For each of the seven weeks of programming this summer at Wildwood Hills Ranch, we’ll be emailing a Story of the Week to keep you in the know of the transformation happening and what God is up to here at the Ranch.
This week’s story comes to us from David Strege who is using his God-given gifts and passions to bring children a glimpse of the healing, hope and unconditional love that God longs to share with them.
One Hour of Glorious Fishing Chaos
“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” (1 Peter 4:10 NLT)
Each week up to 20 students have the option to fish during free time on Wednesdays. The fishing time begins with a safety talk and an analogy of how fishing is similar to sharing our faith in Jesus Christ. Baiting a hook is similar to us being the worm and accepting God into our life. This decision comes with fulfillment and rewards for eternity. As a believer in Christ we are called to be attractive to others by being good friends and helping others. In those friendships we get to share why we believe Jesus Christ died to save us. God does the rest—catching and cleaning those that accept him.
Then the twenty 8–12 year olds get help baiting hooks, casting out and taking caught fish off their hooks. There is a thrill of excitement and exclamation throughout the group when anyone catches a fish. This is highlighted even further when a child shouts, “This is the first fish I’ve ever caught!”.
The mystery and thrill of putting a baited hook in the water and feeling the tug on the line is enticing to the children. Normally there are 3–6 students at any time needing assistance from volunteers and leaders to untangle line, free snags, bait hooks and take fish off the hooks. All of the fish are released, usually blue gills and largemouth bass.
By the way, helping with the fishing program at Wildwood Hills Ranch is less expensive than going to Canada to fish and way more rewarding.
Those with a gift of fishing knowledge and experience can come join in this glorious fun! If you want to assist our fishing guide volunteer, David Strege, with the weekly fishing program, please contact Kaitlin Lundeen or Matt Moeckl. The only requirements are that you authorize a background check and are smarter than a fifth grader about fishing. The reward to you is hearing a child, including the one pictured here from last week, exclaim, “This is the first fish I’ve ever caught!”