Category Archives: K-Colorado

What KIVU Is All About

I apologize for not having anything up yet for the Morocco trip. I’ve been working on a video and my editing stuff has stopped working on two different computers. I hope to have stuff up before the end of the week. In the mean time, check out this promo video for Kivu. Kanakuk Colorado, the summer camp I’ve attended for the past five or so years is branching out under the new name Camp Kivu. I’m way stoked about the move. Kanakuk has been an awesome experience in my life and a major player in my walk with my Father. However, the change will allow for some super excited new things to happen. The video is really good and explains the vision perfectly.

what’s our role in the Solution?

A couple of days ago, I woke up to a wonderful dream. I was sitting on a street corner with some old friends and we were talking about the problems in our world and what our role was in the solutions to those problems. It was a great discussion. Sadly, that’s all I remember. No details. No divine revelations from God. Just a good conversation.

Even though I can’t remember anything specific from the conversation, I can’t help but think about it. For a couple days now, it’s been taking priority my mind. There are so many problems with our world. At K-CO, we talked about what breaks our hearts and how those things propel us to move and shake. At one point, we split up into groups. Each group talked about a different issue that broke their heart. Conversations centered around things like Genocide, Poverty related issues like lack of Clean Water and Malnutrition, Medical issues like Malaria and AID’s, Sex Traffiking and the Objectification of Women, Abortion and Divorce, Depression, and many other issues that span the globe.

I wish I could have been a part of each group. My heart breaks for all of the issues. These are the things that break my heart. The things that make me move.

I don’t think any grand ideas or bold revelations came out of those conversations. But they were good conversations to have. To get people to think about the problems and what they can do to help. My generation is a pretty cool one. We care about a lot of issues. We are not prepared to sit by as people hurt. We may not be quite ready to change the world but we’re talking about it. We’re moving towards it. We want to get there and we’re working at it. We want to change the world for the better. We want to be a part of something bigger. Something Godly. Something good. We want to help people.

hands

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

This is Rwanda

My friend Joe is really good at making movies. He’s the videographer at K-Colorado and this is one of the videos he made about Rwanda.

