Most of us have had the pleasure of “going on a trip.”  The word conjures up getting-away, letting go of the normal routine, doing something new and often exciting.  It’s a fun part of life as we experience it.

At Battlefield Ministries, Inc. we offer Trips to Enrich.  It has all the above and is also distinctively Christian, intentionally relational and deliberately adventurous.

We actually know of and have experienced a lot of Christian outfitters.  We are thankful for them.  Often it means we can experience clean fun.  Cursing, alcohol and drugs are absent which is a blessing.  Most times, however, the act of glorifying God in words and deed are missing.  In our Trips to Enrich we provide/include His Word in conversation; have appropriate time for discussion or a teachable moment around the adventure.  Distinctively Christian.

Over the last 30 years, I have been a youth director, have worked in a hospital for adolescents, been dorm parents with missionary/ambassador’s kids in Africa, and been in a diversified non-profit counseling practice since 1996.  I can CERTAINLY say relationships are the essence to what God has called ALL of us to.  It’s why He created us— first for Himself, then for each other.  He hardwired us for relationships.  They are essential for any endeavor.  Any hero that does something on-his-own, ironically, had a lot of help in making it happen.  I intentionally take a long look at forewords and endorsements– they reflect the author’s heart; their friendships; who & how they invest their relational energy.  We are intentional about how we include, pause, provide time for this important time on our Trips to Enrich.  I heard a quote from a movie, “Everything good that’s ever happened to me happened on the water.”  I’ve reflected on this many times.  I believe I could say most of what has served to form who I am happened on a trip, doing something adventurous with friends.  Most of these friends are still in my life…because something special happens when we experience things together, process it and encourage each other to take risks at the same time.  On our Trips to Enrich we capitalize on these moments.  We allow time to enjoy and celebrate together.  Intentionally relational.

I love the phrase, “Challenge by choice.”  I heard it used when I first started mountain climbing, canoeing, spelunking and such.  Most recently, I’ve heard it used by WinShape Wilderness as they describe the differences in each person’s sense of risk.  Since we all have our own story, what feels like a “stretch” for one person can be quite different for another.  Regardless of where your challenge zone is– we all feel something awaken/come alive inside when we try something we’ve never done before; when we attempt something that will require more than we normally operate in.  We call that “Adventure.”  Just hearing that word causes my blood to pump– reminding me that I am ALIVE, not just living!  It’s an important aspect of how God put us together.  Over the past 30+ years (since 1975) of trip leading I have seen a particular moment, a challenge, some impasse become a defining-moment that creates a reference point for who we know we are.  This is not like what some refer to as an adrenaline junky who needs a little more every time.  It’s about reminding ourselves or discovering for the first time who we are; what we’re made of…and made for!  Deliberately Adventurous.

It’s our plan to include our Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength in all we do…it’s these four areas that God commanded us to Love Him through, that Jesus modeled and the Holy Spirit empowers.  A buddy of mine used to say, “If I had a bumper big enough I’d put this on my truck… ‘God commanded it, Jesus modeled it, the Holy Spirit empowers it, so I’m gonna do it.'”  Taking care of ourselves in these four areas makes provision for us to be Whole, Full and Healthy.  And it’s in this condition we can best do anything we’re doing!  Incidentally, I got him a bumper sticker with that on it!  Life is fun and friendship is great.

Nathan Phillips