Wednesday, December 31, 2014



I'm thrilled to announce that an amazingly generous Ministry Partner from TX has donated $3000 to GTD!! That donation has been matched and transitioned our ministry from finishing in the red to finishing in the black for our 5th straight year!!!! WOW, We are BLOWN AWAY!! This is nothing less than a miracle! We are so thankful for our incredible, thoughtful, and generous supporters who care so deeply about this ministry. This has been an incredible & miraculous 6 day worst-to-first journey!! /// I'm about to board a flight to Alabama so I have to stop typing. Our profound thanks to our big donor!! We are floored!!! God bless you. We love you! And God bless each person involved in this miracle. We didn't do an end of the year appeal... no mail-outs... God just dropped this in our lap and moved the hearts of donors, many of which didn't know the need. Our jaws are dropped! He did the same thing for our Annual Banquet. WOW! Thank you Jesus!!

Thank You Year-End Donors!!

Our immense gratitude goes out to all of our end-of-the-year donors who have contributed $25, $50, and $100 donations over the past few days in conjunction with our $6500 Matching Gift Challenge and in an effort to push GTD out of the red and into black. We are blown away if anyone gives even one dollar to our ministry. We thank God for you and your partnership in the Gospel! Every one of your dollars has been matched which makes it a double blessing for us! THANK YOU!!

There is still time to make a Matching Gift donation... just click this link to make a donation to GTD and watch it get doubled!

We also want to let you know that we have ANOTHER BIG ANNOUNCEMENT coming up shortly... stay tuned!



Today is the last day to double your donations to GTD through our $6500 Matching Gift Challenge from a very generous Anonymous Donor.

It's very simple, whatever you donate to GTD gets matched dollar-for-dollar by our anonymous donor up to a cumulative total of $6500!! That's amazing!! And TODAY is the deadline!!

Just 1 week ago GTD was on the verge of finishing the year in the red for the first time since 2009. We were on track to take a $15,000 loss this year, BUT then on Dec 26th the miracles started happening... a $5000 unexpected donation followed by another unexpected $6500 end-of-the-year Matching Gift!!

Over the past 5 days donations have been coming in from amazing people who love this ministry and want to see us continue the streak to 5 straight years of finishing in the black (during the roughest economy of this generation). We are touched and honored by anyone who would support our ministry. Thank you generous donors!!

Several people have been asking, "What's the update? How much has been raised so far?" AN UPDATE OF FUNDS RAISED WILL BE POSTED TODAY, but I can tell you this, the Matching Gift Challenge has not been completed.

To donate to GTD and help us maximize the $6500 Matching Gift Challenge click the link below. Also, any checks dated on or before Dec 31st that are received by Jan 7th will count towards this challenge. Thank you in advance for your kindness & support to this ministry. You're awesome!! God bless you!

Donate Here:


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Landry Academy & GTD

Yesterday I had a wonderful meeting with an administrator of Landry Academy - Jen Henriksen - and her husband Tom. Landry Academy offers Christ-centered online classes for 4th through 12th grade students on a wide variety of standard subjects such as math, literature, history, science, grammar, etc. They also offer several unique electives. They reach thousands of students all over the US. Jen and Tom have immediately become 2 dear friends to me. They love Jesus and have a huge heart for ministering to young people. Among other things, Jen leads up mission trips all over Europe for Landry Academy and has a huge passion for adventure. Today we discussed the possibilities of GTD putting together some God-awesome adventure events for the Landry community. I don't know where this will lead, but it has an incredible feeling of something God-breathed... it feels like a God-thing. We are excited about what lies ahead. Stay tuned for future developments =)


2nd Meeting

Just returned from an early morning business meeting in Orlando with my amazing cousin Dana Ward. This was our 2nd meeting this month. Dana is a finance major and very successful entrepreneur / businessman who is guiding me through a new and revised business plan for GTD as we prepare for the next 20 years of ministry. His insights and life experiences are more valuable than gold. I deeply appreciate his investment of time, passion, and energy into me and this ministry. This is a very exciting time to be a part of GTD!

- "Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed." (Proverbs 15:22)


Monday, December 29, 2014


We just hired our first employee since 2009. It's a part-time position for the next 2 months, but it's a game changer for our ministry!

We are excited to announce that GTD has hired one of our amazing interns - Jessica Marie - to be a vital part of our staff for the next 2 months as we engage in the most important campaign of our ministry's 18 (soon to be 19) years of operation: the 52 Days campaign that starts on Jan 5, 2015

Jessica is in her last semester at USF. She is one of the most extraordinary and capable people I've ever met. She loves God, loves to serve, loves to work hard, follows directions perfectly, has an amazing attention to detail, strives for excellence in all she does, turns good ideas into great ideas, and displays an incredible level of wisdom at a young age. I could go on and on. Laurie & I are excited to have Jessica on our team and we look forward to how God is going to use her over the next 2 months!

