Griffith Observatory Outing

Welcoming International Students

by Dale Fisher

Looking at meteorites with Jovin and Tetsushi was just part of a fun afternoon and evening that Marti and I recently spent at Griffith Observatory. This outing was part of the International Friendship Connection (IFC) ministry at our church. (See a previous example of Marti's and my participation, back in December 2009, with our church's IFC ministry on this page.)

The purpose of IFC is to welcome international students to the US, share our culture with them, and try to positively influence them for Christ. This event, which was attended by 16 people, was organized and run by Marti. The afternoon began with a picnic in Griffith Park, as well as a visit to the Museum of the American West.

As evening approached, we moved up to the observatory and watched the sun set over the city of Los Angeles. When the first planets and stars appeared, we all ventured into the planetarium for the evening presentation. Jovin, from Tanzania, had never experienced being in a planetarium and really enjoyed the show.

Afterwards, we toured the exhibits that highlighted meteorites, telescopes, and astronomy, and then headed back to Redlands. We both had a great time building relationships with international students from Japan, China, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Kenya and enjoying an example of God’s amazing creation.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
        the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
        night after night they display knowledge (Psalm 19:1–2).

Breaking Bread Together

Everyone enjoyed and shared "bag suppers" at Griffith Park. The picnic site is on the same road and down the hill from the Griffith Observatory.

Marti commented, "Everybody enjoyed my chips and hummus!"

Appreciating the Heritage of America's West

Visiting the Museum of the American West was a kick! "We all got in touch with our inner cowboy (cowgirl)," Marti added.

The museum visit lasted approximately half an hour.

On the Road Again

Irene (right, from Kenya) and Marti sang Swahili Christian songs on the way back to the car from their walk.

Both agreed that their relationship-building walk together along a beautiful country road was invigorating.

Observatory Vista

Sunset over the Los Angeles business district, as seen from the Griffith Observatory grounds.

Even though it had recently rained, there was still a slight haze over Los Angeles.

Dale took a couple of nighttime photos of the LA panorama from the same vantage point, but somehow his camera wiggled and the shots weren't very good.

Well Worth the Wait

Waiting in line at dusk for the planetarium show . . . .

Relaxing in Comfort

After hiking several miles, the group enjoyed rocking back in the comfortable planetarium seats.

Good Night! We only get a 30-second nap before the stars were to come out.

End of a Wonderful Outing

Viewing the exhibits inside the observatory was both fun and educational.

another Christian fish with a cross

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