Stories of Impact

Stories of Impact
By Tom LaLond
January 2nd, 2020
As we sit at the doorstep of another new year it gives us time to slow down and look back in our rearview mirrors. At Kicking Bear, the stories and memories that matter most to us are ones where kids and families lives are improved for generations. Things like past scars beginning to be healed by the intensely peaceful flight of an arrow into a 3-D target, single mothers finding the peace and therapy of the hunting woods, or “impossibilities” becoming reality right in front of a grateful, parent’s eyes.
Our “secret weapon” for every battle game plan is confidence. It’s a confident assurance in our victory in Christ, so no matter the tactic or scheme thrown at us at a camp or hunt, we simple say, “I trust you Jesus” and we press on to that assured victory. Yes, there are painful stories that we will hear while at different events, but that pain is just the part of a paint stroke in the large portrait of God’s plan in our lives when we put our faith and complete trust in Him. Only reason we can talk like this is because we’ve seen how pain, heavy enough that some may think it could kill a person, has been forgotten long enough that kids and adults alike have started their healing process within the two days of a Kicking Bear camp. One single-parent mom told me, “My son did not want to leave the 3-D archery course, and he wanted nothing to do with anything else. He just felt so safe there.” She went on to explain how he had been hurt, a kind of hurt that’s truly indescribable, and even though that negatively impacted every part of his life, Kicking Bear was the one place where he felt secure enough to allow some of that past hurt to melt away. There are many other victorious stories like this with other kids, and sometimes it’s even the parents that have found their own path to peace through the work God is doing through Kicking Bear.
There are two different stories of mothers overcoming past judgments and self-doubts. Kristina grew up with all brothers, and she always enjoyed the adventures of the outdoors they had growing up together. One of the main doubts she found she had came from often being told she couldn’t do something because she was a girl, but that certainly never stopped her from pursuing her passions. She passed her gun safety class and went rifle hunting completely on her own, and since the first hunt has bagged quite a few trophies of her own, because she made the choice to never quit just because of doubt. Another single-parent mom, named Janice, will tell you that her healing also came from the outdoors, and the Lord showed her how to find that healing while she watched her kids shooting bows and arrows at the West Salem Kicking Bear camp. As a benefit from this camp, Janice and her kids shoot archery together regularly. Since then Janice purchased her own Mission bow and said she has found that through spending time with her Lord in the tree-stand gives her the right time and place to see God working through her trials.
Recently we learn of a young child named Joshua, who was born with some muscle deformities in his throat. The worst news to his mother is that the doctors said Joshua would never be able to eat food without a using a feeding tube. That was until they attended a Kicking Bear camp. While at the camp, Joshua said he was overcome with the freedom and security he felt at the camp. The evidence of the authenticity of our words are often found in our actions. That was never more true that in Joshua’s case. His mom shared with us that while they were sitting at the lunch table relaxing before the next activity, she looked over and saw Joshua eating a bag of chips! This was the first time he’s ever fed himself! His mom went on to say that she truly believes it was a result of being around godly people and having the presence of the Holy Spirit at the camp that gave Joshua the peace and fearlessness to start eating. Joshua’s doctors couldn’t believe what had happened either. Thank you God for being a present God, and a God of making “impossibilities” possible!
Truly, we have NOTHING to fear or be anxious of, and that’s because of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who desires nothing more than to carry us through those times where we feel fear and anxiety attempting to settle into our hearts and minds. We have heard and witnessed many stories of victory this past Kicking Bear season. Stories of Jesus healing hearts, pasts, and bodies, through the work of Kicking Bear, and this is why we do what we do. It’s not about the cool bows, the tomahawks, tug-of-wars, water balloons or marshmallows—they are just tools; and it’s not about the hunts, they are just connecting experiences. But it’s always, only been about being available as a platform for Jesus to change lives. It has nothing to do with our abilities, but it’s all about the endless abilities of our God, Savior, and Guide.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 3:12-17 (NKJV)
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
But above all these things, put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

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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