Welcome aboard Jessica! …Now get to work ;)



About an hour after receiving an unexpected jaw-dropping donation of $5000, I received a text from one of our amazing Ministry Partners saying he wanted to make a donation to GTD. He asked me to call him. I did. This leads me to BIG NEWS #2. He asked to stay anonymous, but our awesome supporter has decided to make a $6500 Matching Gift end-of-the-year donation to GTD!!! WOW!!! We are speechless!! We are blown away!! We are praising God for this amazing & wonderful news!!

That means that our donor is willing to match anyone and everyone's donation dollar-for-dollar up to $6500 until 11:59pm Dec 31st. That means that for every dollar you donate, he will donate a dollar. Your $50 donation becomes a $100 donation to GTD! Your $1000 donation becomes a $2000 donation to GTD!

Simply put, we are within striking distance of finishing this year in the black for the 5th straight year. We are literally standing right in the middle of a miracle-in-the-making. And we are asking you to jump right in the middle of this miracle with us. Will you consider making an end-of-the-year donation to GTD so that we can maximize this Matching Gift and finish strong in 2014? Will you help us snatch victory from the jaws of defeat?

On Dec 25th, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that GTD was going to lose this year's fiscal battle, BUT then God stepped in. In a matter of 2 hours on Dec 26th the tide changed. The foregone conclusion is now on the verge of becoming a foregone illusion. Will you help us keep the streak alive? Let's make it 5 years in a row of finishing in the black! Let's make it a great finish to 2014, which will make it a great start to 2015!

Click here to help us snatch victory from the jaws of defeat... click here to make the end of our 18th year of ministry a miraculous one!



On Friday GTD received an unexpected $5000 donation from a wonderful local foundation!! Until we receive permission to share who our generous donor is we will keep it anonymous.

That's a HUGE donation for our ministry! GTD is a non-profit organization and we have been on a 4 year streak of finishing in the black (not losing money), but this year we had one event that severely hemorrhaged our annual budget. As of Dec 25th, we were $15,000 in the red (losing money) this year - even after a record breaking banquet in November.

With just a few days left in the year it looked like we were going to have our first year in the red since 2009. We were licking our wounds, preparing to shake off the loss, and preparing to have a major comeback year in 2015. BUT, God seems to be interested in writing a different ending in 2014. This donation takes us within $10,000 of finishing in the black for 2014... with only a few days to go!

Do you think it can be done? Can GTD go from red to black in under a week?? Can the financial frown be turned upside down? We will see...


Friday, December 26, 2014

BIG NEWS... Coming Tomorrow!

Today has been a day full of unexpected BIG NEWS for our ministry!!

Can't wait to share it... tomorrow =)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Much Love & Yuletide Greetings from the GTD Staff, Interns, & Volunteers
(Doug, Laurie, Traci, Carson, Jessica, Erin, Alex, and Bobby)


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thanks Morgan!

Enjoyed hanging out with a good friend and ministry partner - Morgan Streetman. Morgan is an attorney and runs his own law firm in Tampa. We deeply appreciate his friendship & support of GTD! Coal oven pizza from Grinaldi's was on the menu tonight. Delicious!

Weekly Discipleship

Great time with my discipleship guys last night as we studied 4 characteristics of a disciple based on Matthew 16:24 (Continue in His Word, Deny Yourself, Take Up His Cross, and Follow Him). Love being a part of this journey with them. And special thanks to Deacon - Dick LaBrant for joining us too =)
- DUG <><

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Welcome Back CCSP!

Welcome back Calvary Chapel of St Petersburg!! GTD is excited & honored to host their 2015 annual middle school youth group summer adventure camp. This will be our 10th straight year together!!

Freedom -or- FreeDUMB??

Reading through one of my favorite books in the Bible - Galatians! It's all about my favorite word - FREEDOM. True freedom isn't without boundaries, otherwise it becomes reckless and unsustainable. True freedom with appropriate boundaries becomes a liberation that can be both perpetually sustained while at the same time fully relished since it is not in jeopardy of facing personal extinction. Anyone can be reckless with freedom and steer their life into addictive behaviors & dependencies that make them enslaved. I call this kind of freedom, "freeDUMB". But sustainable freedom embraces self imposed limitations to protect against personal enslavement. Christ didn't come to set us free TO sin; He came to set us free FROM sin. He then gave us instructions about healthy limitations that would preserve that freedom so that we could maximize our full potential for His glory. For instance, I have the freedom in this world to smoke cigarettes, but the real danger of becoming addicted to nicotine can enslave me and destroy my health & finances. The result would be a loss of my freedom because I won't be able to control my "fix", as well as losing my health and finances. Freedom is a precious gift, but it is vulnerable to loss. The worst freedom I've ever experienced was when I did whatever I wanted to do because I could. On the other hand, the greatest freedom I've ever experienced happens each time I follow Christ's instructions in the Bible. It causes great celebration inside my entire being. It has no regrets. It adds to my health. It perpetually sustains my future freedom. I love freedom and I thank God for my freedom and for the fact that He loves my freedom too... so much that He not only died for it, but also gives me boundaries to sustain it.

