Saturday, August 17, 2013


MISERABLY AWESOME! We just completed our most miserable trip in 17 years of ministry, and it was absolutely awesome.

Earlier in the year Todd Barton of Clearwater Christian College contracted GTD to outfit him, his RD's (Resident Directors), and his student RA's (Resident Advisors) with an event that would be full of adversity, trials, and difficulties in order to build stronger relational bonds, assess critical decision making, elicit leadership skills, gauge reactions to adversity, test character, and most importantly, grow closer to God. ...Mission accomplished!

The decision was to do an out-of-season canoe camping trip in the Ten Thousand Island region of southern Florida. Timing is everything. If you want challenging circumstances then go canoe camping in south Florida during the heart of summer.

Over 3 days and 2 nights we paddled 20 miles and camped on islands during a season ripe with an inhospitable environment. Some of our challenges included 90+ degree heat, nightly infestation of mosquitoes & no-see-ums, severe thunderstorms, inability to sleep, water rationing, getting lost in an endless maze of islands. It was 3 days of brutal conditions. It was also a 3 day incubator of family building.

I can't tell you how impressed I am with each person from Clearwater Christian College. They faced each moment of misery with laughter, optimism, and resilience. I'm not saying that they had fun or they didn't hate their circumstances. I am saying that they overcame their circumstances through their strong faith in God and depth of character. Todd led them back to Christ in each trial and helped connect the dots between their current experience and their leadership role at CCC.

I'm honored to have met such incredible people. I'm blessed to have had the opportunity to adventure with an outstanding group of overcomers. I'm encouraged to see that their depth & strength comes from their close relationship with Jesus and the Christian values they uphold.

Way to go CCC! You came, you paddled, you conquered!!


Check out the pics on our Facebook Page here and on our online SmugMug Photo Album here.

Scroll down on this blog to see GPS coordinates from some of our canoeing locations during this adventure in the Ten Thousand Islands.