Monday, March 30, 2015

Surprise surprise

I love a surprise!
I won’t easily forget the day my wife Kris informed me that I was going to the Holy Land.  It was nearing my 50th birthday, and on one of our long drives from CA to WI, she played a game with me that went like this: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you like to go?  Little did I know of the set-up that was taking place.  She is so clever and I am so innocent. J  After that drive, she signed me up for a short term mission’s trip that went to Israel and ministered to the Palestinian Church.  Along with our service we did some touring.  I was very pleasantly surprised. 
God likes us to be surprised.  He likes us, His children, to be happy.  Many a happy moment in our lives comes in the moment of surprise.  John Piper, in his book Desiring God, goes to great lengths to show that God is interested in our well-being, and part of our well-being is happiness. 
I am delighted this year to be surprised by God and His faithfulness.  After our tough summer last year, I really wondered if the work of Canadian Adventure was over.   I struggled through the hard process of letting something go that had become a part of me.  And now, it seems that God has surprised us all.  He has provided groups for the summer.  It looks as though we will have as many guests as last summer, with a 4 week shorter season.  He has provided an electrical source and friends to help us serve our guests.  He has provided everything we need to provide extraordinary experiences this summer for those who seek it.
Our prayer is that our guests will be surprised by God as they take time to meet with Him at CA this summer.  In Psalm 19, David writes that as people seek God, as they read His word, and as they apply it to their lives they will find happiness.  David says their hearts will rejoice!  It has been my experience that as people look out over the magnificent vistas on Mt. Sinai, or sit and take in the mighty roar and crashing waterfalls of the Golden Staircase, their hearts rejoice in the One who made it all!  They more fully appreciate how grand God is!
Perhaps you need some surprises in your life?  Or, perhaps you know someone who is struggling with finding happiness.  Make a trip to Canadian Adventure and be surprised!  Feel the wonder of wilderness and be reminded that God is in control of it all!
Continuing on the theme of surprise, would you consider surprising me by sharing this blog with two other people?  I also need YOUR help in spreading not only this blog but also the word about CA.  YOU can have an amazing impact on someone’s life, by sharing the CA story.  Below I included a note from a guest from last summer.  This is a testimony how God works in people’s lives as they spend time away at the place we call Canadian Adventure!

“I’m certain that my heart behind this testimonial, isn’t intended to trigger yet another emotional response, or some lame attempt to change your overall attitude.
CA for me, has always been a place to regroup with God, and yet, why would that be for a Pastor, who should have everything spiritually all figured out—right?
During my 2014 visit to camp CA, I was able to reconnect with that little boy inside of me again, among some really great men—and we didn’t care who was watching!
CA forced me to laugh like I don’t remember laughing for a very long time. The CA experience allows you to store away your cell phone, and to put an end to foolish pride.
Maybe if we searched for that silly child like faith inside, God could become very real again? I just know this—He became real again for me, in a very secure, hope filled environment.
The adventure of the CA is a change in perspective that I desperately need—and it’s the one place on earth, where I have been able to relocate the hope of Christ…”
This note is from a pastor friend from central Wisconsin
God is working with the ministry we call CA.  Come and join Him!!!

Steve Tice
CA Director

Monday, December 8, 2014

If only we could have no vicissitudes!

If only we could have no vicissitudes!

What in the world is a vicissitude?   Jay Adams writes in his book The Christian Counselor's Manual that "Change, then, is necessary (we all need to change to be conformed to the image of Christ)*, but change is hard.  One of the major reasons why Christians founder is because they are either unwilling to make changes or do not know how to make the changes that God requires of them in order to meet the vicissitudes of life".  A web dictionary describes the word like this, "a change of circumstances or fortune, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant."

Canadian Adventure is being forced to make changes.  Circumstances beyond our control are making us change.  As Adams points out, change is hard.  Some live their lives avoiding change at all cost.  We are faced with the fact that if we don't change we will probably not exist as a ministry.

We are going to change by shortening our camping season this year for a couple of reasons.  First, our gas supply is being cut off.  We will have to travel farther to get gas which gives us a reason to need less gas.  Second, we don't believe we will get work permits for our staff this year due to changes in the Canadian work permit system.
Without our usual staff we will depend more on volunteers to help us meet the needs of our guests. 