"It is for freedom sake for which Christ has set us free." - Galatians 5:1


Trail Life Meeting

I had a great dinner / meeting last night at BJ's with some awesome local leaders of Trail Life. They are kicking around the idea of doing a summer Adventure Trip with GTD for their troops. I happen to love that idea!

Loved meeting with some great Godly guys who care about the next generation of young men and desire to steer them towards Christ... and the great outdoors. Learn more about Trail Life here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thanks Heather & Bobby!

Special thanks to Heather Litterello & Bobby Sikes for their excellent volunteer service at the GTD office last week!! You guys are M.A.D. (Making A Difference)! =)

GTD Teams Up With Soul Adventures For Spring Retreat

GTD is excited to be teaming up with Soul Adventures (run by Heather & Paul Williamson) to host a spring adventure retreat for youth ages 10-15 on March 30 - April 1. Details coming soon!!

Learn more about Soul here:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Book a 2015 GTD Event For Your Group!

GTD is NOW booking private group trips for 2015!!
- Mission Trips
- Adventure Trips
- Retreats
- Day Trips
... and more!!

Click here for more info or to reserve a God-awesome GTD event for your group!

Welcome Back MorningStar Church!

We are honored and excited to have the men of MorningStar Church returning back again for another GTD Men's Retreat!! Can't wait to kick off the new year with these great men =)

Click here to learn more about MorningStar Church in Tampa, FL

Friday, December 5, 2014

1 Month Until "52 Days" Begins!!

1 month until GTD's "52 Days" Objective.

Start your New Year off by making a lasting impact in the lives of our next generation.

Get involved with a special mission project called 52 Days. GTD has set aside 52 straight days (Jan 5 - Feb 25) of concentrated work to prepare for our next 20 years of ministry.

Can you organize files?
Can you scan pictures?
Can you repair a trailer?
Can you paint walls?
Can you do graphic design?
Can you call people?
Can you build?
Can you do electrical work?
Can you do office work?
Can you repair a kayak?
Can you recruit more volunteers?
Can you promote a God-awesome ministry?
Can you find great deals?
Can you get new office carpet for free?
Can you get building material for free?
Are you mechanically inclined?
Can you run errands?
Can you adopt our ministry for 1 day or 1 week or 1 month during our 52 Days?
Can your family or youth group set aside 1 Saturday to do a major work project?

We have set aside 52 days to "rebuild the walls" of GTD as we prepare for the next 20 years of ministry and we need your help.

If you want to be a part of our 52 Days Objective then click this link and sign-up... the work that you do will help transform lives for the next 20 years!

Click here to sign-up.


Wise Counsel

This morning I had a nearly 4 hour business advisory meeting in Kissimmee with my awesome cousin, GTD supporter, and successful businessman - Dana Ward. Part of preparing for the next 20 years of ministry in GTD is acquiring knowledge & wisdom from proven experts. I'm so blessed to have one of those experts right in my own family. It was a GREAT meeting... Dana is a wealth of knowledge and such a wonderful & fun person! This was a great investment of time =)


Monday, December 1, 2014

"Value Others Above Yourselves"

One of the most distinguishing character qualities that should be evident in a Christian is selfLESSness - the willful decision to put other people's interest above our own. This includes the motives for which we put others above ourselves. Some people teach that putting others above ourselves is one of the best ways to get what we want, "If you help others get what they want then they will help you get what you want." or "When you help others then it makes you feel good." Motives count. The motive for putting others first shouldn't be done for a self serving agenda, because it then is no longer selfLESS, but rather becomes selfish in its intent. The true reason that Christians should put others first is genuine care & overflow. If my heart is in synch with God's heart then I will genuinely care about others above myself. And if I spend daily quality time in God's Word and in His presence through prayer then He fills my cup so much that it overflows. When your life overflows with the goodness of God then all you want to do is put others ahead of yourself. SelfLESSness becomes a very natural reaction from hanging out with God. It's how He rolls =)

Philippians 2:1-8


Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving!

GTD wants to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!