last year as a kamper…

wow!!! i just spent two weeks in bayfield, colorado, having the time of my life. this was my last year as a kamper at k-colorado and it could not have been any better. i had by far the best cabin of guys i’ve ever had in my five years as a kamper there. the twelve of us (10 kampers, 2 counselors) hit it off pretty quickly. coming from all over the country, we bonded incredibly. throughout the term, we were able to open up the deepest parts of our hearts to one another. we shared everything from our stuff to our struggles. we became brothers. we became close… real… true… friends. we had each other’s back. we loved and deeply cared for each other. it was an amazing community. a great family. along the way, we had many great adventures. every kamper chooses three specialties that they get to do thoughout the term. i picked rock climbing, lake fun & sun, and institute. during the three days of climbing, we bouldered at turtle lake and top-roped at x-rock and in cascades which is one of the more beautiful places on this planet. the wheather was pretty horrible (or awesome depending how you look at it) at the lake. it was extremely windy, ghastly cold, and the waves became whitecaps. i did some jetskiing, mostly with my buddy caleb. it was a fun time. most of the time was spent sitting around on the dock or in a boat ride listening to explosions in the sky. it was pretty chill. it was also a great time to just slow down and experience God’s beauty around the lake. the last specialty i chose, institute, is very unique to k-colorado. it consists of teaching from andy braner or luke parrot about worldview, apoligetics, religions, origins, sex, dating, culture, media, humanitarian issues, global crisis’, community, discpleship, and many more things. the part that i did was mainly focused on discipleship as well as the global community and issues that it faces, and we actually went out into the local community and did some service work. we talked about what breaks your heart? the things that make you get up and move. the things that make you pound the the table in rage. the things that make you cry out. we talked about poverty, genocide, sex traffiking. we talked about what we can do about these things. actually, i, along with some guys from my cabin, are in the process of creating a company that can help out with some of this stuff. more on that later.the last day, we (about 60-80 of us) went to nearby durango and cleaned up some mountain biking trails. it was a really cool thing to be a part of. all of these kids taking a whole day to clean up a trail that they will probably never use when they could be doing some crazy activity instead. it was just really cool. about every other night, we had parties and they were off the hizzy!!! the first one was the 90’s party. we all dressed up in jorts and sweaters and flat-billed caps and lame mustaches. it was quite the spectacle. very funny. we went to a gameshow called double dare and got slimed. then we went and danced to every kind of music imaginable. it was so fun and crazy. the next party was the best. it was the goldrush party. every year at k-co, their is a western party. the name changes but the party is exactly the same. we all dress up in our best cowboy and hicktown garb and then we have a barn dance. we eat steak with our hands, learn about five or six dance steps and then head to the barn. every guy is strongly encouraged to dance with a different girl every dance. it is a great way to meet people and to get everyone involved and feeling special. once the song ends, the guy spins the girl, says thanks for the dance and then walks to the outskirts of the crowd and picks another girl who isn’t dancing. they then dance and talk and have a grande ol’ time. it’s a staple of k-co and for good reason. the third party was the masquerade. we made silly masks, watched a hard fought duel, and listened to phantom of the opera music. it was actually really fun despite the non-manly aura of the situation. the dance wasn’t just opera music. we had some good stuff playing. the last party was perhaps the most epic. it was the pirates vs. ninjas party. we played some huge warball games and raved the night away. it was fun and tiring. we also had a guys and girls night. the girls probably watched a movie and ate chocolate and cuddled up in blankets. we, the men of the camp, had commando night. each cabin paired with another cabin (8 with 1, 7 with 2, etc…) and then preceeded to embark on the biggest mission of our lives. we had to deliver our glowsticks to strategically placed commandos around the camp. we waded through chest deep freazing cold water, trekked through a freezing stream for hundreds of yards, and ran for our lives as paintballs went whizzing over our heads. once we completed our objective in record time, we learned that the counselors had betrayed us and were now hiding in the woods with our glowsticks. we had to find them and bring them back. it was one epic night of running, darkness, stealth, teamwork, encouragement, bravery, and mud. so good. we also had something called k-life which happened on the non party nights. we had worship music. by the way, i have never experienced a place that can even begin to compare to worshipping through song at k-co. there is nothing ornately special about it. it is just real. it’s usually just a guitar and maybe a lap drum. but the voices are amazing. not great, just special. anyways, their would be a speaker everytime. the most meaningful talk for me and my cabin was that of nate friend. he just opened up to us. earlier that day, he got slight pneumonia while saving a neighbor’s boat at the dock. so he said right up front that he wasn’t able to prepare as much as he’d have hoped for the talk but he was just gonna let God speak through him. boy did God speak that night! nate spoke about how his mother had struggled with depression and suicide for a very long time and through some very intimate stories nate just opened up. he let us see who he was and what was really going on in his life. i will never forget that night. that night, jack, one of my cabinmates, opened up with us about the sorrow and fear and pain in his own life and that’s what sparked our unity and brotherhood. from then on, everynight, we just opened ourselves up for each other to see. that is how life is supposed to be lived. every morning, we took some time and walked with God, literally. we just walked around and talked with Him in the midst of His beautiful creation. it was the greatest way to start off the day. we culminated the term with the annual ultimate frisbee tournament. my cabin’s first game was one for the ages. we came back from 4 – 0 to beat the oldest cabin 5 – 4 in overtime. it was great. sadly, we lost our next game. after the tournament ended, the parents came and we did the whole closing ceremonies thing. it was kind of weird knowing that it was my last time experiencing all of that as a kamper (because my school gets out so insanely late, i cannot be a kamper first term next year because i have to graduate). it would’ve been downright sad but i know my time with this camp is far from over. next year kanakuk colorado becomes camp kivu (kivu is a lake in rwanda and literally means big). it will basically be the same with some stuff added on. the reason it is changing is because andy, the director, has a more global and expansive vision for the camping experience than what is offered under the umbrella of kanakuk. he is looking into music camps and surfing camps in the u.s. as well as many international camps. there will be many facets to the new ministry and i am extremely excited for the change. next summer i hope to work at camp kivu doing whatever they need me to do. i cannot say enough about the community and family that is in this place. during the two week term, God united people from arizona to missouri to cairo, egypt into one big family of believers. it is how life is supposed to be lived.

Summer begins in Colorado and ends in Morocco

I’ve spent the last week taking all my finals early so that I can spend the first two weeks of my summer in Bayfield, Colorado. Every year, my siblings and I go to K-Colorado, a Christian sports camp. We have a blast and grow incredibly in our walks with Jesus and His community. It is my favorite place on earth and I can’t wait for whatever God has in store for us this year! Also, later on this summer, I have the oppurtunity to go on a two week trip to Morocco. My dad is leading a team of young men who feal God’s tug to be a part of His work overseas. I’ll be going with a few other guys from my school and a colleg student or two. I know I’ve been pretty slack in regards to writing for a while. But hopefully over the summer I’ll be able to do this more often. See ya later!

k-colorado cabins

morocco street

*official rwanda trip documentary*

way to go joe!

…lingering thoughts

Two overwhelmingly vast thoughts have been lingering in my head for the past year or two. They have been convicting me, seemingly calling me out at the most peculiar times. I am pretty sure that God has strategically placed them in my head so that I might carry out His will, that which is good, pleasing, and perfect. And yet I have been reluctant, timid, and downright scared to go through or even commit to going through with either idea. They’re kind of big.

Rwanda (coupled with two books I’m reading) was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

waterjug

Jug used to carry water in Rwanda.

