involve complicated puzzles that you will first need to decipher to determine the correct coordinates. Other complex categories like the multi caches may involve two or more locations, with the final location being a physical container with a reward or logbook inside. There are many variations, but typically once you’re at the first stage, you will receive a clue to the whereabouts of the second stage. The second stage will have a clue for the third, and so on. For even more adventurous and mind boggling types there are ‘virtual caches’. For more on these I will refer you to geeky web links like this one.
So, then, what does geocaching have to do with the gospel? Good question! Let’s go back to what a cache is. A cache in its simplest form may usually contain a logbook or logsheet for you to log your find. Larger caches may contain a logbook and any number of items which may vary from badges to coins and toys and cards etc. These items turn the adventure into a true treasure hunt. They are also exchangeable! You never know what the cache owner or visitors to the cache may have left for you to enjoy until you open the cache.
As a Christian I would like to see as many geocachers come to the knowledge of Christ. To reach as many geocachers as I can I have a stash of small 1 Million Euro gospel tracts (or swag- another terminology for goodies that you exchange in caches) These tracts are easy to read . I prayerfully leave them behind as my token. Will any one get read them? I don’t know. Will God use the tracts? I keep praying so – afterall if God could use a donkey in the Bible to speak to Balaam then he can use a tract with a gospel message.
Geocachers are sinners who need to hear the gospel as much as any one. And that being said here are my photos from my two days of geocaching in beautiful quiet south eastern English town of Basildon. The scenery, landscapes and buildings are a good distraction for a man like me who always walks with a camera in one hand and a gospel tract in the other.
(Yawn!) We did quite abit of walking today and I can’t feel my knees any more. I’m heading for bed ….well if I can reach there. Tomorrow another cache lies in wait to be discovered.
Another gospel tract waits to be delivered!