We know that everyday is a day to give thanks to the Lord, but it's wonderful to have a holiday that serves as a reminder to emphasize a thankful spirit. In fact, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says that giving thanks is God's will for our lives... no matter what our circumstances may be.

Sometimes thankfulness naturally erupts from a heart overwhelmed by the goodness of God, and sometimes thankfulness is an act of faith when our hearts are overwhelmed by difficult circumstances. In either case, we are pleasing God and living right in the center of His will for our lives when we give thanks.

Do you know that Webster's Dictionary defines thankfulness as "the consciousness of benefits received"? I know that sounds a little boring, but don't miss the impact of that definition. It's saying that it's possible to have already received benefits (blessings, favor, good things from God) and not be conscious of it. In other words, if you struggle with being thankful, it's probably not because you don't have something to be thankful for, but rather you are not noticing it... you are not conscious of it. For this reason we want to encourage you today to write down a few things that you are thankful for. Hey, unless you are a turkey today then you have a lot to be thankful for =). As you become aware of all the benefits you have already received thanksgiving will naturally begin to flow from your heart and mind. Many times our emotions follow our thought patterns. Once you are conscious of the blessings in your life your heart just wants to say, "Thank You Jesus!"

And one more thing. Don't forget to convert those blessings into expressions of thanksgiving. It's easy to forget to say, "Thanks!". In Luke 17:11-19 Jesus heals 10 men of Leprosy, a dreaded disease that causes skin lesions, muscle weakness, numbness and often led to bodily disfigurements. Can you imagine the benefit received by those 10 men?!?! They were healed from Leprosy! It is easy to picture these men falling at Jesus' feet while expressing joy, praise and thanksgiving. But, do you know how many men actually returned to give thanks? Only one. And Jesus noticed. He said, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?" Jesus notices not only those who return to give thanks, but also those who don't.

Make time today and everyday to take an inventory of the benefits you have received. Then take a moment to go before the Lord and give thanks.



Friday, November 21, 2014

Plug Into The Power Source

Our smartphones have amazing capabilities packed full of mighty potential. BUT the battery gets drained from daily use. When it gets completely drained it is useless; it has no power. It has to be recharged everyday. It has to be plugged into the power source. Likewise, God has packed you with amazing capabilities & mighty potential. But if we don't plug into our spiritual power source everyday then we become useless for God's causes. Plug n2 God 2day! Read a few verses out of the Bible. Talk to Him about anything on your heart or mind. Plug into the ultimate power source. Get recharged!

Thursday, November 20, 2014


The preliminary results are in. We are thrilled & humbled to announce that our Annual Banquet results this year are RECORD BREAKING!! We raised $45,000!!! All Glory to God!! We are jaw-dropped and speechless at the results. It is nothing less than miraculous (read below)!!

The total amount ($45k) represents one-time donations plus monthly partnership pledges made for 2015. This amount may continue to go up since we don't finalize the results until Dec 31st.

We want to profoundly thank everyone involved in this amazing response. We are blown away! Thank you, thank you, thank you! We praise God for moving the hearts of so many people to strongly support this ministry.

This was nothing short of a miracle in our view. We only had 3 weeks to "throw this event together". We were so busy leading up to the month of November that we literally had no time to prepare for this event. We didn't have a guest speaker. We had virtually no auction or raffle items. We didn't even get a chance to mail out invitations! It was the least prepared we've ever been for our Annual Banquet. And God stepped in and moved mountains on our behalf. Thank you Jesus!!!

On the night of the banquet - Nov 18th - we officially began a 14 Month Funding Drive to "Rebuild The Walls of GTD" and prepare for our next 20 years of ministry (our next 20 years begin in Jan 2016). We set the Funding Drive goal amount at $250,000. This goal represents the estimated total gross amount needed to put GTD in a very healthy position to launch into our next 20 years of ministry. This is not a 14 month fundraising drive. This is a 14 month funding drive. That means that in addition to fundraising events, our regular fee based programs and events will also go towards the $250,000 goal (the expenses for these events have already been factored in).

This is a HUGE step in a transformational direction, but we still have $205,000 to go. We are asking for your help. Like the people of Jerusalem in the book of Nehemiah, this is a "all-hands-on-deck" call. We are calling out to all current and past GTDers. Let's get GTD ready for the next generation! We are asking everyone to help out in the following 4 ways: (1) Donate to GTD, (2) Sign-up to be a GTD Monthly Partner for the next 12 months, (3) Tell your church, pastors, and group leaders about GTD and get them to do a GTD event, and (4) Sign-up to be a part of our 52 Day objective (Jan 5 - Feb 25, 2015). Together we can accomplish great things!



