The James Caird, a small open boat, is pushed into the ocean as Ernest Shackleton and a few men set out to get help for the stranded crew. (LOC)

The James Caird, a small open boat, is pushed into the ocean as Ernest Shackleton and a few men set out to get help for the stranded crew. (LOC)

The sailing ship Endurance creaks and groans as it is stuck and crushed by the sea ice. (LOC)

The sailing ship Endurance creaks and groans as it is stuck and crushed by the sea ice. (LOC)

The weathered face of the explorer and leader Ernest Shackleton (LOC)

The weathered face of the explorer and leader Ernest Shackleton (LOC)

Men with Ernest Shackleton's expedition to the Antarctic try to survive the cold by digging a dwelling hole in the ice on Elephant Island. (LOC)

Men with Ernest Shackleton's expedition to the Antarctic try to survive the cold by digging a dwelling hole in the ice on Elephant Island. (LOC)

Stranded crew members wave goodbye to Shackleton and sailors as they set sail on the small James Caird boat. (LOC)

Stranded crew members wave goodbye to Shackleton and sailors as they set sail on the small James Caird boat. (LOC)

In Mr. Shackleton’s Snow Prints

Posted: December 31, 2018

Mr. Rudd is following in some huge polar footsteps. He named his expedition “Spirit of Endurance.” The Endurance was the ship used by the famous British explorer Ernest Shackleton. Mr. Shackleton tried to cross Antarctica between 1914 and 1917. But ice trapped the Endurance. Mr. Shackleton and his men were stuck! Mr. Shackleton knew his crew would have to spend the winter on the ice. The men moved the dogs off the ship into igloos on the ice. To keep up their spirits, the 28 crew members exercised on the ice and played games aboard the ship. They waited for months. But they couldn’t wait forever. Their ship was being crushed by the ice.

Finally, the men squeezed into lifeboats. They sailed to ice-covered Elephant Island. They survived by eating seals, penguins, and even their own dogs. Mr. Shackleton showed incredible leadership and bravery. He and five men sailed 800 miles in an open boat to save the entire crew. The dangerous journey took 16 days. Finally, he arrived in South Georgia, an island territory in the Atlantic Ocean used by whaling ships. At last, he had found others who could help! It took four trips and four months for Mr. Shackleton to rescue his crew members. In the end, not a single crew member died.

But Mr. Shackleton did not do what he set out to do: cross Antarctica. Mr. Rudd wants to complete Mr. Shackleton’s unfinished business. Is it scary? Yes! But Mr. Rudd feels encouraged. He says, “There will be so many people out there supporting me, willing me on and watching my progress—they will be with me all the way.”

Christians take comfort knowing that no matter their location or trials, Jesus will never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)