December 31, 2000: Saturday Night at The River
November 26, 2000: College athletes minstry emphasizes Holy Spirit
November 19, 2000: Bad weather doesn't dampen spirits of thousands at Detroit's Convoy of Hope
November 12, 2000: International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Church
October 29, 2000: Frontiersman way of life draws men, boys closer to Christ
September 17, 2000: Loving the unloved
September 10, 2000: Changing lives in a big way
August 13, 2000: Church planting fuels growth
July 30, 2000: Full Gospel New York Church targets 500,000 Koreans
July 16, 2000: Running the good race
July 9, 2000: Hispanic church thrives in border town
June 25, 2000: The hand of God
June 18, 2000: HonorBound: Raising an army of godly men
May 14, 2000: A/G foster families minister to children
April 30, 2000: Prison revival reaches beyond the fence
April 23, 2000: Harvest Sunday draws hundreds for water baptism
April 16, 2000: Chain reaction
April 9, 2000: One pastor's burden: reaching the 'white slums'
March 26, 2000: Cowboy church rounds up believers
March 19, 2000: Motorsports ministry: Winning souls at the track
March 12, 2000: A dream blooms in the desert
February 20, 2000: Romanian church prospers for 20 years
February 13, 2000: Ministry at a strategic academic crossroads
January 23, 2000: God's Navy
Frontiersman way of life draws men, boys closer to Christ
In the smithy a glowing piece of iron is pulled from the firepot, placed on an anvil, then struck several times. The deafening strike of hammers pierces the air as rifle racks, tools and lantern hangers emerge from rods of steel.
"Strike while the iron is hot," David Craun, the blacksmith, encourages one of the men. "If the steel cools, itll break."
The air is fresh and laced with the aroma of campfires along traders row where tanned buckskins, Kentucky long rifles, knives and colorful beads are swapped for money and other goods. In a nearby glen, a group of teen-age boys practices hawk-throwing a combination of choreographed moves where tomahawks and knives are thrown at a stationary target. On the firing range a proud father looks on as his 12-year-old son fires a long rifle.
Nearly 1,000 boys and men from across the United States have gathered here at Camp Eagle Rock in southwest Missouri for the 2000 National Rendezvous sponsored by the Frontiersmen Camping Fellowship, an auxiliary of Royal Rangers. Though adventure, sleeping outdoors, and learning new skills like building a fire with flint and steel are all part of the average day, building relationships with others and God is the primary goal.
"We re-enact many of the activities and skills our forefathers did," Fred Deaver, FCF president, says. "But more important, this is a time for many of these boys and men to get away, re-evaluate their lives and find where they stand before Christ."
"I have seen God move powerfully in the evening services," Matt Brown, 17, says after lunch. "Some people have been filled with the Holy Spirit. Others have accepted Christ as their Savior."
"While being here Ive seen how some of these dads work with their sons," says Jeremy Schaffer, 18. "That has been real encouraging for me. Royal Rangers has taught me a lot of character qualities."
Tepees and canvas lodges provide shelter. Comforts like phones, computers and electricity are shunned, and clothing styles are unique to the 18th and early 19th century. Each day begins at 6 a.m., with the firing of a 12-pound Napoleon cannon. After breakfast and morning devotions the frontiersmen compete and trade and learn new skills and crafts until the evening service.
"This is a wonderful avenue for talking with boys about Christ," Gerald Haines, a gunsmith on traders row, says. "It gives men a chance to share the gospel."
The first FCF Rendezvous was held in 1972 about 100 boys and men attended. The authentic outfits and the plethora of activities and goods prevalent today, says James Kious as he cools off in the shade, were few and far between in the 70s.
"It started with two black powder guns and a few outfits, but now everyone has really got into it," he says of the rendezvous that is held every four years. "But the evening services are the most important thing about the rendezvous. Ive got closer to the Lord on account of them."
Though FCF and the rendezvous have grown, says Deaver, the mission to reach boys for Christ and keep men connected with the church remains the same.
"Its like an umbilical cord that has kept many close to their church and Christ," he says. "This year we prayed young men would see visions and old men would dream dreams that has happened here this week."
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