Out Of Africa – Mike Arnold

John and I are flying to Abuja to host another conference there, then heading home the following weekend.
After the airport we took a road trip through the country side to a neighboring state. Our first stop was an orphanage, or “home for motherless children.” The staff there is caring for 18 kids from newborn to 4 years old. They are an entirely faith-based ministry, with no institutional support. Truly doing the work of “true religion” as the Bible says. It was an honor to meet the staff (all native Nigerians) and a pleasure to spend some time with the kids. All the older ones could “gimme five” and followed me around to do that. Greg was really drawn to the babies, and he was crying when we left. It really touched him. John was able to give them a large supply of vitamins, and I gave all the little girls bracelets made by my daughter Rachel just for them, of which they were very proud. We were also able to give them a much-needed financial gift thanks to our mission trip donors. The facilities are rough but definetely well kept, and the staff showed the heart of Christ in their loving care of the kids.
After that, we visited the neighboring leper colony. The contagious residents are kept well separated, so we were not in danger of infection. Leprocy has been nearly conquered as a socially stigmatized disease. It is curable, and those who are left crippled by the effects are mainly integrated these days back into their home communities. At one time this facility housed 5,000 residents, but now their down to about 60 or so. The ones who remain are simply not able to be re-integrated for one reason or another. The lepers, for the most part, are distinguishable mainly by their hands and feet. Most have no fingers or toes, some have even less than that. Most are older, who were infected before the introduction of modern treatments. One mother had no hands, but a very bright, normal son (6 years old – he liked to “gimme five” too!) and husband who lived on premises. John London had worked very hard to purchase and load a Nook (like a Kindle) with all kinds of books including a Bible — a whole library all in one — and did a fine job of presenting it to the director, and giving him the training he needs to use it. It will be a blessing to the community there. We spent a few hours fellowshipping and praying with the people. Again Greg bonded with a baby — he has a real gift there. We found the people to be especially joyful and peaceful, and left there feeling that they blessed us more than we blessed them! Again, we left some vitamins, shoes and clothes that John L. brought, and a financial gift.
Afterwards we drove back to Owerri for dinner, and then to the Praise Tabernacle Church to start saying goodbyes. Every member of our team has made friends with many of the folks here, and it’s hard to leave. I think they’re experiencing what I felt last year — that is, it’s easy to feel more at home here than we do even in America. The people are friendly, joyful, hard-working, no-nonsense, bright, articulate, faithful, passionate, generous and just plain fun to be around. I sure wish they’d send misisonaries to America! We could use what they possess here in abundance.
Tomorrow we plan a fun day. Going to the stadium, where the community gathers on Saturdays for sports, and then back to the marketplace — the boys didn’t get enough of the authentic local experience yesterday! Then it’s back to the hotel where they’ll be packing up to head home.
Thank you again to our trip donors — today, more than most, the rubber really met the road. We were able to bless all those we visited, and our team was forever changed. We couldn’t do this without you!

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From Mike in Nigeria, Africa

Still no steady internet but I finally got a room with an air conditioner, and they promise the water heater will be working by tomorrow.
Conference is going very well and ending tomorrow. Next week we will venture forth to as many ministry projects as possible.
The boys finally turned a corner. They both are loving it here and making friends. Greg is feeling fine. Both have got something spiritually, big-time, and have come a long way in just a week. I’m very proud of them … and the most powerful week is still to come.
Stephen and Wayne are both stepping into their anointing, and they say I have as well. It is a very special place here. I hope you can come sometime.
Tomorrow is my last teaching for this conference. Many attendees – many of them very important and influential men – have said our teachings have opened their eyes and changed their lives. I expect to see a huge harvest here in the months and years to come.
Great evening session at the conference. The ladies of the church cooked us a fantastic dinner afterwards. Everyone having a good time.

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A great, spirit-filled week for Missouri campers!

Missouri Senior Outfitter Brian Utecht reports:
Camp has been incredible! The boys all harvested hogs with 12 shots fired, 12 hogs down for the count and pork tenderloin on the grill. They grew in God and learned what a real man/friend looks like as they ended camp assisting people with disabilities at the Day at the Range fishing pond.

The Holy Spirit guided these boys all week–we had a young man named Charles, also known as Davey Crocket, accept Christ and three boys harvest their first animal ever. I want share with you that I have been working with youth in all kinds of camp settings for the past eight years and this bunch of boys where truly exceptional young men, they never complained or missed the mark in any way. Honestly they smiled continuously and they were contagious to everyone. All I can say is they are a direct reflection of Christ and the team we have here in Missouri with Kirk Bouse and Darryl Robinson leading the way.