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thank You For A Wonderful Banquet!!

Huge THANK YOU's to everyone who attended, supported, volunteered for, spoke at, prayed for, and donated towards our Annual Banquet last night!!!! The fact that anyone would take time out of their day or money out of their pocket to support us and our ministry humbles us, encourages us, and profoundly touches us. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!!!

The banquet venue was delightful. The food catered by Carrabba's was incredible. The testimonies shared were compelling and impacting. The volunteers were a literal answer to prayer. The supporters were beautiful.

We were up till 4am this morning unpacking, eating late dinners, and sorting through the pledge cards & donations. We will release the preliminary fundraising results this afternoon.

There is still time to make a donation and/or monthly pledge towards our final results! Click here to contribute to the cause.

Thank you so much for supporting this ministry!! We love you!!


Monday, November 17, 2014

$5000 Donor Match... Double Your Impact!

We have an anonymous donor that will match dollar-for-dollar all donations to GTD (including Table Sponsorships) up to a total $5000!! Every dollar you donate, they will match it. If we raise $5,000 it becomes $10,000 for GTD! You can literally double your impact. Your $100 donation instantly becomes $200!

In fact, did you know that anyone donating $100 or more gets a FREE GTD T-Shirt. That makes it a win-win-win for everyone!! Click the link below to make your donation.

We want to profoundly thank our anonymous donor for their incredible & thoughtful generosity!!! God bless you!

Click here for Donation Link

Carson to Share Testimonials at Annual Banquet

We are so excited to have my awesome nephew Carson sharing a testimonial at our Annual Banquet tomorrow night. He will be sharing about his experience as our first ever GTD Jr Guide. Love this young man so much and blessed to have him in our ministry! - DUG <><

Come listen to Carson and be a part of our special night! Click here for our Banquet Link.

Banquet Invitations (Tomorrow Night!!)

The online version of our Annual Banquet invitations can be seen here. Join us for our most important event of the year!! It's going to be a special night =)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Team LeBrant to Share Testimonials at Annual Banquet

We are elated to have Dick & Karen LaBrant sharing testimonials at the GTD Annual Banquet this Tues night. The LaBrant's are dear friends, marriage mentors, and wholehearted followers of Jesus. We love everything about them and the impact they have made in thousands of people's lives over the years. And we loved taking them to the Grand Canyon last month!! They are so much fun =). We are honored to have them share a little about their experience with our ministry.

Come and hear them while enjoying a delicious meal from Carrabba's as we highlight GTD this Tues night (Nov 18th). Thanks to our sponsors - this event is FREE, but you still need to RSVP.

Click here to RSVP via Facebook or Email

Click here to go to Annual Banquet website and/or to sponsor a table or donate to GTD


Rebuilding The Walls of GTD > Preparing For The Next 20 Years

REBUILDING THE WALLS OF GTD > Preparing For The Next 20 Years

“So the wall was completed... in fifty-two days... with the help of our God.” - Nehemiah 6:15-16


In the book of Nehemiah it is revealed that the walls of Jerusalem had been broken down. The walls that were designed to fortify the city had been weakened by enemy attacks & deterioration, and no longer provided protection. Nehemiah prayed. God granted him favor and the king sent him off to repair the wall. Nehemiah traveled to Jerusalem and quietly examined the wall for damage. Then he met with the residents & leaders to share his vision of rebuilding the wall. The people responded, “Let us arise and build.” And they did just that. Families & individuals adopted different sections of the wall and repaired it piece by piece. They used the rubble from the old wall to rebuild the new wall. With a sword in one hand for protection and a trowel in the other hand for production they labored day & night. Overcoming great opposition they worked together in the power of God and rebuilt the wall in only 52 days.


It’s hard to believe, but in less than 14 months GTD will turn 20 years old. That’s an incredible accomplishment! We aren't supported by a church. We are a stand alone ministry. It hasn't been easy. We haven’t had an abundance of resources. This ministry has operated for nearly 20 years through deep personal sacrifices. But it can’t be sustained for another 20 years by self sacrifice. It has to go on to the greater things of God. It’s time to make a profound transformation. Like Nehemiah, it’s time to examine The Walls of GTD for holes, gaps, and instability. It’s time to rally the residents to a great endeavor. It’s time to prepare for the next 20 years. On Nov 18th we are kicking off a 14 month campaign to “Rebuild The Walls of GTD”. We have also set aside 52 days (Jan 5 - Feb 25, 2015) to address the breaches in the walls such as low volunteerism, outdated gear, low funding, aging trip ideas, old trailers, archaic brochures, archiving, old carpet, and hundreds of other things. We will need families and individuals to adopt & rebuild sections of GTD during this time.

