Thursday, July 23, 2015

A glimpse of Summer

Jacobson Family— May 2015 (photos by JaamesStokesPhotography)

To our friends and family.

The transition from Spring to Summer means an annual ministry change for us. After a challenging and fruitful year, the Trailhead program finished on May 10th.  We rejoice with these students over the times of growth (both in them and in us).  With a few weeks to change gears, the Summer Wilderness Program kicked off on May 25th.

During the next few months, we will facilitate hundreds of experiences in the woods and on the rivers, with a staff of 8 trained wilderness guides and groups of students coming from as far away as Missouri. As I write this, we are preparing for a week during which we will juggle four separate trips taking place at once.

We are always amazed at the effectiveness of wilderness ministry. Jesus so often taught outdoors, and used creation to emphasize God’s power and provision.  As you pray this Summer, please keep in mind the young people we will serve here at camp, many of whom will spend more time with their Bibles (and less time with their smartphones) than they ever have before.   Even though the trips are only a week long, when free from addictive distractions and immersed in God’s created world, real questions about life often surface.

Please pray that we would be ready with Biblical answers that bring truth to young lives, and glory to Christ.

We are glad to report our second son, Mason is doing well. Mason came about six weeks early, and lived at the NICU for the first three weeks of his life.  We saw much of God’s goodness during this time—and so many of you were a part of that. He is now four months old and is a healthy (and smiley) little boy. We are very blessed and grateful.

Charlie is talking up a storm and is a funny, curious little boy. The other day he asked "where did God go?" A big question for his 20-month old mind!  He loves all animals, but he definitely seems to like giraffes the most.

Laura is a trooper and an amazing Mom. With two boys under two, she has her hands full at home right now. As I watch her listen, teach, prepare meals and read thousands of stories, I realize often that these are two very blessed little boys.

We definitely have our sleepless nights on occasion now, but we love this phase of life and enjoy watching these little guys learn about their world.

May God bless you,
Dan, Laura, Charlie & Mason

Congratulations, Friends!— May 2015

Summer 2015 Adventure Ministries Team

Reflections from one of our Trailhead students this year!! :

“Who am I? That’s the question isn’t it?  I didn’t know the answer to that question

before Trailhead, but a few possibilities came to my mind if I thought about it.  I was a

misfit.  I was broken and I knew that there wasn’t a place for me.  I was a slave with

shackles on my soul that I could not break free of no matter how hard I tried.  I was

sinking and I couldn’t do anything about it.  That was before I had a personal

relationship with my God.  It was easy for me to identify myself with my parent’s faith

and not have to forge one on my own.  I could hide behind the fact that I was raised in a

Christian family.  I did not know who I had “worshipped” on Sunday for my entire

childhood.  But God knows the truth.  I can’t run from him, I can’t hide from him, and I

can’t fight him.  He knows I’m not perfect.  He knows that I can’t do this on my own as

much as I act like I can. He tells me who I am, and he tells me that Mathew 6:26 was

directed at me when Jesus said “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap

nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more

value than they?”  And this got me thinking during my year at Trailhead, about who I

was, who I am and who I want to be.  I was a kid who had been running, hiding, and

fighting for a lot of his life.  I was a kid who had fallen into a pit of despair, and the more

I tried to get out, the deeper the pit became.  I was an enemy of the cross who took

Christ’s sacrifice for granted.  But I am not who I used to be.  I am not the slave to sin

that I was before.  I am not in that pit of despair anymore, and I refuse to fall back into it

because I am not a bird, and my Heavenly Father will feed me even if it’s not in the way

I thought he would.  I am a young man of God.  I am a young man of God who can’t do

this on his own, a young man who needs help from his brothers and sisters.  I am a

young man of God who is not running or hiding anymore, but I sure am fighting. I am not

fighting for the reasons I was before and I am not fighting with guns, swords, or my fists. 

I am fighting for my soul, to make sure it stays in the right hands, because my hands

cannot keep it safe.  I am fighting to make sure that I am bearing God’s image with

honor, love, and compassion.  The weapons of my war are not carnal or material.  They

are from my Father in heaven.  I bear the Shield of Faith and wield of the Sword of the

Spirit.  He alone can sustain me, no matter how much the world wants me to think that it

can.  I can do all things through he who strengthens me.  My battle cry is “Alleluia” and

my marching tune is the sweet sound of Amazing Grace.  My chains are gone.

 I am free.”