Our house sports a new for sale sign out front which I have to admit makes me a bit sad. At the same time I am hopeful and anxious for people to come and see our home. The house is in the best shape it has ever been – even the little projects are finished and it is clean! That alone makes me want to stay. (Grin.) We are living in that middle ground of trying to enjoy every minute we have here and at the same time looking forward and preparing for the future. We are praying for a great family to move in here and that this house will be a blessing to them, just as it has been for us.
Robert Coleman writes, “People are looking for a demonstration, not an explanation.” Yet what we so often give students today is just the opposite. Jesus on the other hand demonstrated in powerful ways the things he wanted to get across. When he wanted to teach a lesson on faith he placed his disciples in a sinking boat. There he showed the power of the One they were being asked to put their faith in. When it was about love and service, he washed his disciples feet. Jesus often gave his followers hands-on challenges like entering the wilderness where there was no food and telling his disciples’ to feed the crowd. As Lifelines staff, we stand in amazement of the Master of experiential learning and the growth that took place in the lives of those involved. Jesus’ ministry involves adventure! Jesus used it time and time again. He push his followers out of their comfort zones. When we are at the end of ourselves and the edge of the unknown, faith shows up and growth takes place.
God has called Lifelines to champion experiential learning and adventure ministry within Cru. The leadership of Cru has commissioned Lifelines staff to be a group of specialists who will resource the campus ministry globally in this endeavor.
There are four Lifelines Resource team in the U.S. These teams will focus on what Lifelines does best: opening new doors on campus so that campus staff can connect with the lost and helping students and staff grow personally, professionally and spiritually. As the world population moves to the cities Lifelines will need to offer wilderness experiences where students can encounter God away from the distractions of their city campus as well as taking experiential learning to their scope and turf. Through our Lifelines Guide Program we will also train campus staff to use outdoor experiences and experiential learning more effectively on their own. Within the next five years, we are trusting God for 100 trained Lifelines Guides working throughout the world. In order to reach these goals Lifelines will need to do a better job at recruiting and training others. We look forward to offering a yearly outdoor Guide School and more venues for facilitator training outside of our summer missions.
It will be up to Lifelines to provide multiple experiences and opportunities to model and show others how experiential learning and wilderness ministry can be used by God to change lives and make disciples. Wilderness ministry is not just for the U.S. but for the world. God has been using the wilderness to call people to a greater faith for centuries. Wilderness ministry is not expensive but does require training and personnel. Campus Crusade for Christ has laborers around the world with a heart for God; we just need to add technical skills and experience for them to be able to offer some life changing adventures to students from every tongue, tribe and nation.
The adventure awaits!
Noah, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus all spent 40 days in the wilderness. God used these times to bring about life changed and dependence on Him. I often will ask students where they feel closest to God. 9 out of 10 will say when they in the outdoors. For me the outdoors is a place where my soul comes alive and I can’t help but worship God in all that I see. For others they might be unconformable and challenging when in the outdoors or wilderness. I have to confess, I have yet to spend 40 days straight living in the outdoors. It is a goal for me and something I look forward to. I have spend quite a few 10 day wilderness experiences with students. I have seen God at work during those times. They are trips that will not be forgotten and often ones where there they have God encounters. Ones where He becomes bigger and the world a little safer.
When you stand on top of a mountain, there is no denying that there must be a God. God has been calling people into the Wilderness throughout history to reveal more of who he is. Dan and Heather Litchfield were two of the four co-founders of “Lifelines”, the outdoor and experiential learning ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. This website/blog has been set up to let you know more about the Litchfield’s ministry and how God is calling people into the wilderness to encounter the Living God.