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!