My passions for being in the outdoors began as a young child living in Schweinfurt Germany. Being an army brat, kids were expected to behave properly at all times, stay out of trouble and find their own entertainment in doing so. Much to my mother’s dismay, I used to walk about and bring home hedgehogs, snakes, and injured birds. Later, growing up in Wisconsin, harsh outdoor elements were tough at times, but did not discourage my longing to be out there and doing it. I lived for deer season, and gallivanting through the deep woods near our house.
During my high school years is when I heard my first calling from the Lord. I thank my football coach for reaching out to me with a heartfelt sense – here is a lost soul in need of hope and encouragement. That was the beginning of my journey, walking and talking with the Lord.
When I first started hunting in Colorado, I knew that inviting others was my personal ministry to outdoor enthusiasts. I realized that hunting could be an incredible opening for outdoor ministry. Sharing time together, eating meals together, talks around the campfire, enjoying the light show put on by the stars. Guys would open up with concerns about their personal well-being, marriage, job, and kids. These conversations, deep and honest, coming from the heart knowing it is safe to share sensitive thoughts. I have been in the trenches with them emotionally and spiritually. I have been blessed by their stories because, in many ways, my story is the same. Personal pain can either scare you away, or help you get back on the track to living the good life and loving it.
One of my many functions in COFA is to present Elk Hunting classes and Hunter Safety Certification. Yet, I consider my most important role is to be a spiritual channel for those who are heart broken, looking for consolation from a special person when no one else seems to care. COFA extends across the country, calls come in every day, and love for this ministry has become a very big part of my life. It is the gift I have been given. Reaching out to the lost, hurt and hopeless through the great outdoors; sharing the gospel to those who slip into the fields and waters across this land. With the success of COFA’s Annual Elk Hunt in Colorado, many have come to believe and trust in the Lord, strengthening their life, marriage and family relationships. And, over the years, are faithfully serving the Lord today.
Contact MikeB@cofausa.org if you would like me to speak to your church group, or men’s ministry.