History

2016


ADVENTUREFEST V5 - FREEDOM FIGHTERS (#FF4JC)
June 10-12th 2016 @ Agape Farm
Special Guest Sam Childers
"The Machine Gun Preacher"

In 1998, Sam arrived in the village of Yei, Southern Sudan. The African nation was in the midst of the Second Sudanese War, and Sam, urged by his Pastor in America, had joined a mission group to help repair huts damaged in the conflict. During this assignment Sam stumbled across the body of a child torn apart by a landmine. He fell to his knees and made a pledge to God to do whatever it took to help the people of Southern Sudan. Sam returned to Sudan several months later to run a mobile clinic. To fulfil his promise he ventured far across the nation, from the western town of Yei to the eastern villages of Boma. While passing the village of Nimule,on the Ugandan border, God sent him a message:I want you to build an orphanage for the children, God said. And I want you to build it here.


A major motion picture was created staring Gerald Butler as Sam Childers - The Machine Gun Preacher.  Learn more here http://www.machinegunpreacher.org/


We look forward to hearing about Sam’s epic and life threatening adventures as a Freedom Fighter for Christ.  

Pastor Jimmy Rivera
Pastor Jim Rivera was a drug addict and criminal in the streets of Philadelphia until he was radically saved by way of David Wilkerson on a park bench, he is now the pastor of City Limits Assembly of God in Allentown, PA. 

Pastor Wayde Wilson

Wayde Wilson is the author of the the book “Circle of Swords”.  He uses the adventures of David’s Mighty Men, 37 of the baddest dudes in the Bible - to talk to guys about God. Circle of Swords takes on 9 subjects that should matter to every man: leadership, reputation, connecting with God, service, courage, friendship, broken relationships, family, and leaving a legacy.


Wayde is our guest Pastor for Sunday morning field church down by the lake.  We’re super excited to hear his message and share the weekend with him around the campfire. 

Music From:

New Hope - Friday & Saturday Night

Pastor Paul Housman - Sunday Morning Worship
Recap

The 5th Annual AdventureFest (Freedom Fighters) was a tremendous weekend filled with great weather, lots of guys, and testimony after testimony about God's presence and provision. Over 160 guys were in attendance making it our largest year ever.  Forty-four guys stepped up to complete the 1000 Step Challenge in support of a young man who lost 80 lbs specifically to make it up this mountain with vigor this year.  The warrior flag was carried to the top as encouragement and reminder to be a Freedom Fighter in all areas of our lives.  Many fishing trips were charted without a single fish caught - skunked this year, but hey, that's why they call it fishing and not catching.  However, many little fish were caught in the small lake at Agape. Late night campfires raged, drones buzzed the sky, hatchets were thrown at targets and  potatoes were launched across the field from homemade potato guns.  We had so much fun that we forgot all about tossing the Huffy bicycle, which actually went missing.  A mystery to be solved. There were no sightings of Big Foot this year, although some guys thought they heard him in the bathroom a few times.  Guys came forward for salvation, healing, and answers to prayers during the course of the weekend.  Nearly 20 guys were baptized in the Agape lake adding to the tens of thousands that have been baptized since the early 1960’s.  It's not about the numbers, it's not about the fun, and it's not about the food. It's all about relationships and giving men the opportunity to connect with our Lord Jesus Christ in the great outdoors - standing firmly on the soil that He created and strong under the sky that He painted. Freedom Fighters!  #FF4JC



2015


This was our first year at our new home @ Agape farm.  

Friday Night
: Entertainment by the Good News Blues Band with testimony from Bob Chillinsky. Bob was the "Sargent of Arms" or the enforcer for the Pagan Motorcycle Gang and will be sharing war stories from battles, rides, benders, time served, and how Jesus Christ saved him from the Gang life. Bob also plays harmonica for the Good News Blues Band and will surely be a blessing. Bonus: Midnight fireside chat with Rev Jerry Conley of Midnight Riders Motorcycle Ministries. 

Saturday Night: Pastor K.R. Mele and Harold Morgan pedaled for 3,178 miles on a bicycle trip from Santa Monica, Calif to St. Augustine, Fla to raise money for church mission projects. They will be sharing stories of the epic adventures, sweat, and the salvation of so many on the way. You can learn more about their trip at www.c2c4jesus.org

Sunday Morning Church Service: Tom Rees could not make it due to an emergency.  Pastor Paul Housman will be sharing an encouraging Word of God as the sun rises over Agape Farm. We are super excited to have him as our guest Pastor for church.


