April 12th, - 13th, 2019 Hercules Glades Coy Bald Trailhead. Wonderful weather. High of 65 low of 47 no rain. It was in the forecast so we tailored what we wanted to do to what was best for all. Click on a picture for a larger view! Thanks to Rob Batchman, Dan Rockafellow and Mark Jones for all these pictures.   Zip file of all these pictures.   For some this outing  it was Christian Fellowship.  For others it was a campout.  For others it was a outreach program called Better Boy Brotherhood.  For some it was Royal Ranger Ministry. Some it was just what God had in mind for them.  Some it may have been handing out a glass of water.  What ever you think it is...rest assured someone somewhere will call it something different.  Why because we are all different and have different view points.  Still ministry. 

Memories Made!

Part of our Group of 40

Preach mode on!
Our advisory the devil is prowling around trying to steal, kill and destroy. We all know that. Yet sometimes we can roll on along and things go Spiritually wonderful! At other times the devil sends his minions. Just as in Jesus day it was the religious folks that yelled crucify. Most of the time in my experience its religious folk that are well meaning that are stilling the joy of your ministry with lots of good reasons not to do things. I hold on to this scripture Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the LORD Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. This is the main reason I do Royal Ranger Ministry of all levels. It's Christ centered. I believe in it and when making a difference in peoples lives at all walks we can expect the advisory to come against us. I would not like to be answering to Jesus one day and HIM asking me why I came against his mission.  40 years ago I left a cult.  They purified us by disfellowshiping  and shunning for celebrating Christmas.  So many things I see that are so close to that and it saddens my heart to see the Church doing things like this.  Remain strong and serve God.  He will take care of the advisary.  God knows how to clean folk up.  Best let Him by the Holy Spirit do His work.

Trip report!
This event was calendared back in November of 2018. When we fail to plan we plan to fail. Rangers has taught me so many good practices'. Most of the attending event folk notified plan on attending a month out. I was surprised to see 55 folk saying they wanted to go YET PRAISE GOD we had 40 backpacking. Hercules Glades is a wonderful wildlife area and it has some regulations of group size so we modified our groups to meet those regulations.

Better Boy Brotherhood lead by Joshua King from Stockton Lake brought his group of 19 men and boys. He told me while on the backpack he had about as many girls that were wanting to come along. My Royal Ranger ministry is to boys. In my 27 years of Rangers less than 1% of all that attended the various extra events (NON OFFICIAL) are ladies and girls. Yet they do come with us from time to time. As Leader Mothers, their daughters sometimes sisters or visiting cousins. The program I teach is Royal Ranger Ministry but it's flexible and it allows for them to come and participate right along with the boys.

Our Ozark AOG group went from 14 to 3 as things got busy at the last minute. Yet with a better than 50 /50 ratio of adults to boys that is much better than two adults to 14 ratio. It's wonderful to have Christian brothers and sisters that can come and help out and keep all the loose ends gathered. You folk are a blessing! One of the worst things for boys is "we can't go because of........, ........ and ........... Those things are always present we just have to make it work or little to no ministry will be done.

Evangel Temple brought in the next highest group of 9 one group of a dad and his 3 sons at dark. They had been here before so they knew where we were at.

Branson Area had a good turn out. They had come down early and dragged up firewood secured campsites and called and gave a great report that they were ready! PRAISE GOD FOR YOU!

With the large group we broke up into 4 camps to abide by the area rules. This was a challenge but the area had 4 campsites with in 500 feet of each other. We had a late 45 minute start leaving from Church.
Springfield Traffic slowed us down with the highway work. I deal with that every day and knew it would slow our departure time down. Other things were a factor as well but that is part of life.

Our campsite was at the heart of devils den. We gave witness of the Jesus Christ in that area. Aaron Napier brought his guitar and sang praise songs at both our Council fire and then morning devotion. I was reminded of my father as he all his adult life played a guitar and many many many nights around the campfire I would sit as folk from all around the campgrounds would bring their lawn chairs and family and enjoy the home grown music that drew folk. YES even then then I heard the gospel preached through music. Aaron played a few fun campfire songs as well and we all were blessed.

Rob brought forth the council fire service and did an wonderful job of telling us about God for His Name Sake and used a apple phone box to share the gospel. We were blessed. After the groups dispersed they went back to fixing their late night meal at about 9:15 or so. Our late start had many of us trying to cook dinner at council fire time and I was very thankful folk agreed that eating was not as important as inviting the Spirit of God to move on us at Council fire. I don't think anyone starved. Yet we were blessed.

