Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Jacobson Family — Nov 2014
(photo by JamesStokesPhotography)

Merry Christmas from the Jacobsons!

It is always fun to reach this time of year, and have the excuse to see family and rejoice for the grace and blessings that have come with the last year.

As the time passes, and our Ministry at Forest Springs continues to teach us things about life, Christmas takes on a different feel. We are truly convinced that Christ’s arrival brought with it a new hope, and a new reality.

As we process the questions and struggles of this young generation, I am reminded of my favorite (heads and tails above the rest) Christmas song, “O Holy Night.”  There are tremendous reminders in these lines that we have heard so many times:

Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

What a tremendous day in the history of our world! What tremendous news to share with young people today, who often do not feel the worth of their own souls.  When confronted with the pain and cynicism so common with today’s youth, I do sometimes feel that the world has grown weary once again. But what tremendous joy we find in those moments when minds begin to believe in Christ’s work, and hearts experience that new morning, and that new “thrill of hope”.

At home, we are enjoying being parents of Charlie more and more all the time. He chatters quite a bit and is walking wherever he goes now.  If you run into him and he grabs at your shirt, he is probably searching for your belly button. If he sticks his cup (or his banana) in your face and says “dah!” it’s because he wants to do “cheers”.  He is enjoying his position as the only child, but will be challenged in April when his little sibling arrives!

We wish all of you a Merry Christmas. May this season be one of true hope and joy!

Dan, Laura & Charlie

Trailhead Cross Country Ski Class—Dec 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

In The Thick of It.

The last few weeks have been full of activity. The students are doing great. I really mean that. We have been blessed by their attitudes and willingness to pitch-in where needed and dig-in where their classes demand it.

We are almost half way through several of the fall classes, and with all we have going on, it will be a stretch to fit everything in. Students get their biggest break of the year for Thanksgiving, and will return to a full month of classes and Dinner Theatre before Christmas.

In addition to the "book learning," the students have been able to maintain cars (oil changes and tire change), Use a chainsaw, and bake pies with Ted Nast. Their building is progressing slowly as we have had over a foot of snow now!

 How many guys does it take to change a headlight?

 Rosie tackles the tire

Alex changes oil!

Please pray that the Holy Spirit would accomplish His work in the lives of the students, giving each of them a true desire to live for God's glory in their self-glorifying culture. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

This year's students in last year's canoe

Another month has passed without a blog post, and if I let it go any longer, it will become overwhelming. A lot has happened in October. Students have served, learned, built (parts of) buildings, cooked a lot of meals, listened to lectures on the history of the Bible, camped in sub-freezing weather (some of them), and started to figure out how hard it can be to live closely with people who aren't like you. All of these things are sanctifying in some way. 

Please pray for a deep and genuine understanding of God's love, and the true understanding of the good news of the gospel. This is the truth that can change everything. 

A few pictures:

 Sarah and Sam working on the Flambeau cabin

 Alyssa helping with a concrete slab on the new generator building

 More concrete!

 Alex and Alyssa on the canoe trip

 View from the campsite. The weather was great on the canoe trip.

The guys groups had some great guys-only discussions. I enjoyed the time spent with these young men.

This week the students begin three classes:

1. Personal Finance
2. Inductive Bible Study
3. Gospel application class

All of these classes will go until Christmas. Please pray that they will learn and be blessed! I will try to update this blog more regularly from here on out!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

We have survived the first two weeks! This might seem insignificant, but the first two weeks of Trailhead can be rough. Students settle into new housing, try to figure out how to share space with 10 other people, adapt to a new culture, learn how to do about 6 different jobs around camp, write a constitution for group behavior, and do many other things all while adjusting to living away from Mom and Dad, which makes this an emotional time for some.

It is my assessment that this group is doing an amazing job so far. They are getting along for the most part, and tackle each new challenge with a good attitude. It has been a blessing to guide this particular group of students through the boot camp that is the first two weeks.

Whats next? We leave tomorrow for a four day canoe adventure in the Sylvania Wilderness in Watersmeet, MI. Trips like this require teamwork and communication. There will be discomfort at times, and attitudes can be stretched. These types of experiences build connections between people. For some of the students, this will be the highlight of the year. For others, they will be glad to just survive. For all of us, there will be memories that will lay the foundation for truly solid friendships as we go forward this year.

When we return, we will settle into a more normal routine, and classes for the fall will begin.

Here are a couple of pictures of our little cabin on the Flambeau River. Students insulated the cabin Friday in preparations for the pine carsiding that we will install soon. We used polystyrene on the lower 4 feet to help keep the mice out.

It's going to be a cool little prayer cabin when it's done.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Meet the Trailhead class of 2014!

(L to R: John, Hannah, Adam, Sam, Rosie, Andrew, Sarah, Alyssa, Dan, Theo & Alex)

We are so excited to be beginning the Trailhead year and getting to know these students as they get to know us and each other!  Just a bit about each:

Theo Ambrosius—Beaver Dam, WI
A few of the things he enjoys are fishing, hunting, reading, snowboarding and

Alyssa Beth—Kenosha, WI
She has many hobbies such as hanging out with friends and family and playing
sports. She doesn’t give up on things and is protective of people, showing
kindness toward anyone. She plays tennis, basketball, soccer and is involved
in drama. She also plays the drumset and the djembe.

Sam Burkhalter—Neenah, WI
Some of the things he enjoys are camping, hiking, riding bicycles, piano,
building, sports, learning, doing new things, boat riding, cooking, fishing, star-
gazing, swimming, photography, acting, farming and caving.