So one might ask, how can these changes be good?  Great question!  A shorter season will give us reason and the energy to make sure that every aspect of each Adventure is of the highest quality!  More will get a chance to serve alongside us and experience the joy of giving one's time to the King for His purposes.  We also believe that there are other ministries that can use the CA facilities when we are not to enhance their programming which will expand the reach of CA.

I wonder when the last time was that you asked God if there were areas that you need to change?  Have you lived with things in your heart that if not changed will cause a vicissitude moment for you?  Is there a better place than along a rushing stream or overlooking miles of wilderness to ponder these questions?  Will you ponder these questions if you don't break away from your busy life to intentionally do it?

We need to change Canadian Adventure so that people can keep asking themselves and God what needs to change in their lives to better conform them to the image of Christ. 

Want to help us in our time of change? Here are some ways you can help.
1.     Volunteer for a week or two this summer.
2.     Bring a group to Experience CA.
3.     Go to our website and make a donation to help others experience CA.
4.     Forward this post to someone who you think would benefit from a group outing and let me know so I can contact them.

You can always reach me at steve.tice@canadianadventurecamp or 715.216.2819.

* Emphasis and commentary added

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

When Trouble Comes, Psalm 121

When trouble comes,  Psalm 121;

Over the past ten years we have experienced several events that we thought would end the ministry of Canadian Adventure.  From access closure, to new, more demanding  property owners, to new passport rules, to immigration issues.  All of these issues came and went as we saw God remove the barriers that we thought were likely to keep Canadian Adventure from building a future. 
This year was different.  We didn't have just one big issue to deal with.  It seemed the troubles never stopped.  We almost didn't get work permits for our staff and the fees to get the permits went up exponentially.  We lost our electric service to camp.  We had a serious medical emergency with one of our guests.  (The picture in this blog is of him being airlifted out) We had multiple equipment failures.  Our good friend Jackie Grenier from the Northgate Service center suddenly passed away.  .

With all the troubles this year I am sure there are those that wonder if Canadian Adventure should keep going.  Has God stopped blessing this ministry?  Is it too hard to run a wilderness ministry?  Are the risks greater than the benefits?  Is Canadian Adventure a thing of the past?
In future blogs I will share stories of how God worked in lives this summer at Canadian Adventure.  How He met people where they were at.  In the stillness of the wilderness He transformed their hearts.  In the quiet along the banks of the Montreal River He reminded them of His love for them and that He, by His grace, through their act of faith, lives in and through them.

I am not entirely sure why God allowed the troubles we had this summer.  I am confident that He had a reason and that good came from the challenges.  I do know that much kingdom fruit was produced this summer.  That lives were eternally changed because people took time out to experience the nature of God through a wilderness adventure.  I am sure that our exceptional staff learned much about God’s faithfulness as they served beyond the call of duty!  I am convinced that God isn't done with this ministry yet.  There are many others that need to meet Him in the wilderness of Canada so that they will have a story to tell of a faithful God that wants them and many others to be His friends.

I wonder if you know anyone that needs to experience God’s nature?  Do you know anyone that needs a quiet break?  If you do, will you please send them this blog post?  Will you please encourage them to come to Canadian Adventure and experience the things that make Canadian Adventure what it is?  You or they can always reach me at             

4 Him, Steve

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hard work equals fixed roofs, does the same principal apply to lives?

Surprise X 2!  When we got here this spring we found that the back porch roof was collapsed.  Bummer!  The snow load was just too heavy.  Then as we started up camp we got a call from the power company saying that we will lose our power supply in mid July.  Huh....  The roof is fixed, we have a new Lighthouse roof, now we need to learn God's will for our power problem.

One has to wonder is the effort worth it?  Is it too hard to have a wilderness camp?

I know that God has used this place mightily in the past.  I know today 7 kids got baptized in the Montreal River, I know that we are training young leaders to be willing and able leaders as they go out to serve God after this summer.  So......We will see what God's plan is for this place.  We will ask for His will to be done.  We will be faithful in well doing no matter the circumstance and find joy in serving a God that cares for each of us more than we will ever know.

