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More Than a Canoe Trip

By Andy Webb
In eLetter
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Years ago, when I lived in East Dallas, I and some other young men helped mentor a group of boys as part of a weekly neighborhood event. During the event, called King's Club, elementary-aged kids were invited to a small local church to hear something from the Bible and eat lunch. Then the men and I would play sports with the older boys. We would also occasionally go on camping trips.

A few years later, our family moved to Coppell and became involved with Irving Bible Church. It wasn’t long before I heard about their annual Father Son Canoe Trip. By this point those King’s Club boys were well into their teens, but many of them still wanted to get together and do pretty much the same stuff we had spent time together doing years before—included camping. I knew the canoe trip would be a great outing to take the guys on… especially because I didn't have to plan it.

What I didn't know is that one of the annual traditions is when the fathers gather around the campfire one evening to publicly affirm their love and admiration for their sons. What a fantastic experience. I had spent a lot of time over the years telling these guys about who they ought to be, but precious little affirming the amazing men they had become. The campfire gave me that opportunity. The guys and I thought the canoeing was fun, the food was great, and we loved the chance to get to know a great group of Christian men. But the campfire was the best.

Fast forward a bit and, after God had given our family three lovely daughters, He also gave us a son. These days my son and I go on the canoe trip, but usually so do some of the boys I mentored—who are now men with jobs, houses and kids of their own. And I still have the privilege of sharing publicly about what an excellent work God is doing in each of their lives.

Of course, the campfire is optional, and some dads will go off privately with their sons and tell them about how awesome it is to get to be their dad. That works too. Either way, everyone, including men without sons, gets to enjoy the food, friendship, and some great canoeing!

For more information about this year’s Father Son Canoe trip, go to irvingbible.org/men.

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