Friday, July 14, 2023


Last night the awesome local church and our ZSOM mission team rented the community center and partnered up to provide a free movie night for the hometown community including snacks & refreshments. To our pleasant surprise we had to keep adding more seats! The pastor estimates that over 300 people attended and they gave out 450 bags of popcorn. The gospel message was presented during intermission. The whole night was a great success - PTL!

Thursday, July 13, 2023


The ZEAL School Of Ministry mission team is in full swing this week as they and the Iglesia Buen Pastor team canvas several neighborhoods in the area inviting children to daily VBS events in each community. 

If you saw my live video the other day, you saw a small glimpse into what these events look like. We are always so grateful for the IBBP church staff and volunteers who help to organize these days and work together with our teams. It’s beautiful to see the global church come together. 

We are two cultures, 3 ministries, with one mission…to share the good news…the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. 💕💕💕

The top right hand photo is a photo of the team of people who went out on day one to invite children to the first VBS of the week. Together we walked the communities and handed out invitations. For both teams it was a wonderful way to get to know the area and people better, and for  Going the Distance Adventure Ministry and ZSOM team it was an opportunity to practice our Spanish and build relationships with the church community. The people are so gracious and encouraging to us as we stumble over our words.  

I personally want to thank all the IBBP volunteers who are taking time out of their scheduled and school break to come help us and to be a part of these events with us and their church. It’s so special to us to work together with you all. THANK YOU!!!  We love you! 💕💕💕 (- Laurie)

Tuesday, July 11, 2023


Leaving for an event is bittersweet. The sweet part is obvious. The bitter part is that while I'm away my work keeps piling up. I worked hard to successfully eliminate doing all-nighters a few years ago, but unfortunately last night was my 5th all-nighter this year and probably my 15th in the past 2 years just trying to not fall further behind. I was opening mail from 2021 yesterday - ahhhhhh!! It takes a few days to fully recover from an all-nighter, but I'm praying for a supernatural strength to sustain me... or at least a good pot of coffee haha! Here's to joining up with the team that God is already working through in Costa Rica!! Pura Vida!


Another instant classic picture from SLAMMED! I love fun people!!

Sunday, July 9, 2023



About 6 weeks ago the Yates family was volunteering for a family work day for GTD. During lunch they asked me what my biggest need was. Without hesitation I told them how the past few years of intense caregiving had put me years behind on everything in my life, work, health, finances, etc and my biggest need was an admin person who could walk into the mess and help start reorganizing everything like (or better than) it used to be... someone who could have the same kind of mindset and heart as a mission team that showed up to someone's previously organized house that had just been hit by an F5 tornado that sent everything in every direction... someone who could patiently gather all the scattered paperwork, building materials, and structural supports and start sorting, categorizing, and rebuilding everything from scratch. I'm beyond thankful for the years and time I've been able to participate in (and am still participating in) the caregiving of my parents along with my Sister, Laurie, friends, & family. And at the same time, all those years of caregiving has nearly wiped out any & every healthy thing in my life (and my Sister's life too). It's not a complaint - it's an honest status report. I'm forever grateful for the opportunity to be here for my parents like they've always been there for me & Traci. And at the same time, we have barely survived the nonstop demands of prolonged caregiving. Last year GTD hired an admin person, but unfortunately about a month later she had to move out-of-state to help take care of her parents. Now, a year after losing that admin person, the Yates family asked a caring and thoughtful question, "What is your biggest need?" I said we need an admin person. The next day God placed Jan on Stacey's heart and the ball was rolling... a couple weeks later we officially hired Jan as our new part-time Administrator. For the past month Jan has compassionately walked among the rubble scattered throughout my life and work and has eagerly jumped in to start piecing it all back together - without any knowledge of anything GTD (she is starting from scratch with our ministry). GTD is right in the middle of our busy summer season and she has been steady & understanding as we navigate running multiple events out-of-state while learning more about how GTD functions. One of her first questions was, "What's the most important priority I can start with?" Without hesitation my answer was that we need to love-on and pour-out our sincere appreciation for our Ministry Partners & supporters. They have stuck with us through the thick and the thin and we couldn't do what we are doing without God working through these generous souls... and all my heart wants to do is say, "THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! GOD IS USING YOU TO SUSTAIN THIS MINISTRY AND ETERNALLY IMPACT A LOT OF LIVES!!!" Sooooooo we are thrilled to introduce you to GTD's new Administrator - Jan!! As I said last year when we announced the hiring of Kari, I say again - In the notorious words of John McClane in Die Hard, "Welcome to the party, Pal!" Our hope is that over the next 12 months GTD will be back thriving in all things administratively and organizationally... which will lead to healthy things in all things GTD! Welcome to the party Jan!


