Monday, 03 November 2014 17:55

Xtreme Outdoors Ministry: Providing Spiritual Influence to Kids and Families Through Outdoor Experiences

Written by  Rachel Fisher
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There is nothing better than finding joy and meaning in the things God has given us to enjoy. This is especially true for the “great outdoors.” From open fields and running rivers to birds, deer, and fish...there is an abundance of natural resources all around us. It’s in this sanctuary of seasons, crunching leaves and the call of a turkey, where many people find they sincerely connect with God. It’s also in these places that people have an opportunity to enjoy nature’s bounty together and get to know each other and the Creator in the process.

 

 

How It Started

Tyler and Trent Hill are brothers who started Xtreme Outdoor Ministries (XOM) in 2011 with the goal of serving others through the thing they love: the great outdoors. Tyler and Trent had come to a place in their personal lives where they knew there was a bigger purpose for their life, and as a result of their soul searching they founded XOM. Today, the ministry provides families hunting and fishing opportunities along with a spiritual component offered through outdoor activities. Xtreme Outdoors Ministries challenges Christians to trust God, have faith, and to be obedient to reaching others by sharing Jesus Christ and experiencing God’s presence in nature.

 

“We started this ministry in order to help serve people for Christ,” says Tyler. “I felt we were called to use our passion and resources for the outdoors to help provide hunting and fishing opportunities for families.” The verse Luke 12:48 was key for them in this pursuit: For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.  “My brother and I have been blessed all our lives up to this point with resources provided by our family to fish and hunt in many places,” says Tyler.  “It was time for us to start giving back to the people who don’t normally have these outdoor opportunities.” It was out of this posture of the heart XOM was established.

 

Tyler and Trent have realized that God can use any platform and anything to share his love with people in a special way. “We are using our platform to share God’s gift of salvation through hunting and fishing opportunities we have been blessed to experience and enjoy,” says Trent. It’s clear these brothers are serving, loving and living from an overflow of what God has put in their hearts and it’s making a difference in the lives of those who take part in the events XOM hosts.

 

 

What They Do

XOM is made up of a group of people who all share the same passion for the outdoors and love for Christ. This group comes together to host one-day events on hunting property around the River Region sponsored by individuals or businesses. So far, XOM has hosted a total of seven events. They’ve also partnered with the Wounded Warrior Foundation by providing a hunting excursion and supported 5k runs to raise money for missionaries in Africa.  They’ve even teamed up with Children’s Harbor and the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham to support children with cancer.

 

The events range from deer hunts and squirrel hunts, to turkey hunts, fishing, target shooting (which includes compound bows), rifles and skeet shooting. In the afternoons, they have a cookout and a guest speaker who shares a testimony and the Word with the group. During Thanksgiving and Christmas, XOM gives to families who may be struggling.  “These events have provided kids and their families an opportunity to enjoy not only the great outdoors, but good times for them as a family and spending some quality time with one another,” says Trent.

 

There are many life lessons – both big and small – that can be learned by spending time outdoors that Tyler and Trent hope to pass down to those who take part in an XOM event and they believe hunting and fishing only adds to the experience. “There are many words that come to mind about lessons learned spent in God’s creation like discipline, respect, appreciation, patience, creation, joy and love,” says Tyler. Some are as simple as learning something new with people that you love. “We had one father at our last fishing event that had never touched a fish before,” says Trent.  “He had never been fishing with his daughter and this gave them a special weekend together.”  

 

Trent and Tyler believe God has given us the land and animals for our use, but He also wants us to be good stewards of what has been given.  “People in general need to experience why conservation is important and how our actions today will affect the abundance of natural resources that we enjoy in our country,” explains Trent.

 

“The outdoors are important to me because this is where I feel closer to God than anywhere else,” says Tyler. “I see him in all places, but I feel God in the outdoors. When you experience God’s creation of nature, it puts you closer to him without all the distractions of today’s world.” These brothers believe if they can help lead someone to nature to feel closer to God, it will create relationships and memories to last a life time. “I hope and pray it encourages the ones struggling to find strength in God and inspires others to serve Christ,” says Tyler. 

 

It seems like that is what’s happening, too. Tyler and Trent agree that they have seen significant results come from all the events they have hosted.  “The true feelings of the people at the event serving and the children being served can be seen on every face,” says Tyler.  “It is amazing to watch people come together to do his work. “

 

The most touching moment for Trent and Tyler was at the Kids with Cancer Benefit last spring at Lake Martin. “We helped host five families dealing cancer and their children,” says Tyler. “It was a three-day event with pond fishing, boat rides and camp fires. The testimonies of the workers and testimonies of the families on the last day clearly revealed how our organization helped take their families away from thinking about the cancer for one whole weekend. The people in our organization were so humbled watching how strong the faith of the families struggling through this terrible time was. We are always blessed to see God working in each of the events we host.”

 

Tyler and Trent want the community to be aware of XOM so more kids can be reached through the events XOM hopes to host in the upcoming year.  “Our organization is a ministry driven non-profit for kids and their families,” says Trent. “All of our financial support goes directly into the cost it takes to run the organization with supplies and other needs.  We do not pay ourselves any type of salary and all of our team members support us as volunteers.  We place God at the center of what we do with prayer and seeking His direction.  Spreading the love of Christ and the Gospel will always be the number one priority in what we do.”

 

 

Getting Involved

People can participate in many ways: Team Member, Land Owner, Individual Sponsorship, Financial Donor, Fund Raiser, Function Set Up and Logistics, and General Help and Organizing.  People can also help by making XOM known to the surrounding areas. “We want to be a resource to help someone with a group of particular needs that might include, but is not limited to, children with handicaps, terminal or serious illnesses, children with single parent homes and with limited exposure to outdoor opportunities,” says Tyler.

 

The Hill brothers hope to see the ministry grow as God helps them grow in their individual walks with Christ.  “God has allowed this ministry to form, shape and exist not based on what we’ve done, because we didn’t do anything to deserve it,” says Trent.  “The past 3½ years has all been about growth and understanding, through our relationship with Him.”  Currently, XOM is wanting to have annual events planned on specific dates throughout the year.

 

For information contact Tyler and Trent at the numbers below:  Tyler Hill (334-296-7552) or Trent Hill (334-322-1164) or visit their website at www.xtremeooutdoorsministry.com.

 

 

Rachel Fisher loves learning about what God is doing in the world and writing about it. Rachel and her husband Chase live in Montgomery.

 

 

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 11 November 2014 17:59
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