Sunday, February 19, 2017

Once again, the “New Year’s” letter from the Jacobsons makes it out in the early Spring!  I wish I could claim that this was a strategic move to avoid the holiday mail rush, but in reality it just didn’t get done. Next year we will plan a Halloween letter and maybe it will arrive on time.

The Trailhead Program is in its fourth year, and as I reflect on the last year of ministry, I realize that there is little that is brand new. We didn’t welcome a new child this year, or kick off a new ministry initiative but that isn’t to say good things aren’t happening.  I have this old song in my head as I write:


Hello old friends

There’s really nothing new to say.

The old, old story bears repeating

And the same old truth grows dearer every day

Cause I’ve found something worth believing

And that’s a joy that nothing can take away.


Trailhead continues to provide opportunities to help young people understand that our faith is “worth believing.”  In addition to the standard scheduling, teaching and mentoring, I was even able to spend a week at Montana Wilderness School of the Bible in January teaching on the subject of “worldview and apologetics.” Developing and teaching this class was a great journey for me.  My life has been a string of difficult (sometimes scary) questions. It is tremendous to look back and see how many of them have been answered in the person of Christ.  I have no idea if the students were blessed by the class, but I was definitely blessed by the preparations.


So we meet again, after all these many years

Did we sow the seeds we're reaping?
Now that the harvest calls us here
It seems that love blooms out of season
And much joy can blossom from many tears


Laura is learning and growing as she pours out into things at home and camp. She continues to hold everything together in our house (other than the timing of me writing this letter) and Charlie and Mason are healthy young future-men. It isn’t uncommon at the dinner table for our boys to choose their food based on what will “make me strong.”  They are beginning to enjoy each other’s friendship. Both are happy and proud to be learners.  “Why?” is Mason’s favorite question and is his standard response to pretty much any statement. Charlie is learning his letters and will be writing his name soon. Please pray for us as we raise them.  It will take more than   venison and vegetables to produce the strength they will need in their lives.


So old friends you must forget what you had to forgive
And let love be stronger than the feelings
That rage and run beneath the bridge.
Knowing morning follows evening
Makes each new day come as a gift!   Rich Mullins


We are thankful for all of you.

May your Spring bring joy and hope with its reminders of life and growth.

Dan, Laura, Charlie & Mason


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Off & Running in 2016!


Trailhead 2016-17 :

Daniel, Andrew, Sharisse (RA), Garreth, Rebekah, Micah, Moria, Joe, Rafaella, Jake, Cynthia, Pedro, Maddy, Doug (RA)


Another summer has come and gone, and once again the Adventure Program staff did a great job serving our guests well.  From the Flambeau River right here in Northern Wisconsin to the Beartooth Mountains in Montana, God’s creation was explored and his glory proclaimed.  We are grateful to our staff for their many long days of service.  We asked much of them, and they gave their very best. Praise God for the impact His word can have when reflecting together around a campfire under the sky.


Labor Day brought a new class for the nine-month Trailhead Program. We are excited to share a year with these students as they wrestle with some of the biggest questions they will ever have to answer: Who is God? Can I trust the Bible? Can I even understand it? What makes me valuable? How should I decide a career path? What church will I attend when I am on my own? What will I do with my money?


The answers to these questions will dictate nearly everything in life from here forward for these students. That is why we are so excited to begin the work of exploring together the Truth laid out in God’s word.


We begin this week with Dr. Dan Hayden’s course Did God Write the Bible? And from there we will apply the Bible’s answers to each component of life throughout the year. Please pray for hearts ready to receive God’s word and cling to the hope found in Christ.


Charlie and Mason are doing great. They are really at a fun stage—full of chatter and movement and learning. Please pray for God to draw them to himself, and for their relationship to grow into a true friendship.


Laura blesses all parts of my life, secretly and quietly holding things together administratively for my ministry at camp and the family at home. I am grateful to God for her partnership. Pray for rest and stamina, as she tries to keep up with these little boys.


We are grateful for the full and rewarding path God has us walking.


In His life,
Dan, Laura, Charlie & Mason


Trailhead Canoe Trip — Sept 2016


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Forest Springs Adventure Ministries Staff 2016!

This summer we will be growing, teaching, praying, kayaking, climbing, canoeing, packing and preparing food, leading alongside youth pastors, counseling, managing the details of many trips, handling the care of the camp gear and vehicles, caring for hundreds of campers, caring for each other… Thank you for your love, prayers and support!