Our 2nd annual Costa Rica Mission Trip with the young adults from ZEAL School of Ministry (ZSOM) of Calvary Chapel Fellowship St Petersburg kicked off on Friday!!
Laurie & Stacy went down a couple days early to prep for the trip. I switch out with Laurie on Tuesday and she will come back to Florida to help take care of Dad while I'm finishing up the Mission Trip.
Huge thanks to Stacy for all the maneuvering, arrangements, and sacrifices he has to make in order to help lead up this Mission Trip for the 2nd year in a row! And the same for Laurie... I know she would love to be down there a lot longer with her Costa Rican family!
Things have gotten off to a great start and we pray for another amazing impact by the ZSOM crew in the community. Stay tuned for more updates!

Thursday, July 6, 2023


(click video above to watch everyone JUMP!)
With over a quarter of a century of experience with over 20,000 people in the great outdoors I can tell you that there is nothing quite as thrilling as jumping off of something! Here's a 60-second clip from our annual SLAMMED event where participants (kids, young adults, parents, moms, aunts, & more) JUMPED!! Most JUMPED off of a 20 ft bridge into a river and a few brave souls JUMPED off of a 40 ft cliff into that same river. And everyone loved the thrill of living in the moment, taking a measured risk, and jumping off of their fears and landing into a pool of exhilaration! Many times throughout life in order to go to the next level you have to stop debating, hesitating, & deliberating and you simply have to take a leap of faith and "GO AHEAD AND JUMP!"
On a personal note it is always deeply meaningful to me to watch family members share an experience like this. On this trip we got to watch mother & daughter, mother & son, aunt & niece, and siblings bond more deeply together through a thrilling shared adventure of bridge jumping & cliff jumping. Many things bond people closer together, but few do it as quickly and as deeply than a shared adventure!
Going The Distance Adventure Ministry
God-Awesome Adventures Since 1996!
(PS: Thank you Andrew Pieper for making this video!)

Saturday, July 1, 2023

BOLO #2... BE ON THE LOOK-OUT for...



On June 13th a BOLO went out for 4 suspicious looking people disguised as suspicious looking people. At that time they were driving a white Ford F250 in North Carolina. We've recently received a new picture from an anonymous tipster of some of those same suspicious looking people (plus 2 new additional suspicious looking people) in Ducktown, Tennessee. It appears that these suspicious looking people are multiplying, and may have switched their mode of transportation from a white metal truck to a yellow rubber raft. Several witnesses describe these individuals as "suspicious" and "the complete opposite of unsuspicious". We are asking the public for help finding these suspicious looking people before something suspicious happens. If you see any of them please do not approach them, but rather contact your local authorities and hair salons. If possible, discretely take a picture of these suspicious looking people so that we can use our facial recognition software to help determine their identity. We do not know what to make of these suspicious looking people and do not want to cause a mass panic, but we do want the public to be aware and on a very heightened low-level alert. Some experts are theorizing that these "mustached marauders" are abnormally normal, but in a normally abnormal sense, and they may have an extremely rare but very common form of Hirsutism (a condition that causes excess hair growth especially above the mouth). This form of Hirsutism is considered extremely contagious and oftentimes requires a specialized surgery known as a fakemustache-ectomy to restore ones normal less-suspicious but still very-suspicious looking appearance. [END OF BOLO-02.07012023]

HASHBROWNS > Best dollar ever spent! 
HASHBROWNS > Way to go Riley!!