Awesome, blessed beyond measure, and holiday greetings from the desk of the National Director at Cross Trail Outfitters (CTO). The other night my phone rings and the caller ID said that it was Chase. Naturally, I answer it since Chase is a very good friend of mine. “Hey Mr. Mike, are you going hunting tomorrow?” asked Chase. “Yes I am,” I replied. “How about you?” I asked. He replied “yes” he was hunting also. “Where are you going?” I asked. “I’m thinking about going to Juniper Bay,” answered Chase. “What about your blinds at Gull Shoal?” he asked. I replied, “I haven’t been there to look, but you’re welcome to use them.”
This is a regular conversation that good friends might have during any hunting season. I would like to take a moment to tell you how Chase and I became such close friends. In June 2010, I hosted our very first ever CTO summer camp in North Carolina, and Chase was one of the boys at that camp. Like most of the 13 boys there, Chase was junior high school age. Chase loves to fish, and I love to fish too, and God used that common interest between Chase and myself to start a lifelong relationship. That summer, as the week progressed God also used our common interest of fishing and hunting to cause Chase to trust my spoken words. We had Questions of the Day every morning and spiritually deep campfire discussions every night all centered on a common theme of Jesus Christ. Before the week was over, Chase asked Jesus Christ to be the Lord of his life. We now had something else more permanent in common. Oh and by the way, throughout the week 10 more of the 13 boys asked Jesus into their lives as well.
Chase is now a freshman at East Carolina University. Chase volunteers as a guide at our North Carolina summer camps. He is an amazing Christian man now and a dear friend of mine. The relationship that we have is even as strong as that relationship between my own son and myself. There are a lot of Chases in my life now thanks to CTO. There are a lot of Chases in the lives of all the outfitters and guides at CTO across the country.
As you read this letter, relationships like this one are being formed all over the country in many CTO chapters nationwide. This year CTO conducted 16 week‐long summer camps, more than 200 youth hunting/fishing outings, more than 130 sportsmen’s nights, 41 family events, and over 100 bible studies that all contributed to leading the next‐generation to Christ through the outdoors. As God worked through those events, we witnessed 108 kids and 24 adults accept Christ, as true discipleship starts with a relationship and ends with victory.
I want to thank every outfitter, guide, prayer warrior, volunteer, root partner, sponsor, donor, landowner and friend of Cross Trail outfitters. All of you are part of building “Chases” all over the country, and we cannot do it without you. Before we move into 2017, please prayerfully seek where you might fit in to our team. If you are already part of our team consider “Stepping It Up,” as this is our 2017 team vision for the Cross Trail Outfitters. We are looking for more chapters, more outings, more donors, more financial support all adding up to more salvations and an army of strong Christian young men. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of the leaders at CTO.
Oh and by the way as I was sitting home typing this letter, Chase called to tell me how his hunt went yesterday.
In his service,
National Director Cross Trail Outfitters
P.S. This year we had over 6,000 opportunities to make an impact on kids involved in CTO through our programs. But we need your help today so we can step it up in 2017 and disciple more kids. You can give online here. To receive a tax‐ deductible receipt for 2016, donations must be received or postmarked by December 31, 2016.