2014
Tired of dealing with park rangers and strict rules this was our last year at Raystown lake.

2013

June 7-9th 2013 - AdventureFest at Raystown Lake

AdventureFest 2013 is a multi-church men’s ministry camping weekend at Raystown Lake. Suggested Registration Donation: Group camp rates are $45 per man, or $40 per person for groups of 10 or more. Father/son teams (up to 21 yrs) will only pay $50. Children must be 16 or $25 if you book your own private campsite or luxury boat.

Friday night: Setup camp, meet and greet with casual praise and worship late night around the campfire.

Saturday: Activities start at different times through 9am. How to clinics from 1pm through 6pm. Break for chili cook off/dinner and resume at 8pm around the campfire under the big pavilion. Guest speaker – Rev Bruce Cote (pictured below). Praise, testimonies, and giveaways. 

Sunday: Church service at 11am. Water Baptisms in the lake after Teardown, and head home better men, husbands, fathers, or sons.


2012
June 6-8, 2012 Raystown Lake PA

George Krebs was out key-note speaker.

John Fedesco was the winner of the $1300 bike that was donated by Big Bang Bikes.  


2011

This is the group that started it all.  We went down to Raystown in 2011 to scope a location for 2012 - the first AdventureFest.  From Left to Right.  Jon, Walter, Andy, Eric, Greg, Brian, Chuck 

Recap

Awesome! This was the most commonly used term to describe the weekend at Raystown Lake.  Whether we were ripping down a trail or just soaking in the beauty of our Creator's masterpiece, nothing was repeated quite as much as “awesome.” 

 

Our journey began with a 7:30 a.m. rowdy carpool meeting in Monroeville that involved several men with excited dispositions, elevated by the effects of our friend Juan Valdez.  Sixty-five miles per hour later we were on our way.  The ride through the Appalachian Mountains was pristine as to be expected, but even better was knowing that we would soon be settling within them.  Experiencing Christ through adventure had already begun.

 

 We soon arrived at the Susquehannock Campground to the intoxicating smell of campfire and a narrowing road that could only mean one thing.....our campsite. We made it!  Unpack.  Set up.  Eat.  At this point our friends from Mechanicsburg were here and we were ready to hit the trails.  Special thanks, by the way, to Eric, Walt, and John for great fellowship and trail guiding.  We entered the trailhead after a hill climb that got our lungs opened and hearts pumping.  Wow – before we knew it, we were twisting, turning, jumping (more like sailing) through the air at warp speeds!  I could practically smell my brakes burning like a semi down an 8% grade.  Each bend's G-force whipped us around the berm only to be launched over the next dip; then another, and another.  “Man, this is awesome,” I kept thinking to myself. The yells of excitement from the others confirmed that they, too, were catching big air, one after another. The slightest mistake could land you over a hillside that even a 13-year-old wouldn't venture down.

 

Several miles into our ride, the effects of 90+ degrees began to take its toll on our bodies.  Water was low and warm and sweat was running over us instead of the dried creek beds.  With a few miles to go, and hopefully no casualties, it was time for a break. Images of cold watermelon, grapes and mangoes glazed over our faces like a mirage on a deserted island.  Back to the trail.  We all made it out alive but were reminded that we are human. Thanks to the IMBA for the Allegrippis trail system!  It was well planned with fast slopes, jumps, rock gardens, hill climbs and every challenging aspect of a genuine epic mountain bike ride.

 

We found ourselves back at camp were a feast a la Nass awaited.  But first, a jump in the lake was a must to bring our body temperatures down somewhere under boiling.  After jumping several times from a rock ledge into the crystal clear water of Lake Raystown, we emerged to dry in the hot summer sun on our walk back to camp.  Awaiting us were chicken breasts over charcoal, spaghetti with deer meat (thanks to Jim Teague for the venison donation), salad, chips, cold lemonade, and much more.  After all, when you burn over 2500 calories, it's only fitting to pig out…I mean replenish, right?

 

Following dinner was a fantastic study on the Armor of God.  Greg put together a creative twist on the material relating it to the sport of mountain biking.  God was with us as we shared testimonies and good fellowship.  Soon after the study, we stoked the campfire and headed off to what would turn out to be a long night of praying for a breeze.  Our tent acted as a sardine can for five grown men only separated by a heavy layer of perspiration.  That was enough for me and Chuck.  We laid on the very rock we jumped from earlier just to cool down from the light wind swirling on the lake.  Did I mention it was 2 a.m.?  Well, every adventure has to have a story. 

 

Finally morning had come with a break from the previous 88 degree night.  We broke down camp and saddled up for one last easy but wild ride on the trails.  The lake shore turned out to be a great spot for our lunch before heading home.  As always, it's never fun to leave a great escape, but, I guess our bodies needed rest. 

 

So, the next time you're in the mood for an adventure that leaves you wanting to do it all over again, do it with us next time!

 

Brian Loizes


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