Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Pat on the Back

It's not always well looked upon to toot your own horn, but we thought you would like to hear this bit of news. I hope you know how much we appreciate your support of our work with the CCO. Transforming college students to transform the world is Kingdom-building work. As a mission it is a living out of and sharing in the message and person of Jesus in today's North American culture. Along with its core values (1. All things belong to God, 2. Jesus changes people's lives, 3. We love college students, 4. Faithfulness is pursued together, 5. We celebrate life.), it is also a reflection of this organization of which we are a part. Please celebrate with us as the CCO wins for the fifth year in row the Best Christian Place to Work Award in the large missions/parachurch category. Thanks for making possible our participation in this great adventure possible.

Check out the CCO news room for more on the award.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Did we mention that CCO has a new website?

Check it out! at

If you want jump straight to the Outdoor Leadership Team page, click here


Last week we went to see Michael Pollan speak about his recent book, The Omnivore's Dilemma. As "nature writer who doesn't like camping", Michael Pollan researched the origins of the foods we eat. Taking a sometimes humorous, sometimes disburting look at four meals, he traces the ingredients back to their origins. The question that emerges through the book's uncovering of the environmental, economic and political dimensions of our meals is not the usual "what should eat?" but rather " How should we eat?"

For example, Michael Pollan's account of the use of corn in our diet (way beyond the high fructose corn syrup believe me!) leads him to quip that we are the corniest people on the planet. But beyond our unconscious love for everything corn, our new passion for ethanol is having global impact and not the kind advertised by car companies.

Needless to say, I was a little spooked when the next morning after the lecture, the Washington Post ran a story on the implications of rising cost of corn on the diet and businesses of Mexico (click here for article)

On the heels of Jubilee and our presentation on Wisdom at the Wilderness Education Association Conference, Joy and I have been thinking about how the stewardship we teach in the wilderness works itself out when we are back in the city. How does the "universal flourishing" of Shalom we seek to offer our students through adventure education, come to be lived out in the way we buy our food, cook our meals, and eat together?

Michael Pollan talked about a visit he made to Joel Salatin's farm in Virginia. Joel and his family have built a thriving farm on the model that God created the world and its creature to be in symbiotic relationships. His story is a facinating challenge to our individualistic culture where the environmental chickens may be coming home to roost (see Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico or for NOAA's report on another cost of our "love" of corn)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The CCO's annual event called JUBILEE took place in Pittsburgh recently. Over 2,000 college students gathered to engage the topic of God's vision for His Kingdom in the here and now. Jubilee is a weekend to for students to be challenged to listen and be open to how they could join in God's redemptive work in this world - especially in the profession they are studying towards.

The Saturday night keynote speaker was Gary Haugen, President and CEO of International Justice Mission. He spoke to students about slavery in the world today. In coordination with Amazing Change Weekend, a special screening was arranged for students to see the Amazing Grace movie about William Wilberforce's fight to end slavery in the British Empire of the 18th century. To see more pictures from the weekend, click here.

Francois and I spent the bulk of the weekend talking to students who were interested in spending a month this summer on our Leadership and Discipleship in the Wilderness trip (LDW). Our design for the trip is to pour into the leadership and spiritual development of future CEO's, pastors, parents, and citizens. Our desire is that students will come away with a fuller knowledge and practice of servant-leadership based in their commitment to love and follow Jesus Christ. We believe that will help change the world.