Over the last few months, the Wilderness Trek Board has reflected on Proverbs 16:9:

 “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”

This line of scripture speaks to the many transitions Trek has undergone in the last six months.  Throughout these transitions, one thing has remained constant: our confidence and certainty that God’s mission still uses this amazing ministry to lead others and transform lives, and that He always opens the right doors in His timing.

While we have talked and listened, prayed and meditated, and sought God’s discernment, we have continued to see God open those doors.  We find that He is always faithful in proving that He truly has determined the next steps.  I want to personally thank you on behalf of the Board of Directors for your continued prayers as we have walked through this process and allowed God to guide us to finding our new Executive Director.

It is with great pleasure that we announce our new Executive Director of Wilderness Trek:

Richie (Rich) Van Eaton!

Rich comes to us with a long history of involvement with Trek over the years, and we are overwhelmed with joy at the expertise, wisdom, and leadership he will bring to the organization.  His prior experience in ministry and guiding non-profits will offer new and fresh ideas for Wilderness Trek.  His focus and desire to continue to fulfill Trek’s vision, and more importantly God’s mission, will lead us along new paths in pursuit of growth.  We look forward to the many years ahead as God continues His plans for Trek.

In His Grip,

Tim Bennett, President – WTCC Board of Directors

A Message from Rich Van Eaton, Executive Director for Wilderness Trek

Dear Trek Family,

Thirty years ago next month, in March 1994, while visiting family in Colorado, I was introduced to a couple and a ministry that would change the trajectory of my life.  Two months later I packed up and moved from Tennessee to Colorado and began guiding for Wilderness Trek.  Like so many others through the years, I count meeting and knowing Tommy and Kristi Query, and being on staff with Trek among the most impactful seasons of my life.

As if that wasn’t enough of the Lord’s blessings for someone searching for his place in this world, I met my beautiful wife and partner in life, Lynette, who was also on staff at that time.  Now, thirty years later, we have 3 amazing children and split our time between Colorado and Florida.  Our son, Alec and daughter-in-law Allie, live in Nashville, TN, and our daughter Abby lives in Colorado Springs, CO.

God never ceases to amaze me with His faithfulness and how He orchestrates;  weaving together lives and experiences over the years… all for a purpose, and all for His good.

I am humbled and honored for the opportunity to build on nearly fifty years of rich history and all the great work that has brought Trek to this point in the name of Jesus.  I believe with all my heart that Trek is poised to facilitate encounters with a loving God in His creation for more people, in more ways than ever.   And I also believe that there has never been a time when programs and ministries like Trek were more needed.

Our Creator, through the pen of David in Psalms 23, gives us the anecdote for escaping the noise and distraction of the world we live in, for the renewal of strength and the restoration of souls:

“The Lord is my Shepherd; I have all that I need.He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams.He renews my strength.He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.”

Ps 23:1-3 NLT

Reminds me of high camp on Mt. Harvard…

If you are currently involved with Trek in whatever way, transforming lives in the beauty of God’s creation, thank you so much! If you’ve been disconnected from Trek’s work but were impacted in some way or believe in the power of nature to facilitate encounters with God and others, I’d love to hear from you and reconnect.

Lynette and I are so excited for this “homecoming” and look forward to what the Lord has in store for Trek now and for the next 50 years. Thank you for letting us be a part of the Trek story. May He lead us down the right paths that bring honor to His name.

Many Blessings,

Richie (Rich) Van Eaton, Executive Director – WTCC