The first idea stemmed from a conversation that occurred in Institute (something unique to K-Colorado, ask me about it sometime) but also has roots in a well-known Bible story. It’s the story of the rich young ruler. You know the tale? The one where the rich young ruler approaches Jesus and asks what he can do in order to obtain everlasting life. Jesus tells him to obey the commandments and the rich young ruler says that he has. He then wants to know what else he can do. To this, Jesus replies “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

All I remember from the conversation was Andy Braner (Director of K-Colorado) telling a story of a kamper who gave away all his clothes except some jeans and a couple t-shirts. That is all I remember. I do not even know if the miniscule detail that is still lodged in my mind is correct. The kid gave away his clothes. That stuck with me.

These two stories have caused me to question why more people who claim to be followers of Jesus and/or call themselves Christian do not actually follow His teachings literally. Lots of people give to the poor. Lots of people give 10% of their money to God. Lots of people want to be complete but are not willing to give themselves up to reach that goal.

Ever since hearing Andy’s story, I’ve thought to myself “Wow! That would be so cool to live like that. I would not be wrapped up in all my stuff. I would be able to feel God’s arms holding me tight. I would be able to focus all my attention on Him.” I’m sure my actual thoughts were much simpler than that. But the point is that I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to follow Jesus’ teachings but was too scared that I might miss out on something.

The second lingering thought is also deeply rooted in the Bible. It comes from the passage where Jesus sends out the disciples.

He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. And He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. “Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city. And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” Departing, they began going throughout the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of just walking somewhere, not anywhere in particular, with nothing and seeing what kind of predicaments God would put me in. Doesn’t that sound so awesome? I would not have to worry about being comfortable or even providing anything. I would be forced to rely on God for everything. How great would that be? Can you imagine the kind of relation you could have with your Father if you were in that situation?

Most of the time, when an American goes to a third-world country, he returns with a sense of gratefulness. He realizes how much he takes for granted everyday and he becomes thoroughly thankful for all the blessings he has been given by God. He understands how lucky he is to have running water, hot water, drinkable water, a huge house, a nice neighborhood, a good school, more than enough food, an iPod, a computer. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this. It is good to be thankful for sure. But that was not the feeling I was given by Rwanda.

Most of the Rwandan people we encountered had very little in the way of worldly possessions and it did not matter in the slightest. That is just how they live. They have not learned to live without because they never lived with. Their lives are simple and their community is close-knit. They do not have to worry about impressing their neighbors or whether or not they look cool. They just live their lives with one another.

On the way back, I began to realize how meaningless all my so-called “blessings” really are. Whether or not I have enough food or an iPod has absolutely no bearing on whether or not I have an intimate relationship with my Father or the people he has surrounded me with. In fact, I think all my stuff actually hinders my relationships. Instead of having a real, intimate relationship with someone, I settle for a shallow one because it is easier (Facebook anyone?). I spend too much time worrying about how I look or what to eat or what would be easier or quicker. My stuff consumes my mind and gets in the way. I think, logically going along with what Jesus said, the more stuff you give away the more complete you become. Who does not want to be complete? Who is willing to give all their stuff away?

The two books I’m reading are very much relevant and pivotal to the formulation of my two ideas. The first The Places in Between by Rory Stewart is about his trek across Afghanistan. He set off by himself to cross the country, stopping in the villages and relying on the hospitality of the people he encountered. It is a remarkable account. The second book The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne is about “What if people took Jesus’ teachings seriously?” “What if we lived like the disciples of old?” Through his unconventional and very appealing life, he covers a vast array of topics and it might just be my favorite book ever. On the plane ride back someone gave it to me. It is especially relevant after visiting Rwanda. I wish I could do it justice in a description but I cannot. I would definitely recommend both books to anyone.

Shane Claiborne

Shane Claiborne

Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart

The actual ideas I’ve been talking about were formulated on the plane ride back and some forgotten time afterwards, respectively. the first is this. When my family moves houses, I will give up almost all my stuff. The main stuff being clothing but other stuff will definitely be tossed. I think I’ll keep one days worth of school clothes (khakis and collared shirt), a couple t-shirts, a pair of shorts, a pair of pants, the shoes/equipment needed for sports, and the necessary undergarments. Besides clothing I have no idea what will stay and what will go but I’m pretty sure most of it will go. The point is that I do not need all my stuff. It is just in the way of where I want to be.

The second idea is a bit more radical in my opinion. At some point in time, right now I’m thinking after I graduate (a little over a year), I want to go on a yearlong journey. I, along with three (tentative number) other followers of Jesus will head out on foot with nothing (maybe some stuff to document, maybe not) and we’ll just see what happens. We’ll stay with those who will house us. We’ll eat with those who will feed us. We will rely on God’s provision through other people at times and through supernatural miracles at others. We will literally be in His hands. We will be a walking testimony of the love offered by our Father. We will have no route other than however the Holy Spirit decides to guide us. How great would that be? What an adventure! It would be hard and uncomfortable but that is exactly the point. Following Jesus is the hardest and most rewarding occupation in the world.

These two thoughts have been consuming my mind since I arrived back from Rwanda. I am so glad that God is so good. He provides love and that is what it is all about. If you are at all interested in what I’m doing/thinking or more excitingly want to be a part of it please pray about it please tell me. This is so exciting. This is big.