Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Few Mnutes of Your Time, Please

This is an explanation/introduction to the ministry Grace's young man, Charles "Chachi" Avirett. is beginning. I think it would appeal to several of you who have young men as sons. Read and enjoy. If you want to contact Chachi about a trip for your son and his friends, please do!

Take a few minutes to think back to early adulthood. You’re finally free from parental control; the world awaits your arrival; possibilities are endless. Reflect long enough and you will likely remember some of the circumstances that make teens and college-age young adults quite vulnerable to an onslaught of moral and spiritual battles. For Trail’s target audience, young men ages 16-24, familial independence, insatiable curiosity, and bold exploration beckon. Like a champion thoroughbred, we chomp at the bit, muscles trembling, waiting for the gate to fling wide. As many of us learn years too late, what we choose to do with that energy and passion, particularly in our first years of autonomy, will often dictate the life path on which we travel. Will we tread on the road of integrity, strength, and character, or take the bypass? As Ephesians 2:10 reminds us, God invites each of us to use our strength and abilities to pursue the great adventure he has planned for our lives. Trail will intercede for these young men, show them the truly thrilling life God offers, and start them on the path to achieve it.

Our unique wilderness expeditions blend a man’s life journey with the challenge of extreme outdoor adventure. Participants may choose to paddle roaring whitewater, scale sheer cliff faces, or trek along Smoky Mountain ridges. Their experience on a Trail expedition mirrors the bold and daring life God has planned for them. Living for God is not for the faint of heart. In a life with Christ, as in our wilderness adventures, challenges are inherent, and obstacles must be overcome. But, that’s what makes it exciting.

Currently, we have eight expeditions planned for 2011. They include: rock climbing in Foster Falls, Tennessee, a fly fishing/backpacking course in the Chattooga River Gorge in Georgia, and one more “to be determined” expedition in Big South Fork National Park in Kentucky. Each week long trip includes 12 students and two to three certified guides. The small group size ensures personal instruction in the applicable outdoor skill and the freedom and time to build close relationships. Time for reflection is built in to each day, and there is no better place to talk with God than from the awe-inspiring apex of a mountain.

If you believe in our cause, please join our team. We need both consistent prayer and financial support to boldly move forward. I ask, above all, for prayer. Please pray daily for Trail; God will bless our organization to impact thousands of young people in the years to come. We must also raise capital for several major expenses including: marketing materials, liability insurance, rock climbing and fly fishing gear, and employee compensation.

Our goal is to raise, or have pledged, $30,000 in 30days from October 10th through November 10th. This is the amount needed to achieve Trail’s short-term goals and to propel us, full tilt, into next year. Though one time donations are extremely helpful with start-up costs, smaller, recurring donations allow us to plan for Trail’s future and are greatly appreciated. We hope to find 100 supporters who give just $20-$50 per month. To join our effort, please refer to the “Donation Options” insert.

If you wish to donate please give us a call 1.866.494.4755 or go to our website;

Thank you for your time and your continued support!

For the freedom of our hearts,

Chachi Avirett
Executive Director
TRAIL Ministries

Monday, October 25, 2010

Head Knowledge and Heart Acceptance

So, I had this plan. I would raise my three children and they would stay right around where I was and I would get to see them and their offspring (when it happened) often, regularly, and systematically. For instance, we would have Sunday dinner every week or I would babysit on Friday night for one family and Saturday night for another. In this plan, we might even go to the same church together and get to sing and worship together and I would get to look down the pew or row of chairs and see them all sitting there. I would have LifeSavers or gum or Tic Tacs, glittery crayons or surprises in my purse each week to keep my grandbabies entertained while the preacher was speaking. I would have one in my lap and one sitting next to me, giving their mamas a break. Why shouldn't this plan work? It did for my immediate family. I mean most of us, anyway.

I should have known better. Most of my plans didn't end up the way I had originally intended. And I'm so thankful for that. My life has turned out the way it was supposed to, infinitely better than the small plans I had. Not without a lot of pain and death to the dreams and expectations I always held in my heart or thought was important. I've had to learn the lesson of release. I guess this first happened when that first child got their driver's license. Then went to college. The second child got that freedom, the driver's license, then went to college. Number three followed suit, but having realized the void that took place when each child left, I tended to hold on tighter to that one. Maybe I squeezed a little too much. Poor thing. I picture a toddler holding on to a pet around the neck, fearful of letting go or the animal just might run off. All the while choking the squirming fuzzball to near death. That was me; holding on too tightly.

My children are growing, changing, becoming the adult people they are supposed to be. And, surprise, surprise, nowhere near where I am. That is due in part to the fact that I moved and in part to them being where God called them to be. God had a plan for me that included pulling me out of a rut of complacency, the expected, the "norm" for my life. He wanted me to go on a great adventure.

The comfort he gives through all the phases of life is remarkable. Reflecting on the advent of child rearing, the addition of more children, their growing up and becoming independent, it is a gentle process. He reminds me that He has my children in His hands, He loves them more than I ever could, and that He has wonderful plans for them. Funny enough, he has great plans for me too.

It has taken two years for me to be able to let go of some of my life expectations. It doesn't make it any easier to see new and old friends with their children near and seeing their grandchildren every day or weekend or even once a month. I still have a part of that dream living in me, that expectation. But more and more often, I am reminded that my life and the lives of my children aren't called to look like that and they are no less beautiful because their lives were ordained before the foundations of the world. In fact, what makes it all the more glorious is that I have nothing to do with it, no control over it. It really is ok. In fact it is perfect. I know that in my head, but my heart is taking a while to catch on and be totally on board with it. I have my moments. So the process continues.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. or just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ." II Cor. 1:3-5