In all of this may God be glorified!!

Here is a picture of our new roof.

It took lots of effort to repair what had been broken.  I have heard from group leaders that it takes lots of effort to bring kids to Canadian Adventure.  I consistently hear from those same leaders that they never regret their hard work because they see change in the hearts of their kids as they spend time together at Canadian Adventure.  Gal 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Monday, May 5, 2014

When thunderstorms are a good thing

God is our refuge!

Psalm 61:1-5
Hear my cry, O God;
    listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to you,
    I call as my heart grows faint;
    lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
    a strong tower against the foe.

The picture above is the mountain we call Mt. Sinai.  It is a mile and a half from our base camp.  A few years back I was with staff and we got stuck on the top of Mt. Sinai in a thunderstorm.  We realized that we needed shelter and we didn't need to be out in the open on a rock that was in this world!  God sheltered us in that time, He alone gives us a foundation that will never be shaken.  

Is your heart faint?  Has trouble or doubt come your way?  Go to Him as your refuge.

We specialize in people taking time to read God's word to be reminded and refreshed in their walk with their creator.  God's word read in quiet places will bring hope. Our goal is to be a place where people learn to trust in the one Rock and Shelter that truly will protect and bring hope.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wow, I headed up to CA for an annual climb up Mt. Sinai and found the lodge like this.  Thankfully it was still standing!!  Sadly our train station roof became overwhelmed by the weight and is now on the ground.

Can you imagine the amount of weight on this roof!  It has to be amazing.  You wonder if the lodge is sagging and just waiting for the warmth of spring to bring it relief.  Not that a building can feel:)

I wonder if you ever feel like the lodge.  Like the burdens of life are causing you to sag?  The burdens may be out of your control or things that you could have avoided. No matter the cause, they can be real and they can change your life.  

Just like the sun will give relief to this building so can and will the Son of God relieve your burdens.  Jesus asks us to come to Him, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and He will give you rest.  Take His yoke upon you, and learn from Him, for He is gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.  Matt 11:28-29.

Jesus knew what a struggle this life is.  He knew that the Holy Spirit would enter believers once he physically left this earth.  (John 15-17) So God's presence was going to be felt and known in every believer from Pentecost on.  God's strength and comfort are real.  He has the power and will to carry our burdens,melt them, or at least make them light enough for us to carry. What a promise!

It will be great to see the Lodge without snow and hear the sounds of people talking and laughing along the banks of the Montreal River!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Welcome to the Official Canadian Adventure Camp Blog.  As a director I realize that people love to know what is going on with the organization that you represent.  I admit that I am not the greatest at reaching that goal.  My hope is that using this format I can keep people better informed and perhaps even challenged to be a part of a place that God uses to change lives.  
The picture above is a great aid in helping all of us realize the importance of preserving a place like Canadian Adventure.  If you notice in the upper left corner there is a blur.  That is from a passing Hummingbird. (We love our Hummers!) Compare that part of the picture to your life.  Do you have times where your life can be compared to a blur?  You feel like you can get nothing done because there is so much happening around you?  You wish the blur would stop so you can see clearly?
Now take a look into the middle of the picture.  See Mt. Sinai?  If you were to take a boat and travel there it would become clear as to what a solid rock it is!  That is a clear picture of the one that we proclaim at CAC.
Jesus Christ is compared to a solid rock.  One that does not move no matter the reason.  The One that if trusted will help you see clearly what life is about.  Romans 9, 1 Cor 10, and 1 Peter 2, also points out that the Rock is a stumbling point for many people.  As many have found out, hiking up or down Mt. Sinai the rocks don't move well when your foot hits them.  I have lost track of the number of people that have told me that time spent alone with God at CAC has turned their life around.  It has stopped their stumbling.  Their blur has become clear.  They have realized that the Rock doesn't move and that they need to trust and obey the One that does not move.  
As an organization we are committed to helping you know that there is one name that you can call upon that will help you see clearly.  
Phil 2:9-11  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.