Rosie Day—Janesville, WI
One hobby she really enjoys is singing. She sings anywhere and anytime, and
is on the youth worship team at church. She loves being a part of that and
seeing so many people worshiping the Lord together. Another hobby of hers
is writing, and she enjoys escaping into the world of her writing.

John Kollmorgen—Hayward, WI
He enjoys swimming and biking. He also likes building and constructing
things. He enjoys small projects like building shelving for a room or a drink
holder for a car, as well as building with Legos. He is also good at puzzle
solving, and is a good servant leader.

Alex Lawrence—Overland Park, KS
She is a very creative person. She enjoys any activity involving art such as
drawing, painting, and photography.

Andrew Lower—Waldorf, MD
He enjoys working with his hands. He likes to take things apart to figure out
how they work and put them back together, and is happy when they work.
He played soccer and baseball. Spending time outside in the woods, climbing
rocks and just being outside bring him joy.

Adam Prins—Isanti, MN
He loves to play sports. He runs, and was in cross-country in high school. He
also likes to listen to music and play video games. He enjoys hanging out with
friends and playing board games.

Dan Schweitzer—Winfield, IL
He enjoys soccer, wrestling, skateboarding, music and reading.

Sarah Tschanz—Blair, WI
She enjoys photography, working with animals, working with people, caring
for people and making crafts.

Hannah Wetzel—Stevens Point, WI
Some of her hobbies are digital photography, photoshop, writing, reading
and ice skating. She sings, is organized, does childcare and is good at being
sensitive and empathetic toward others.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sometimes our worst idea and our best idea turn out to be the same idea. That is how I feel about the giant canoe. Like all bad and good ideas, at first it only seemed like a good one. Why not have the Trailhead students build a giant canoe? Who wouldn't want to do that?

Trailhead students, as it turned out.  This was a bit frustrating, but not their fault.

So a couple of them helped, and Jesse Schutt and I carried most of the load. I think the students learned things about wood skills and tools. I definitely learned some things about leadership, and the assumptions I make that can get me in trouble.

After almost a year of work and reflection, the canoe finally made it to the lake today. So far, so good. It was still floating on top of the water last time I checked.

Hoping to come up with more good ideas than bad ones next year. Thanks to everyone who helped with the boat!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Introducing...Forest Springs Adventure Ministries Staff 2014!

B to F/L to R: Dan, Tim, Brice, Jordan, Michael, Caleb, Cassie, Peter, Reanna, Katy, Abby, Missy

This summer they 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 and Charlie Jacobson—Adv. Min. Director and wife (Full-time Staff)
· Pray for  wisdom in leadership.
· Pray for wisdom in parenting and for the heart of our son who is learning that Dad is gone a lot.

Tim, Andra, Ben & Kaylee Petersen— Adv.  Ministries Associate and family (Full-time staff)
· Pray for the delicate balance of Camp/Church/Family.
· Pray for spiritual growth and awaremess for my children.
· Pray for care and attentiveness to my wife.
· Pray for love for all people.

Brice Niemond—Trip Leader (Moody Bible Institute—Spokane, WA)
· Pray for my emotional and physical endurance as this summer will be draining.
· Pray that I would be focused on Christ as my source of both strength and effectiveness as I serve this summer.

 Jordan Scott—Specialist/LTD (Pine Island, MN)
· Pray for confidence in leadership and wisdom throughout the summer.

Michael S. Nimesheim Jr.—Specialist (Nanzdietschweiler, Germany/Prairie Bible Institute)
· Pray for the love of God to be shown through my life to others for His glory.
· Pray that I would be fully invested while here at Camp.
· Pray that I would make wise choices and good judgement calls all summer.

Caleb Bishop—Trip Leader (Felch, MI/Cairn University)
· Pray that I would rely on God’s strength as I serve.
· Pray that I would be drawn to my knees this summer as I see His love, affection, and grace for me, in my campers lives, and through us working through the Spirit.
· Pray for growth in leadership with good uplifting communication between trip leaders, trip staff, and trip groups.
· Pray for boldness to take the opportunities to challenge and grow campers in the Gospel.

Cassie Whitstone—Trip Packer (Full-time Staff)
· Pray that I make the most of every opportunity this summer.
· Pray that I daily remember that God has never failed me.
· Pray that I rely on Him fully for my fulfillment.

Peter Hoyt—Trip Leader (Rib Lake, WI/Cairn Univeristy)
· Pray that God would be working through me to share Christ’s love with those I come in contact with and in all my actions and words this summer.

Réanna Baumgarten— Adventure Ministries  Coordinator (Full-time Staff)
· Pray that I will be intentional in my relationships with our summer staff and campers
· Pray that I keep the details organized well for trip staff!
· Pray for solid time in God’s word in the midst of a busy season.

Katy Beasterfield—Trip Leader (Rib Lake, WI/Bethlehem College and Seminary)
· In Matthew 20:28 we see that Jesus came not to be served, but to serve.  This summer my desire is to serve both the campers and other staff with the humility of Christ.  Not out of obligation, but out of love.
· Pray that my heart would be soft and moldable to the work of the Holy Spirit.

Abby White—Trip Leader (Cedarburg, WI/UW-Stevens Point)
· Pray for growth in seeing my sin and God’s holiness.
· Pray for the ability to communicate the gospel clearly to campers and love them where they are in life.
· Pray for the team of trip leaders and staff to increse in grace and truth for one another.

 Melissa (Missy) Pranke—Trip Leader (Cannon Falls, MN/LTD graduate)
· Pray for humility in leading.
· Pray for patience and grace with campers.
· Pray that the love and power of God would fill me and be used to encourage others.