Servant Hearts in Southern Illinois

By Kevin Bonnar

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11

We started the month of November by traveling down to Jackson Grove Baptist Church in Benton, Illinois. A great friend of Kicking Bear, Pastor Ken Wilson, invited us down for camp. He also organized a men’s group deer hunt with guys coming in from all over the country to spend time together and share discipleship as well. The guys would meet daily for devotionals and prayer together.

We got to be in on the Saturday night gathering and it was powerful to see men carving out this time and space with the Lord and each other. One of the biggest takeaways from this camp was the “yes” that all these guys gave to serve the community there in Benton.

On Sunday morning, right in the heat of the rut, all these hunters left the tree stands empty and instead helped facilitate our camp for families! Both Ray and I were so taken away by the servant heart of these men and the others from the church who stepped up to help. It was so encouraging.

Camp day was amazing as we started with a camo church service, Pastor Ken gave a powerful message on desiring God. Our great friend, Michael Ritchie, sang a beautiful song and the worship team at Jackson Grove really was spirit-filled!

We shared an amazing meal with families and then it was time for camp. Camp went great. It was cool to see everyone helping kiddos with bows, tomahawks, and BB guns. My favorite part was when the tug-of-war rope came out, there were some epic kids vs adults challenges at this camp!

After slinging some marshmallows, we settled in for the gospel message and a prayer for salvation. As we packed up the bus to head home, there was an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness for such a great opportunity and such great people to serve with. It was also cool to get updates later in the week as the guys got out and harvested some really nice southern Illinois whitetails!


Kicking Bear is so very thankful for another great year of camps, hunts and mentorship, thank you Jesus!!

Kicking Bear Ministry has been taking youth off the streets and changing their lives for over 20 years 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. Under the direction of God Kicking Bear has changed the lives of thousands of kiddos and their families!  Thank you for your prayers, partnership and support.

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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