New Experiences in the wings

This past Thanksgiving break my wife and I took a few of our Freedom Fire "sons" on an excursion to Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge. Now, my wife and I had been there a few times, always trying to catch the right weekend when tens of thousands of snow geese gather on their migratory flights. If you hit the right day, it's breathtaking, watching up to a hundred thousand geese all take flight at the same time. Wow. Witnessing a scene like that isn't soon forgotten, and we wanted our boys to feel the same awe at God's creation. But you never know. You might miss the right time entirely.We nailed it.The best part wasn't watching the geese this time. It was watching the boys. We saw them loving God's world, filled with wonder at it. For lots of our Freedom Fire kids, exposure to the outdoors just doesn't happen, so they grow up fearful of it, afraid of ANYTHING new. Compare that with my own kids, who went on countless adventures exploring creeks, climbing trees and jumping into rivers, riding bikes through the woods, swimming in lakes and ponds, you name it. They don't get afraid of new experiences, they relish them.Not so the kids from the 'hood. Fear characterizes their upbringing, and exploring nature is just another thing to fear. But this day as we watched a great blue heron, bald eagles, ducks galore, and of course a billion geese take flight, it was a big step forward for them. They loved it, and are hungry for more.

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