Keeping Promises

Keeping Promises
What an incredible year we had with all that God has done; so many decisions for Christ along with all the baptisms, discipleship and mentorship that took place during the activities we did such as ice fishing, turkey hunting, fishing and bowfishing, along with the Adventure Days. We are looking forward to having youth join us in our Centershot Programs at some of the local churches and ministries.

With school starting back up our summer camp season has come to an end, but we are actively planning more outdoor opportunities for the fall and winter. We’re excited for all the youth who got bear tags again this year, thanks to the Wisconsin DNR and to those who donated the tags. In October and November we’re looking forward to the youth archery and gun deer hunts in Wisconsin and Minnesota and in a few other states. Again this year, we’ll be working with the Maine KB Team to put on the Veteran’s moose hunt. Please be sure to check our website and Facebook page for updates.

With the deer hunting season upon us, below are a few things that may be of interest to you.

Are you Kicking Bear smart? Did you know that antlers are the second fastest growing biological tissue known to man? Only some cancers are faster. In some cases, whitetail bucks can grow antlers as much as 1 inch per day!

KB TRIVIA QUESTION: When a buck places both tarsal glands together and urinates on them, this is referred to as:

A.    Tarsal Staining

B.    Scalding

C.    Rub Urination

D.   The Hokey-Pokey

Are You a Promise Keeper?

Can you answer that question with a “yes”? When you make a promise, do you feel you are bound to keep it? Below is the story of a young man who made a promise to himself and to the Lord at a very young age and kept it.

For those of you who don’t know Kyle Lipke, this is his Kicking Bear story. When Kyle was 19 years old, living in Tjeras, NM, he decided he wanted to work with a youth ministry during the summer of 2016; God, in His wisdom, directed him to the Kicking Bear Ministry. After contacting Kyle and checking his references, we invited him to stay with us for the summer to help with the ministry. He arrived May 3rd and prior to his arrival we told him that we would be leaving on May 5th to put on a KB event in Florida which didn’t faze him one bit. When we arrived at the airport to pick him up, he was wearing cowboy boots, a hunting hat, a backpack and carrying a duffel bag. The most impressive thing about Kyle was his big smile!

This was the start of a wonderful relationship and on-going friendship! Kyle was a team player, eager to learn, and he loved working with youth all over the nation. He played games with the kids and had tons of fun with them. He enjoyed teaching them archery and was extremely patient with them. Standing in front of the bonfire at every camp, after the Gospel message was presented, Kyle led the crowd in the Salvation Poem, and we witnessed many decisions for Christ and all the baptisms that followed. When we weren’t at camps, Kyle was still sharing the Gospel and many young adults were led to the Lord by his actions.

Kyle became part of our family that first summer and spent the next two summers with us helping with various tasks revolving around the ministry. (I kept telling him to add these to his resume because you never know if that task would be beneficial for a job later on.) Kyle was an early riser and loved reading the Scriptures every morning over a cup of strong-brewed coffee. We actually gave him the nickname, “Mr. Coffee”.

When we first met Kyle, we noticed he wore a ring on his ring finger which we thought to be a “promise” ring. We later found out it was a purity ring which meant he promised to remain “pure” until sometime in the future when he would be married. Kyle had met a young girl, Evalena Bell, while attending summer camp at Camp Oro Quay near Tjeras when he was 15 and she was 12. He already knew then that he would marry her some day, and that day finally came August 22, 2020. Kyle exchanged his purity ring for a wedding ring and he and Evalena were married at the camp where they first met. We had never seen such a joy-filled couple as we saw in Kyle and Evalena! They both love the Lord first and they are number two in each other’s lives.

Ray was privileged and honored to have performed their wedding ceremony. Months earlier, he had done premarital counseling with both of them via Zoom and they had asked Ray to prepare a wedding message based on John 3:16 to share the Gospel. Their Bible verses were from Genesis 2:18-24 how two are joined together into oneand Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 where a cord of three is not easily broken. A cord of three is Kyle and Evalena with Jesus in the middle. They know their marriage is a ministry and they wanted to start it out right.  They asked Ray if he would let everyone know they can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and all they need to believe in their hearts is that Jesus died for our sins and rose again to save the lost. It was amazing to witness the whole crowd repeating the Salvation Poem, line after line. When the prayer was finished, faces in the crowd lit up everywhere with joy! At that moment, Ray turned Evalena and Kyle to the crowd and introduced them as husband and wife. Everyone was clapping and cheering and Evalena and Kyle held hands and danced down the isle all the way to the reception area. Ray said he could not help but remember the overwhelming feeling when God had given him his special gift of Karen. We’re looking forward to Kyle and Evalena returning to the La Crosse area in December. God is amazing! We felt like we were family and celebrating with them and their families was second to none.

Due to Kyle’s leadership, they are going to start a new KB camp in NM. He is currently mentoring a young man and getting him involved in bowhunting because it’s one of the main things Kyle loves to do. On Sunday following the wedding and during the rest of our travels, we met with leadership teams from New Mexico, Wyoming, and South Dakota on starting new KB camps in their areas. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 – Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.  Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Kicking Bear is now going into its 20th year–there are several new camps starting up in 2019 across the nation, and only God knows the heights to which He will take them.

Kicking Bear Ministry has been taking youth off the streets and changing their lives. God has allowed us to keep His camps and outings completely free-of-charge to all participants due to the great partners He has brought to the ministry. Of the 122 events and 76,000 people throughout the nation who were touched by Kicking Bear last year, below is yet another life-changing story.

We are able to continue to host free events to the public and change the lives of the ones who need us most because of the continued financial support of people like you. Please consider either a one-time, tax deductible, year-end gift or a monthly recurring donation by clicking the “Support Us” button.

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