Mark your calendar and start getting your bicycle and your body in condition for our annual bicycle ride to benefit at-risk youth. We have a new route this year that will take you through the beautiful hill country of Texas, beginning and ending at Reach Youth Global’s Texas Hill Country Retreat Center. Spaces are now available for through riders. If you are interested please contact us for more information.
Important Dates for 2016 RTR3
February 12, 2016 – Last day to register for through-riders. (Final Participation Fee due March 11, 2016)
March 11, 2016 – Arrival and Orientation at RYG’s Hill Country Retreat Center
March 12 – 16, 2016 – We ride for them!
March 17, 2016 – Optional return home date.
May 15, 2016 – Raised Scholarships due.
Spaces are limited in NPA’s support van, so sign up early and secure your spot in this wonderful adventure to transform the life of an at-risk youth, as well as your own!
Every month of April, I enjoy one of the greatest and rewarding adventures in my life. I have the privilege to plan and ride in New Path Adventures’ Ride to REACH.RESCUE.RESTORE or RTR3. A multi-day ride across the great state of Texas, fully supported and functions as the primary fund-raiser for scholarships for NPA’s wilderness program for at-risk teens.
Each day of the ride is met by physical, emotional and spiritual challenges, and I have never ended the ride as the same person that I was when I began the ride. An experience like that will change you. The time spent with other riders and the caring support crew will change you. 7 – 10 days of riding every day anywhere from 70 – 105 miles will give you an honest look into your character, heart and soul. And what a great time to hear God’s voice through His creation, the daily devotional challenges and conversations with the team. Priceless.
One of the by-products of this experience is the great physical conditioning that comes from putting in the effort necessary to complete each day’s mileage goals. This conditioning really helps me with the upcoming demands of backpacking for 12 days on the Colorado Trail with the youth receiving these sponsorships raised through this ride across Texas.
With each year, I wonder how many more years this old body will be able to keep doing this, and this year I had to admit that it was making me tired. Fast forward from the ride in early April to mid- July and my realization, reflection and reason for sharing this blog…
I have a friend living in another country and we use the same phone app to track our runs. I would see her postings come up almost daily, April has completed a run… April has completed a run… and my status remained inactive for 3 months. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I had thought about running many, no, most days, during that 3 month period, but never did what it takes to actually get out there and run. Not until this morning – once again I received the update status of April out on another run. That was it, it finally clicked. And it really wasn’t that hard to do, I had all my running gear together for the last month, thinking that any moment I would break the silence that I had invoked upon the trails and their call in my heart.
She did not realize it, but her consistency was what it took to get me through this obstacle that I had been reinforcing for day after day, then week after week, until I had finally woven this into months of my life.
I realized as I ran that it has been foolish of me to ignore the calling of the trail. I love everything about being out there running through the trees, tall grass, up and down the sandy or rocky slopes along the creek. It is one of the best stress relievers and times of prayer and meditation on God’s Word that I have in my life. Why did this take me so long?
Now this brings me back to my primary reason for running in the first place – to reflect on my spiritual walk and relationship with God. What kind of impact could my life be having on another person if I am consistent in my walk with God and my study and reading of His precious Word? How would my consistency in my prayer life affect another person? I may never know, and April may never know how she helped me to get out there and run again, but the difference has been made.
I am challenged to remain consistent in my life, not knowing what my
life I might mean to another. If you do something well, something good, something positive in your life – keep doing it, you just never know who is watching…
New Path Adventures is moving forward and growing, and will now be a part of Reach Youth Global. The vision and mission of this 501(c)(3) organization is in perfect harmony with that of New Path Adventures – changing the lives of children and youth from the inside out. We are proud to be a part of what Reach Youth Global (RYG) is doing here in the United States as well as internationally.
The official public launch of RYG will be mid-May, but you can click on this link and go to Reach Youth Global to sign up with your email address to stay informed of news and events through RYG, including what is going on with New Path Adventures.
Go there and sign up and help us celebrate these exciting changes and challenges!
Serving at-risk youth and their parents/caregivers may not seem like a needed ministry to many churches or individuals, after all we have social programs for these youth, we have the juvenile court systems, guidance counselors, JPO’s, community service projects and education to help these young people.
Well every week, as the Director of New Path Adventures, I attend a local juvenile probation meeting, where the JPO’s charges gather to check in, and where their progress is monitored. This meeting is hosted in a local church, with the understanding that we will share God’s Word with these young people while they are here. Typically, if this check in and update meeting were to take place in the JPO’s office or at a home visit, it might last 15 min. to 1/2 an hour. But we have the privilege of pouring into these youth for an hour and a half. We are intentionally making friends with them and mentoring them to help them discover God’s plan for their life.
Now these meetings are not overtly religious, there is no preaching and no “Bible-thumping”. It is gently sharing and showing the love of God, truths from the Scriptures, and offering an alternative to the world-view they may have.
Every year the youth offenders must participate in a Service Learning Project. This year 4 JPO’s have come together at our host site to collaborate on this service project, hearing great things about this environment and relationship from the JPO that we work with.
Well they are here. They have begun their project. I have moved from a facilitator to a spectator for the time being. Watching and listening to how these state trained professionals are dealing with our troubled youth causes me great concern and worry for these youth.
The session began with a scenario of being on a desert island for 1 year and only allowed to bring 1 piece of music, 1 book, and 1 luxury item. The youth had to share their choices and the why behind the choice. Okay, I have used scenarios similar to that in working with these youth, but what caught me by surprise, and what caused my mouth to drop open was this statement from the facilitator/trainer – “What 1 book would you choose to have with you, and it cannot be the Bible.”
Enough said – that is why New Path Adventures must be here and do what we do with this unique people group. We may not be reaching the masses, but even 1 life reached, rescued, restored – changed more than validates this ministry and program. What if that one life was your son or daughter? Would it be worth it?
Please keep supporting this ministry, not for us, for them. I am not sure there are too many other viable options for some of these youth. I certainly do not see it happening through our present juvenile judicial system, our public education system, and general worldview and attitude towards the truth of God’s Word.
Please click the donate button today and help us shine the light of God’s love in the life of an at-risk youth. There is a legitimate need for this ministry.
As I am working at my desk on ministry logistics for our upcoming RTR3, my phone buzzes, announcing a new text message. I quickly look at it, because of who the sender was – it was one of my daughters. She had a simple request, she was at school working on a marketing assignment and had asked for my help on a small piece.
I wanted to respond quickly to let her know that I am always there for her and willing to help in any way possible. I shot her a couple of ideas and then went back to my work. As I returned to my tasks, I realized I was sitting at my desk with a huge smile on my face and a very happy heart. What was it about that short text exchange that could put me in this state of mind and bring me such peace and joy?
I realized just how wonderful it was to have adult children that still needed me and valued my input in their lives. Then I thought about my Heavenly Father – how it must thrill Him to hear from me and to be able to help me. Why don’t I run to Him more? Why do I think what I am going through might be too trivial for Him or perhaps too much to ask?
No, I find much peace in this moment in the fact that as a perfect Father, He is excited when I reach out to Him and I did. And I want to continue.
Simple thought, but what a great encouragement this brief moment turned out to be for me.