Greetings to our Trek Family!
We hope that you all have been blessed this past summer, as we certainly have! By now, many of you have heard or read of some changes and transitions that have come our way. Speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors, we just wanted you to know that amid those changes, God continues to remain faithful and open many doors. Preparations are underway for our 2024 season and group spots are filling in for year 48 of this amazing ministry! This speaks to God’s desire and mission in using us as servant partners in the ministry of Wilderness Trek as an avenue to bring others closer to Him in His creation, and that He is always in control with a greater plan of things to come.
We would like to recognize and say thank-you to Mike Bennett for all the years he has been involved at many levels with this ministry.
In the last three and a half years alone he has been able to establish a strong operations program in New Mexico that has developed relationships with local and national government entities, allowing us to operate in the National Forest; nurtured, mentored, and built an amazing summer staff with consistent returning guides; and most importantly – built lasting relationships with our Trek family and groups that has them coming back year-after-year.
As mentioned in our last newsletter, Mike will continue to support WTCC and be involved behind the scenes with our new Director of Operations, Avery Van Zee. Thank-you Mike on behalf of the board for your countless hours of dedication to your job and role in this ministry. We wish you blessings in the endeavors ahead with your family!
Avery Van Zee
We are also super excited about this new role for Avery Van Zee! Avery is someone I met 3 years ago when we were hanging cabinets in the old lodge kitchen. I’ve been able to build a great friendship with him over the years and see how God has worked through him to impact participants and staff on and off trail. I’ve also witnessed his own spiritual growth and the development of the leadership skills he needed to take on this new position.
For those who don’t already know Avery this will be an opportunity to see his dedication to carry on this great ministry in the backcountry with passion and enthusiasm.
Here are a few additional things I wanted to ask for the continued support and prayers from the larger trek family about, with more details coming in the months ahead.
By the end of this year, we will be moved into our newly remodeled facility, which will help us continue to operate in the mountains of New Mexico for years to come. Our partners, Glorieta 2.0, have graciously worked with us to secure this blessing. This shift will change some of the basecamp logistics we have had in years past, but we are confident that those changes will be a blessing to this ministry, summer staff and all involved.
Next month you will see us roll out our annual year-end fundraising campaign. We ask now that you will prayerfully consider how you may be able to contribute as these funds are used in so many ways critical for this Kingdom work. Some of our priorities this year include ongoing funding for scholarship trips for 25-40 participants each summer, the updates and operational cost of our new facilities, and normal overhead and operational funds that allow us to carry this great ministry on each year. Additionally, as a faith-based non-profit, our goal has always been to subsidize much of the cost of our trips to allow more kids the opportunity to go on trail at an affordable cost.
Future Executive Director
We are actively in the process of filling the vacant Executive Director role. We have already met with several candidates and are confident that God already knows who the new ED will be, as we continue to seek His wisdom and discernment while we walk through this process.
As you can tell, there are a lot of exciting things happening and each of you are incredibly important to helping with the fulfillment of the mission of this ministry and we are so humbled by the many avenues that people are engaged with Wilderness Trek. We are grateful that God continues to transform lives and pierce hearts by His presence and power through this ministry. As we are dedicated to making disciples and training leaders, we thank you as always for your continued prayers and support. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time.
On behalf of the WTCC Board of Directors,
In HIS Grip,
Tim Bennett, President