At our main council fire camp the Branson and Ozark folk shared testimonies of what God had done for them. Dave Yonke testified of Christ's light shine and shared the victories that he and his family had experienced this past 2 years with his wife's 0% chance of survival. YET we know a God who Can! The last report is God is taking what man has said can't happen and pouring LIFE into that. NO matter what we as Christians WIN!    Even if!    We will serve our LORD AND KING JESUS! God is doing a miracle in Karen's body. Wow! Tears well up. God has used this life changing even to change even more lives. God has developed in me a prayer life something that daily lifts folks up. Sure I prayed before but not like this. I am thankful.

Saturday morning with the rain forecasted to start at noon we elected to change our trip plans and shorten or modify our day hikes.

After morning devotion 3 groups went up Long Creek for their day hikes this is a very pretty stretch of creek!. Our Ozark  group hauled our backpacking gear to the top of Coy Bald Trailhead and then put on day packs and we went down Coy Bald trail and then bushwhacked about 1/4 mile down to long creek. I love it when these  folks start realizing that getting lost in the woods can be a factor. They have a tendency to question and then by faith learn trust. All are called to be Servants.  Not everyone is a Leader. Choose your leaders wisely if you follow them off trail or into the woods!

We kept going and hiking to the Falls. We met the Branson Folk there and ate lunch. Then we all hiked back down creek together and enjoyed the fellowship and the beauty of creek walking. Love these times with folk. As we walk these steps that are twisted, blocked, under water, up, down and over and sometimes under it's a challenge and we grow from it. Holding back a BRIAR that draws blood or watching some one slip and catch themselves. It's growth and it's tough and it brings life long friends of all walks of life. Camping and hiking and backpacking are "Living the Adventure" we talk about it in our classrooms but it only really happens when we go and do.

Thanks to all of you for serving. Giving our your time and your comfort to come outside and build up these young and ole timers. (that's me) Yet I can still hike with the best of them at age 60. With over 600 events in the past 28 years. God has truly blessed us. Keep up the good work!  We are blessed in our Area to have beautiful places to load up and take our folk outside.  Take advantage of it.  Sitting at home pushing the buttons on a remote control is a whole lot less than "Living the Adventure"!  Come Glorify God and "Live the Adventure" with us!

Mark Jones

New folk don't know what a trail head is.

Great ministry being done.

New and tried and true help one another for Good.

Whats that say? 4 RR We found this on our backpack down into the devils den.

Cooking around the campfire! Best of times!

It's roughing it yet it is very good for the soul.

Firewood was gathered by a Royal Ranger Leader and her two sons! Prasie Jesus for them! Servant Leaders!

God blessed us with perfect weather.

Boys becoming real men!

Famlies are so important to God!

Starting to pack up gear.

Testified around the council fire God is calling him to help the poor.

Large tents can be backpacking tents. Will is what makes the difference.

Bring your own, cook your own or go hungry. It's Biblical!

4 camps!

Hammocks hanging!

FCF VP! New Biolite! Craigs List!

Camp where we found discovered something when they were looking for the guy that master minded the 911 terror attack.

Rockafellow Camp!

Sharing Campfires!

Pow Wow pagent directors hanging out!

Which sign will you follow?

Better Boy Brotherhood is buiding Godly men!

Packing up and only group that was right on time!

It was flat but with some rocks. Just 100 feet more and we could have offered softer ground.

Long Creek gave music all night long!

Crossing a creek stepping across stones. YUP!

Base camp

Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad! HA!

Helping young men pack packs.

Boys need good challenges! We need to give them challenges.

It takes a few trips to get things figured out.

He is pretty quiet he finds out he had a new puppy today in the house. Then we couldn't get him to quit talking!

Such good Christian men giving of their time!

Just before morning devotion.

Some overcome all kinds of fears on these events.

God blesses us with the best of people!

Camp over hang. I have never camped here before.

Bushwhacking can be liberating and thought provoacing.

This is pretty!

God hears our Prayers!

We all saw a heart in this view!

Rob knows how to inspire Boys!

A prize!

Friends lift friends up!

My heart is to serve!

They are just wanting me to walkout and slip and get wet!

Ha! Show off..it was funny watching him make his way back to shore!

Lunch at Long Creek

Millinals gotta love them. Can't talk with a apple in his mouth! HA!

This guy was saved by Jesus Christ! He has had his hands kissed by a invisible being. He was translated 2 times trying to quit his job 28 years ago.

This guy is a Gift from God. My best friend!

Camp overhand

I slept for 3 hours after getting home from this place!

Awesome Sauce!