Make plans to join us this Tuesday night at our Annual Banquet to learn more and to get involved. Click here for details


Team Powell to Share Testimonials at Annual Banquet

Excited to have this great brother and sister team share testimonials at our Annual Banquet this Tues night!! Erin Powell & Alex Powell are examples of what every parent desires their kids to become. We love having them on GTD trips and we are honored to have them share a little about their experience with our ministry.

Come and hear them while enjoying a delicious meal from Carrabba's as we highlight GTD this Tues night (Nov 18th). Thanks to our sponsors - this event is FREE, but you still need to RSVP.

Click here to RSVP via Facebook or Email

Click here to go to Annual Banquet website and/or to sponsor a table or donate to GTD


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Annual Banquet Link Added!!

Our Annual Banquet Link has (FINALLY) been added!! Thank you everyone for your patience. We have so much going on that we can barely stay on top of everything. Thank you to our supporters, donors, & table sponsors. You guys are amazing and we deeply appreciate your support and encouragement!!

Please plan to join us this Tuesday night (Nov 18th) for our Annual Banquet as we highlight the successes of 2014 and prepare for 2015 & beyond. This event will be catered by Carrabba's and thanks to our Table Sponsors, it will be a FREE event this year. But we still need you to RSVP. Email or call our office to reserve your spot(s).

IMPORTANT: GTD is kicking off a 14 Month $250,000 Funding Campaign to prepare GTD for the next 20 years of ministry. This campaign is based on the book of Nehemiah and is called:
"Rebuilding The Walls of GTD"

This 14 month campaign will also include a 52 day "all-hands-on-deck" objective to get people who have benefited from GTD's programs to adopt specific areas of the ministry that need rebuilding, repairing, or improvements. This 52 day objective will take place Jan 5 - Feb 25, 2015 and is simply called:
"52 Days"

Click here to read a little more about these campaigns & objectives.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Annual Banquet Next Tuesday

GTD's Annual Banquet is next Tuesday night (Nov 18, 2014) at Largo Cultural Center from 6:30pm-9:00pm. It will be catered by Carrabba's. Thanks to our generous Table Sponsors this is a FREE event (but you still have to RSVP). We will be kicking off a 14 month campaign to prepare GTD for our next 20 years of ministry! The highlight of this campaign will be our "52 Days" objective that will take place Jan 5 - Feb 25, 2015. If God has ever used our ministry to impact or bless your life in any way then we are asking that you attend the banquet and become a part of our 52 Days objective as we rebuild the Walls of GTD so that it's ready to impact the next generation for the next 20 years. Join us next Tuesday night to get your GTD brick and to get all the details of this exciting endeavor.  

Facebook RSVP here:

Check back on this Blogsite for more details later today (or to make a donation).


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sacrifice & Veterans Day!

When it comes to accomplishments, there may be no "i" in team, but there are 2 in "sacrifice". True sacrifice is the act of giving up something of value in order to invest in something of greater value. By its very nature, it will always cost you something and no one else can do it for you. If you want your life to matter, to make a difference for great things, then you must be willing to make great sacrifices.

Our veterans have made great sacrifices for our country. They gave up their personal freedom to provide our collective freedom. Thank you Vets for the price you've paid for the betterment we've received. God bless you. Happy Veterans Day!


Thanks =)

Huge thanks to some awesome volunteers yesterday... Erin Powell & Bobby Sikes, you guys are awesome! =)


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Thank YOU!!!

We want to extend a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to our first table sponsors for GTD's Annual Fundraiser Banquet taking place on November 18th at Largo Cultural Center from 6:30-9:00pm.


If you'd like to sponsor a table or make a donation to the ministry, you can do so through our website under the link that says "Payments & Donations" or by mailing in a check to:
GTD / PO BOX 7523 / Seminole FL 33775

Things Aren't Always What They Seem

A moment of transparency:  From Laurie

I know from the outside looking in most people think my life is full of nothing but fun and excitement and that there is never a dull moment.  For the most part this is true. After all, I'm living the life some people only dream of living as I get to travel, camp, hike and explore for my work. But, while I'm having so much fun and enjoying the life I live, I also want to share with you how it's one of constant sacrifice and sometimes even loneliness.

Let me explain, 6 years ago I began to working full time with an outdoor recreation of which I know many of my friends are already familiar with called Going The Distance Adventure Ministry also known as GTD.  GTD is a Christian- based adventure outfitter that plans, prepares and provides both private and group events.  We run day trips, weekend retreats, adventure camps, mission trips, destination type trips, leadership training and work with youth, young adults, men, women, singles and married groups from churches all over.