At the end of camp, the parents all asked if we had any camp openings for the remainder of the summer. So it looks like next year we will be adding some more camp sessions as I see the want and need for this from parents and youth. Praise God for this.

In the photo you’ll see me with Michael from Shawnee KS, who shot his first hog during camp last week. Michael lost his father a couple years ago, and last year attended his first summer camp after his Mother found out about CTO. What an awesome privilege that God has given myself and Kirk to disciple boys that need not just fatherly direction, but our Heavenly Father’s direction.

Please check out more pictures at the smugmug link below and be in prayer for the campers coming here in July.

http://teamcto.smugmug.com/SummerCamp2011/Missouri-Session-1/

Thanks for all your support.

Learn more about CTO Missouri here: http://www.teamcto.org/missouri

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Hunter’s Safety a Success

On May 21st and 22nd Seven boys and six fathers experienced the

second corner stone of Cross Trail Outfitters, Preserving Our Heritage,

through participating in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Hunter’s Safety Course.

This was an important event because it teaches the boys the basic

skills every hunter should know about their firearms, how to keep safe in

different hunting situations, and the hunter’s role and responsibility in

wildlife conservation and game management. As part of Cross Trail Outfitters—

Illinois we strive to not only teach our boys about the legalities of

responsible hunting, but also teach them that just because something is

legal doesn’t always mean it is right. I am proud to say that out IDNR

instructors hit it out of the park when it came to hunting ethics.

As part of the event the boys had the opportunity to explore confiscated

firearms that had their firing mechanisms removed, had the opportunity

to speak with a veteran Conservation Officer and learn what

they expect of you in the field. We all learned something new. They even

had the opportunity to experience a video game that had real guns converted

into remote controls so that the boys could feel the weight of the

gun in real hunting situations. Lastly after the class ended all the boys

had the opportunity to shoot clay pigeons. All of them did very well,

some outshooting the adults that were participating.

We are happy to report that all CTO participants passed Hunter’s

Safety.

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Digging Deep

The Missouri CTO group recently returned from an amazing fishing outing on the Buena Vista Ranch.

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It’s Time To Sign Up for CTO’s Ultimate Summer Camps

This year Cross Trail Outfitters is having camp sessions in three states; Missouri, North Carolina, and Texas with hunting and fishing opportunities that are as endless as they are diverse.  All our camp sessions are staffed by our permanent CTO, adult men and their wives, who are world class, well experienced and highly trained.  This year camp sessions will run Saturday to Saturday.

Sessions typically fill up quite quickly, as we only take a maximum of 14 campers per session.  Campers must be boys ages 10-16.  We will always endeavor to get you into the session of your choosing but that is not always possible, as they are filled on a first-paid deposit basis.

This is ALL INCLUSIVE, and includes harvesting of an exotic doe, hog or ram, plus a CTO mug and t-shirt.  Please note that the North Carolina camp session is exclusively a trophy saltwater fishing session, so no land animal will be harvested.

Once you have filled out the online registration page and your $250 deposit is received, the state director for your camp will mail or e-mail you the camp paperwork to complete.  We are expecting full camp sessions this year, so if you need a specific week for camp, register early.

The price for camps varies, but all require a $250 deposit to hold your spot.

To read more about summer camp dates and locations, click here!

To register online, click here!

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Expand the CTO Ministry

CTO Banquet and Fundraiser is this Friday, March 25!

You can help:

  1. Attend the banquet. kpotts.
  2. If you are currently a root partner, increase your giving or send a special gift. Follow this link and click on the "donate now" button
  3. BUY IT NOW! If you can not attend the banquet you can also help by purchasing a raffle item NOW! Please view the attached partial list of auction/raffle items, and see those with the "Buy Now" option. If you are interested, send me an e-mail.

My wife Kim and I are looking forward to seeing everyone and share with you what has been happening over the last year. In addition, you’ll get to hear Keith Warren speak on preserving our heritage and enjoy a barbecue dinner catered by Maywald’s Sisterdale Smokehouse.

Please join Kim and I as we pray for our table hosts, their guests and our banquet volunteers to help make this event a success and to expand the CTO ministry.

We’ve attached a list of a few of the raffle and auction items for you to view. If you are interested in purchasing a "Buy Now" item before the event please let me know ASAP.

Have a blessed week!
Kevin and Kim Potts

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