One afternoon during the hunting season of 2007 PJ Weeks was hunting with his dad in the hills of Tallahatchie County, Mississippi. He was in one of his favorite stands because he could literally see for miles across the hills.
Usually when he sat in a stand he was looking for movement and anything that could potentially be a deer. But this afternoon was different. This afternoon he actually had his mind set on God.
He began to think about and ask questions like:
– Why do I love spending so much time outdoors?
– What does the Bible say about our role as hunters?
– What in the world does Jesus have to do with hunting?
He knew that he did not have the answers to those questions at the time but was determined to find the answers. He also made a commitment to God (that is always a scary thing) that he would share the information that he learned with others. His goal was to find out what God’s plan was for wildlife conservation. His commitment was to teach and practice what he learned.
After spending many hours searching the Scriptures trying to answer his questions he came up with three truths that seemed to be repeated up over and over. These three truths serve as the guiding principles for why we Rain Down Ministries exists. They are the foundational truths for outdoor ministry.
Three Foundational Truths for Outdoor Ministry:
– Creation is a gift to enjoy (Gen. 1)
– Creation is a responsibility to be stewarded (Gen. 2)
– All of creation points to God’s grace in Christ (Gen. 3)
After grasping these truths he decided to do something with them. (remember his deal with God) He started thinking about doing some outdoor videos but did not have any equipment or knowledge of how to use it. He thought about numerous things but overlooked the one thing that he did have. He had access to hunting land and youth hunters that wanted to go hunting. He remembered when the idea of a hunting camp for youth hunters hit him. He told himself that the next year would be the year to start.
Well next year is not soon enough when God is leading you to do something. He knew that he had everything he needed to pull off a camp except the guts to say go. In December of 2008 he took 6 youth hunters from his church along with 6 men as guides on a 3 day deer hunt. Thus was born the Refuge Hunting Camp. That first camp laid the foundation for Refuge Hunting Camps to this day. They spent time in God’s Word, participating in shooting and archery challenges, hunting, visiting around the campfire, and genuinely enjoying God’s gift of creation and fellowship.