Father and Son Camping Trip; Lasting Impact Over a Decade Later: Personal Story of a Man who Attended as a Young Boy
It all began in 1998 when Greg was given a Malachi mandate from the Lord and was called to function and prosper under this mandate to help turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers.
“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” Malachi 4:5-6
This began as an adventure of the Next Step Outback Father and Son Camping Trip. For ten years we walked out this prophecy, and it was amazing what God was doing during this time. Thousands of fathers and sons attended these events and were changed forever. One young boy describes the ‘Tunnel of Tears’ which was a line where fathers stood on each side and formed a tunnel as the boys and young men walked through. As this happened, tears would pour, and hearts were changed as the sons were loved on by all the fathers. “Tunnel of tears, that was nice because they (fathers) told me they loved me. That God had something special for me and that something good was going to happen to me in my life. I’d have to say what has been the best part of this camping trip is having the time to spend with fathers and mentors and for children to really get close to their male family side. It is very hard because fathers are busy trying to work and this was a great thing for Pensacola. It makes me feel really loved.”
Some of the sons did not have fathers in their lives, so there were mentors who stood in the gap and fathered the son during this trip and even sometimes beyond. A father also shares about his revelation that he received from his time on the camping trip. “I have come to realize there is nothing more important than your family. Your time is nothing; your families time is everything, and that is what it is all about.”
Another father also shares his experience, “What happened tonight I think it was a transformation. It was awesome! I have never seen so much love and out-breaking of kindness and emotion. And I have been to several revivals and events but nothing like this. This is something I am going to take with me the rest of my life and I know my son will too. The biggest thing of all I know this has made us closer than we have ever been in our life. And for that, I am very grateful that I came.”
Rodrick Brooks who attended the Next Step Outback for four years recently ran into John, and they were able to catch up. We have an interview as he shares his experience about the mentors that were available when a son did not have a father, and he was taught to be somebody. John asked him how he felt about the camping trip. “I felt relieved because I didn’t have a dad in my life. So, with us having a mentor every year it was a pleasure, and I enjoyed it.”
Next, Rodrick talks about the ‘Tunnel of Tears,’ “It was touching, you go in there, you were going to cry. I am just saying that it was touching. Because a lot of people didn’t have dads and they sponsored for us, the ones that didn’t have money…it was very nice.” He shares his gratefulness to the Next Step Outback team and how every year he was ready to go on the camping trip. He was a troubled kid, but that time touched him, and if he had kids, he would know how to treat them.
Over the years the camping trip evolved from only fathers and sons to family. Where parents could bring their children and a family learned to be family again. Many families don’t know how to be a family, and it has gotten to the point that young adults need to take ‘Adulting’ classes to learn how to function as an adult. God has called us to be family! Children need to be taught by their parents how to be family so that they can function in life. Also, as the Church, we are called to teach the same, how to be family! If we love one another, we will teach others how to function in life and teach others to be successful.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
Greg recently wrote a book, I Will Fight, which gives us strategies for success in our everyday lives! Jesus wants a return on what He has invested in our lives, and much of us are not giving Him that return. You can get your free copy of the book today and be empowered to be successful but also to lead others to do the same. You can get your copy here, and we only ask that you pay for shipping and handling.
Maybe you attended a Next Step Outback/Father and Son Camping Trip? We want to hear your testimony! Maybe you are interested in having this camping trip where you live? If so contact us! We want to hear from you! Write to us at [email protected], and you can visit Next Step Outback here to find out more. Greg and John shared in this segment.