What that means for me is that I travel from camp site to campsite, state to state, country to country, hotel to hotel, tent to tent, cabin to cabin and sometimes house to house. It means missing out on holiday fun, birthdays, family gatherings, get togethers with friends, births of babies, time with my pets, opportunities to do the things I love or would like to do, on bible studies, plugging into a church regularly, photography, building new friendships and maintaining old, working on my business and so much more.  It means waking up in a new place all the time, losing sleep, losing any sense of balance or normalcy to my life, not having a home of my own, feeling bad because I can't keep up with anyone or anything on a regular basis, coming and going so much that it feels like nobody notice or cares, an unmet desire to connect with people on a more deeper level, not having a savings because I make $500 a month working 19 hour days, living with my belongings in storage because I can't afford my own place, having my cats live at the office, putting off dental work, car repairs, having my hair cut, debt I can't pay off, having to say no to going out with friends because I can't afford to and nobody being able relate to the day to day pressures I feel with all the FUN I'm having!

Yes, my job is fun....I'm traveling, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, rappelling, bridge jumping (which I'm deathly afraid of BTW but I do), canoeing, hiking, camping, caving, zip lining, boating, jet skiing, exploring, meeting new people and traveling to some of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, but my job is also work.  Most days I'm up before the crack of dawn and the last to go to sleep around 1 or 2 a.m..  While I don't have a family of my own, I am cooking, cleaning, watching after, providing for, shopping for and meeting the needs of 100's of people all year long.  Just like a parent, my job never ends...when I'm on a trip I am managing personality conflicts, problems, dilemmas, emergencies, last minute changes, sickness, scheduling issues, special request, interns, volunteers, parent and church leaders, the GTD Adventure dogs and myself all at the same time!  I'm like the duck on the water that looks as calm as can be, but underneath the water I'm paddling like crazy to stay afloat...which for me means being "ON" all the time, smiling through difficult times, holding back tears and frustrations, always being composed, saying yes when I want to say no, putting my feelings and emotions aside for others, being last, missing sleep and MISSING OUT on the "fun" because I am cooking, cleaning, fixing, photographing, setting up and breaking down equipment, running errands while doing everything else I'm suppose to be doing.

By title, I am the Prosperity Director and Missions Director for GTD, but truly I wear so many hats I can never focus on what I was hired to do.  I help answer phones, field questions, clean, organize, grocery shop, pack and unpack the trailer, clean equipment, banquet  plan, drive vehicles with our gear, create advertisements, recruit volunteers and interns, plan every detail of our mission trips, speak, cook, train, lead, build and the list goes on.  You see there are only 2 of us that run the ministry...Doug and myself, and while I share with you all I do to make a trip run Doug is doing double, sometimes triple of what I do!  He himself plays the roles of CEO, leader, planner, purchaser, accountant, web designer, computer IT guy, secretary, assistant, repairman, truck driver, visionary, coordinator, graphic designer, blogger, travel agent, janitor, counselor and he's the man responsible for all of it and so much more!

I share all this NOT so anyone can feel sorry for me or Doug, but so people would understand what an AMAZING ministry GTD is, how much I believe in it and what it stands for!  I believe people need GTD, churches, ministries, students and adults. Yes, there are sacrifices involved and loneliness I feel from choosing to serve, but lives are changed because of sacrifices we make every day to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.  And yes....I do get to have fun, a lot of fun and it's all in the name of Jesus, it's for for HIM and his glory alone that we do what we do!  We are encouraging others in their faith, teaching students to have fun in responsible ways and giving people an opportunity to get out into God's creation to grow strong and deeper into a closer relationship with him.

You see, things aren't always what they seem, there is purpose behind the fun and the sacrifices made.  We don't always know what that purpose is, but every now and then we receive a phone call from a student to tell us what an impact our trips have made on their life.  We have adults writing us to share how they still draw encouragement from the experiences they had with GTD and how their faith was renewed through the community, fun, freedom and fellowship they experienced with us. We also have parents who have a special love for our ministry because of the life changes they see in their children after a GTD trip and we even have individuals who share with us about how they've decided to go into full time ministry, missions and service fields because of our trips.

So, this is why I write and this is why I share.  It's not about me or Doug, it's about God and what he can do through us in the ministry we serve in. 

It's not easy to run this ministry with only 2 people.  We are short of volunteers, Monthly Ministry Partners, people praying for us and on donors who are willing to invest in something bigger than themselves.

November 18th is GTD's Annual Fundraiser Banquet and we are asking people to rally behind this ministry that has impacted so many lives, maybe yours included or someone you personally know. 

