Friday, August 26, 2016


This is a candid picture I captured at the end of our last event. This picture says it all. They didn't want the trip to end. They didn't want to say goodbye. Teenagers praying for each other. Teenagers embracing each other, embracing God, embracing a better way of life. A life with FULLY HEIGHTENED JOY because that joy was not being detracted by the baggage and consequences that naturally results from disfunctional life choices (many of which choices are constantly reinforced in our culture as the "norm" such as sex outside of marriage, getting drunk, getting high, getting wasted, being lazy, avoiding hard work, playing hours of video games, complaining, cursing, being negative, putting others down, peer pressure to conform to shallow standards or mediocrity, and the list goes on). It was just 7 days before when 23 people met-up to embark on a Christ-centered backpacking adventure. Most of them were teenagers. Almost all of them were complete strangers from different parts of the US. In less than 24 hours we had already become a tight family. Over the course of 7 days we had a blast! But it wasn't like what many people today refer to as "fun". It was pure. No obscene language. No course joking. No disrespecting of adults or leaders or even fellow peers. No cliques. No one left out. No hangovers. No "coming down". No impatience. No complaining. No arguing. No drama. No STD's. Not even a hint of negativity. Many people would read that and think, "Wow, it must have been real boring!". Au contraire, mon frère. It was anything but boring. In so many ways it was so much like the way life was inteded to be. Every fiber of my being agreed with what was occuring. It was not just right, it was SO right. And it left no bitter aftertaste, no ill side effects, no regrets, no bad conscience, no disappointment, no feelings of missing out. In the words of Goldilocks, it was "just right." It was such a beatiful thing! It was a God thing. I'm so blessed to be a part of a ministry that sees this kind of result trip-after-trip (to God's glory!). I'm so blessed to meet so many high caliber people who are striving for more in this life than personal happiness. It's an incredible thing to see. I want to thank Tom & Jen Henriksen and Landry Academy for the wonderful opportunity to work with your students. I also want to thank the many supporters of GTD who support, encourage, and pray for this ministry. God uses you to enable these life changing events to happen! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much!