read more

What I Did Last Monday

By Joel Bates

Do you have the impression that D.M. instructors travel out on adventure trips and return to  camp through a revolving door?  If we've given that impression, then allow me to relate what this wilderness skills instructor was doing last Monday evening.  I came home after a long, hard, yet exciting and adventurous day full of making phone calls, signing receipt letters, answering emails, and planning for the next trip.  Supper fare filled the table, and the aroma of steamy, roasted potatoes wafted across the room, producing broad smiles on our children's faces as they eagerly found their seats and grasped forks and knives.  After the prayer, taters filled plates, and forks jabbed the food into mouths.  All at the table chewed rapidly because if we lingered over the savory flavors too long, we were going to be late for the evening's holiday adventure. 

Read more...

Posted on December 12, 2016
read more

Deceived

By Leah Fuller

As twilight faded rapidly, twelve weary hikers stumbled along the creek desperately trying to reach their destination before night plunged them into total darkness.  The leaders scouted ahead for a few moments and returned with encouraging news.  “We're almost there, and there's even a place we can camp,” they reported.  Bolstered with hopeful expectation, the travelers plodded a few hundred feet and, to my bewilderment, bushwhacked straight up the hill to a small, flat ridge.  Upon their arrival, the group began setting up camp as I called the leaders aside to ask them what was going on.  “We're here!” they exclaimed, “At the place where the creek splits.  We're at the destination.”

Read more...

Posted on November 15, 2016
read more

Indecision

By Joel Bates

I instantly felt empathy for the squirrel as I popped up over the hill doing 60 mph.  He was stuck in indecision.  “Do I go this way, or should I go that way?”  It really didn't matter which way he chose.  I knew which way I was going, and it was right toward him.  Back and forth he went until the last second when he disappeared under my front bumper.  He definitely chose poorly.  Some might argue that he didn't make a choice at all, but if it is possible for an instinctual squirrel to make a decision, his choice, in fact, was to make no decision at all, which is a decision.  

Read more...

Posted on October 17, 2016
read more

Journey or Destination

By Leah Fuller

Trust the process.  These words have followed me in ministry and in life over the years, popping up from time to time to remind me that life is a journey and a process. I often find myself thinking that there must be only two types of people in the world:  those who are task- or job-oriented and those who are a bit more...free-spirited.  I am definitely the former and sometimes find these “free-spirited” people just plain irritating.  Of course, those who aren't bound by such a schedule find us task-oriented people suffocating with our rigid rules of order and lists of how to get things done.

Read more...

Posted on September 15, 2016
read more

Forward Motion

By Joel Bates 

On a recent challenge trip while most of you were asleep, I was standing in the middle of a dense, stinging nettle patch looking at grave expressions on the participants' faces.  Although the day had been tough, the teenage boys from the greater St. Louis area remained optimistic, having had several successes along the trail.  However, their problems were not over as the sun began to set, and they realized that they had missed the turnoff a half mile back.  If they were to make their destination, they had to choose:  retrace their steps to the turn off or improvise and bushwhack.  They chose the latter and forged into the briars.  The sun made a quick retreat behind the western horizon, and the canopy of the trees hid any remaining light from our path. 

Read more...

Posted on August 17, 2016
read more

We Built An Altar

By Joel Bates

I took my kids canoeing down memory lane the other day.  As we floated the river, nearly every gravel bar, bend, or cliff flashed memories of previous trips with Discovery Ministries.  There! I raced to teach the interns to set up shelters on that beach as a big rain storm was pressing in.  Yes, and that curve in the river captured campers in a strainer, forcing me to perform my very first canoe extraction.  Look, that spot is where a boy told me he hated the wilderness and wanted to be taken off the trip—right now!  A million memories silently flooded my head. Occasionally I would spin the tale for the kids, but mostly I just remembered. 

Read more...

Posted on July 13, 2016
RSS feed