Inspirational Transformation

This summer, I spent a lot of time at the H. E. Butt Foundation Camp in the Frio Canyon. I dropped into Roundup at Singing Hills and Echo Valley. I visited with families over lunch at Headwaters. I talked with guests at Laity Lodge.

All throughout the Canyon, people were having meaningful experiences—encountering each other and God in deeply meaningful ways.

At the end of one Laity Lodge retreat, a guest said, “What I really felt this weekend was the call to be uncertain, the call to open your eyes and say, ‘I do not have a clue what is going on here,’ and this is such a safe place to do that.” They went on to explain that sometimes we have to be vulnerable in places that are hostile. Sometimes we have to embrace uncertainty in places where we are not safe. This guest said, “The Lodge is uniquely a safe place.”

Another guest at the same retreat was processing some job changes and asking himself, “What is God’s calling on my life?” He shared his concerns with someone who told him, “Your first calling is to your wife and your kids.” The comment helped him get out of his head about his work. He realized that his relationships with his family were far more important than many of the things that he had been worrying about.


I sat at a table with three couples at Headwaters. One of the families had been on the waiting list and got a call four days before. They were so grateful. One LLYC camper at Echo Valley said he “learned to be more resilient and to be a better brother.” Another camper said, “I learned how to control my anger—kinda.”

I love the honesty of that last camper. Transformation doesn’t happen in an instant.

Transformation doesn’t happen in an instant.

Transformation doesn’t happen in an instant. I love our work because we get to see the beginning of what God is doing—and what really brings us joy is when we hear stories about how that transformation continues for folks in their own communities and even extends to others.

In this issue, we have several stories of transformation. I especially love the story of Andrew, who learned to kayak and then went home and started teaching others to kayak. Andrew understands his own sense of gratitude as motivation to serve others. He is passing on the transformation and inspiring others—including me.

Read More

Lulu's Last First Day

When an LLYC camper began her last session at Echo Valley, it was a time for reflection.

From Outdoor School to Expedition School

When this SAISD student found inspiration in nature, he wanted to pass along his passion into his city.

A Garden in the City

Gardopia Gardens' model is to teach communities to be good, healthy stewards through garden-based learning. Starting with three-year-olds.

Side By Side

Four musicians puzzled through the prompt: to create a song about peacemaking and connecting across differences.