While we are so grateful to everyone who has already rallied around us over the years including our family, friends, volunteers and Ministry Partners, we need more help.   We need people like Moses needed Aaron and Hur to hold up his arms while fighting the Amalekites because he grew tired (Exodus 17).  Running a ministry like this can be tiring at times and we are actively seeking more Aaron and Hurs' to help support us and the work of the ministry.  Together we are believing in God for great things during this next year of ministry and for this banquet to be a greater success than we could hope for.  

If you'd like to rally behind GTD by getting more involved, attending the banquet, praying for us, becoming a volunteer, making a donation, sponsoring a table, becoming a Ministry Partner or booking an event please contact us or explore this website for more information.

Together we can make an impact.

You can make a donation here?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Right Back At It!

The last 5 weeks have been a non-stop adventure! 2 Grand Canyon trips, a recon trip in Page, AZ, a middle school retreat, a team building event, and 6 meetings over the past week alone. We are now transitioning back into all of the office work that tends to pile up while away AND more importantly,  we are in a 2 week all out sprint to our most important event of the year - our annual banquet on Nov 18th!!!! Giddy up!


Friday, October 24, 2014

Fun Times With SPCS

Completed a 3 day retreat with nearly fifty 6th graders from St Pete Christian School!! What a blessing to host this group! Thank you to our small army of volunteers who helped us so much!!!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

St Pete Christian School

One of our biggest events of the year starts in 2 hours! Can't wait to host the 6th grade retreat for St Pete Christian School!! Let the games begin =)


Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I know I'm going to fail to mention someone (sorry!), but I want to thank several people for their help while we were gone and as we depart (we just got back 2 days ago from running trips at the Grand Canyon and we depart today to run a 3 day retreat for St Pete Christian School followed by a day trip for First Baptist of Indian Rocks). Thank you Jessica Marie for taking care of the dogs & cats for 11 days, helping us prepare for the GC Trip, cleaning our office!!!, stocking my fridge with food, and tons of other extremely helpful actions!!! Thank you Andrew Roehm for taking care of the dogs & cats for 10 days and all of your help while we were away!! Thank you Traci Garner Vescovi for helping stay on top of emails and picking up the mail from the post office and all the many things you do while we are away!! Thank you Erin Powell, Alex Powell, Bobby Sikes, Jessica Marie, and every last second volunteer for helping us set-up for nearly 100 middle schoolers who will be a part of our ministry over the next 5 days!!! Thank you Chris Korte for arranging trips and taking the bull by the horns while we were away!! I know I'm leaving out some people (sorry!!), but thank you to everyone who prays for us and encourages us while we do ministry!!! We love you! God bless you all =)


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Our Bags Are Packed

Our bags are packed....and we're NOT ready to go!  We've had such a incredible time here in Arizona with friends and family while exploring a lot of what AZ has to offer!  Already we are counting down the days until GTD's 2015 Grand Canyon Trip!  Thanks Paula Mike and the entire England for all your hospitality. We love you guys! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

AZ Adventure Recon (Reconnaissance)

OH MY GOODNESS!!! This was one of the greatest experiences of my life!! Laurie & I canoed 15 miles of the Colorado River and camped out (in separate tents) at Horseshoe Bend. Words cannot describe how amazing this adventure was! We stayed an extra week in AZ to recon new adventures for next year's Grand Canyon trip. Our participants are going to love all of the new God-awesome additions =)

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Our 2nd consecutive Grand Canyon Trip finished up yesterday... and the participants loved it!! On Friday we spent the afternoon in beautiful Sedona. Dr Walp wrapped up his 4th session of the trip at Bell Rock with a spiritual challenge to confidently charge forward in our walk with Christ. Afterwards we headed south to Phoenix (specifically Scottsdale, AZ) to check-in to our hotel, enjoy a victory dinner, and have our closing ceremony. It was a special trip with special people. We've put nearly a year of planning and invested thousands & thousands of dollars into these trips. There is a real satisfaction that comes from seeing so much hard work & sacrifice result in supernatural & life changing moments. God is soooooo good! ... In fact, we are already working on next year's trip scheduled for Oct 5-10, 2015... I already can't wait!

Friday, October 10, 2014

GC2014 - Trip 2 (Free Day)

We had a spectacular time yesterday taking part of the group to the South Rim on their free day. The rest of our crew enjoyed the beautiful rental homes & touring Route 66 in Williams, AZ.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

GC2014 - Trip 2 (Horseshoe Bend, Slot Canyons, & T-Rex)

5 of our 23 participants elected to do our South Rim tour instead of the Havasu Falls hike/campout. I had the pleasure of being the tour guide for this fun small group for the past 2 days. Yesterday we visited Horseshoe Bend, slot canyons, and dinosaur footprints before reuniting with the Havasu crew for a victory dinner at Doc Holiday's Steakhouse. Great, great day!!!