Dan, Laura, Charlie & Mason  Jacobson—Adv. Min. Director and wife (Full-time Staff)
· Wisdom in parenting and for our boys’ growth (spiritually, physically, socially, etc.)
· For quality time with family amidst a busy season.
Tim, Andra, Ben & Kaylee Petersen— Adv.  Ministries Associate and family (Full-time staff)
· Prayer for managing the many details of ministry and family life.  Grace for each other when we make mistakes or things just don’t go as planned.
· Safety for our groups
· Continual spiritual growth and encouragement
Réanna Baumgarten— Adventure Ministries  Coordinator (Full-time Staff)
· To manage the trip details well.  Building relationships with trip staff and campers– speak God’s truth into their lives.  For own time in God’s word.
Michael S. Nimesheim Jr.—Specialist/ Speaker (Nanzdietschweiler, Germany)
· Pray that I would be focused on using the words that I speak to the kids while on the trip to be God honoring and would be encouraging to everyone to live Godly lives.
Steve Hooper– Trip Leader  (Arvada, Colorado)
· Energy as the Summer continues
· Patience when details don’t work out (I get frustrated when things don’t go according to plan)
· Effectiveness as I surrender to be used for God’s Glory
Moriah Kuehl– Trip Leader (Medina, Minnesota)
· Pray for energy & strength each day so that I can give all that I have in every moment to connect with kids, connect with Jesus, and love people WELL.  Also pray that my heart would be steadfast and one with Jesus no matter the circumstance.
Ciara Scheithauer– Trip Food Packer  (Ogema, Wisconsin/ University of Northwestern, St. Paul Minnesota)
· Continued growth in my relationship with the Lord.  Time management with my job and also my time with the Lord, to make my quiet time a priority.
Doug Henley– Trip Specialist (Willow Grove, Pennsylvania)
· Pray that through relationships with campers that we can share Christ clearly.  Pray for safety in the different activities we do.
Hansine Willoughby– Trip Leader  ( Spokane, Washington/ Moody Bible Institute)
· Pray that I don’t lose the desire to invest in the camp community.
· Pray against loneliness.
· Pray for endurance and reliance on God’s provision in all things.
Jesse Tschanz
· Pray that I would be conformed to the image of Christ.  
· Pray for patience and grace in dealing with campers.
· Pray that I wouldn’t waste the opportunities the Lord gives me this summer.
Cory Schalk,- Trip Leader (Duvall, Washington)
· Pray that  I wouldn’t be distracted by various things going on at home and that my heart would be completely here so that I can minister well and serve  our campers well.  Pray for peace, joy and contentment for me - that would be awesome!



Monday, April 4, 2016


Trailhead Welding Class--March 2016

Greetings from the Jacobsons!

You know things are busy when your Christmas update goes out in March!

Our busy-ness is nothing to complain about.  We are up to good things.  We feel blessed to be living this life together, surrounded by these people and using our time and energy for this work.

In May we will finish the third year of our Trailhead "gap year" program.  This nine month program for post high school students is our primary work from September to May.  Our nine students have done well, challenging us with good theological questions and "creative hijinks" that have often required my sternest face at work, even if I laughed after I got home (don't tell them).

In all honestly, "Don't sweat the small stuff" seems to be a good motto at times when working with 18-20 year olds.  They are often dealing with "big stuff" that I knew nothing about at their age.  These three years have taught us much about the pressures and questions plaguing young people of this generation.  What a blessing the Christ's work and His words are as relevant and powerful now as they ever have been. Pray that we would be wise as we teach and counsel these young friends!

The boys are...boys.  Charlie is two, and has an imagination that leaves us in wonder at times.  He is sensitive, and approaches life with a bright-eyed curiosity that we love.  If you join us for a meal, he just might do the praying, and he will catch you if you try to pass along a dish without partaking.

Mason is a year old, and developing into a funny little guy.  He usually knows what he wants, and can now crawl to get it. Every now and then, all he wants is a big hug from Mom or Dad, and those are special moments.  Despite a rocky and early start to life, he seems to be growing and learning well.

Laura holds everything together in our home and she does a lot more for the Trailhead program than anyone knows.  I have been blessed to see her grow in wisdom and joy since our marriage began.  Sometimes I am amazed at the Godly counsel I hear her dispensing.  I truly feel that the blessing of marriage becomes bigger each day (I hope she agrees).

Up next will be another summer of the Adventure Program.  We always look forward to the changing seasons and the next chapter of this fascinating work.

We are blessed by your friendship and support!

May God bless you,

Dan, Laura, Charlie and Mason


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fall at Forest Springs


To our friends and family.

After a stable, yet transforming summer of adventure ministry, our busy fall is well underway here at Forest Springs. As always, the Trailhead students are up to their elbows in challenging and unique experiences. This week, for example, they were up to their elbows in pork!

Haley lives on a pig farm, and her generous parents dropped off a living 200 pound pig last week.  It was a rare and fascinating opportunity to butcher this pig and process the meat together. Yesterday we made 60 pounds of sausage and future meals will include barbequed ribs, pulled pork, smoked bacon and a beautiful pork loin that we will save for a special occasion.  Most of the students will never butcher a pig again, but they will always know what’s involved, and they will never see the meat aisle at the grocery store in quite the same way they used to.

This experience, along with auto maintenance, chainsaw class, canoe building and others, are simply the “extras” from the last few weeks. These are fun and useful skills, but the core of our fall curriculum is Bible training.  When they aren’t running a meat grinder or felling trees, our students are digging deep into God’s word.  The training they are receiving will equip them for their future, and make them a blessing in their churches. Pray for them as they tackle these difficult classes!

On the home front, we just celebrated our 8th anniversary and Charlie’s second birthday. It is hard to believe we have only known him for that long.  He is emerging as a social and observant little boy who cares about others.  He is also full-swing into the life-long journey of learning about obedience.  Mason is a happy and curious 8-month-old with hair that stands straight on end.  He is just starting to enjoy trying food with his new teeth, and loves watching and laughing with Charlie.  We pray their budding friendship is a blessing to them and others for life.  Our boys are a constant blessing and I must say that their mother is amazing.

God is faithful. We are celebrating with the board today, and reliving the many testimonies from our ministry this year. Your prayers and support have been instrumental in this. Thank you!

Dan, Laura, Charlie& Mason