Happy New Year! May the Lord shower you with many blessings in 2022.
We decided to begin the New Year with thanksgiving for all the Lord has done—known and unknown—in the past year. It is very important that you, our partners and donors, know how the Lord used you to move this mission forward. We could not do our many trips, hold YES! Retreats, have Summer Adventure Guides, or have Kairos interns without your support. Here, in the cold of winter, we want to give you a quick report from one of last summer’s girls trips.
This is a report from Katie, who went on the Boundary Waters Adventure Trip, in northern Minnesota. “I decided to go on the adventure trip because it sounded fun and I wanted to learn some skills. I did have adventure and learned a ton!
“Our group took the wrong portage on day one and became lost. Our first two portages on that day were longer than the longest we were supposed to do. The total portage distance for our trip was supposed to be 3-5 miles, but our group did around 15 miles!
“While paddling around a big lake looking for the next portage, we went through a marshy area that was, again, wrong. In the marsh, we often were walking the canoes chanting ‘1,2,3 push’ through all this wet land. Then we came to a section of boulders and marsh – we sort of jumped, with the canoes, from boulder to boulder. We made it through the marsh and came to a small lake, which was more like a pond.
“We knew then we had really gone wrong, and our paper map did not help us. We had phone GPS (which should not have worked in the wilderness). We prayed over the phone and got a ‘magic God signal.’ We saw we had to go back through the marsh (which was really my favorite part!).
Returning to the bigger lake, we found some people who helped us get back on track. We would have to go all the way back and begin again, which meant giving up the scheduled rest day so we could finish the trip. On day two, we made where we were supposed to be on day one – we felt like we were the champions!
“To make up time, we were able to go another way (again a long portage but we knew we could do it because we had already done longer ones). We were a whole lake ahead of schedule by 11:30 AM! That gave us an afternoon of rest and fun that we were not expecting to have.
“Not knowing where we were was the most stressful part for me; I was not in control, which was hard. God let me know that HE was in control. In the Boundary Waters, there was no second option – we get through or are stuck. The canoe on your back is a physical burden, but that can be easier than the mental burden. I was able to ‘zone out’ on the physical (the heavy canoe) and think about the spiritual. This lesson has helped me deal with other physical burdens – ‘I can do this.’”
As you can see, our Kairos trips allow for a good amount of supervised adventure. While we did not intend for this trip to be as rugged as Katie describes, our trips do “stretch” our youth (and our leaders!).
But why do we do this? To allow for experiences just like Katie had: encountering times when we need to trust in the Lord and experience His provision. Having the youth see concrete and personal answered prayers and experiencing help from the Lord, is difficult to reproduce in regular, comfortable life.
And, the reason we are able to provide this experience is because of your prayer and financial support. We are so grateful to you. Again, many blessings to you and your family in the New Year.
Your brother in Christ,