Abby Kirkham Iverson - Thrive Mission Update

August/September 2019

 

the abby update

August/September 2019

My dear ministry teammates, 


Though it may not feel like it outside, it is officially fall! As we wrap up our first summer season as Thrive Adventures, both Peter and I feel extremely thankful for the opportunities we've had to serve in 2019 as well as excited about the upcoming season of preparing for 2020! After a busy summer of hikes and paddleboarding, we are now able to talk through some strategy, adjust operationally, and learn from this past summer. Please read on about the experiences we've offered in the last few months (like the hike pictured above) as well as events coming up in the future!                                                      - abby 
 
August 1: Hike with Trinity Summer Camp
"God made the trees and clouds and mountains and the sky that you’re looking at right now to remind you how much He loves you! The same God that made the world made you! And He loved you so much that He came to us in Jesus. So next time you are driving around Asheville looking at the clouds out your window, next time you’re on a hike in the mountains, or fishing in a lake or river, remember that God made you, that He sees you, and that He loves you."
In August we had the joy of taking a kids summer camp class on a hike to a beautiful overlook. As we learned from the counselors and stories from the kids themselves, some of them have experienced some hard things in their lives. Our desire during this time was to love on and encourage these little ones with the Good News that our Creator Father loves us and reminds us through His creation. Peter and I are thankful for the opportunity to serve God's beloved children in this way. And we even got to see a bear run across the trail, which was an added excitement to say the least! 
 
August 15: Hike with Christian Investment Summit
 
For the second year in a row, we are so grateful for the opportunity to spend some time with Christian investors from all over the country. A summit is held annually just outside of Asheville for Christians in the investing world to gather and grow together in their field as brothers and sisters in Christ. We had the pleasure of guiding an afternoon hike for the group you see in the photo above. During the course of our hike, participants walked in two different scenarios: first they walked alone for 10 minutes and then they walked in groups of three with questions about life, work, and faith. After the experiences we gathered as a group to discuss. We were blown away by the vulnerability and honesty of the group as they discussed dependence on Christ and others being healthier and more joyful than striving to always do things alone. It was an honor to serve them and facilitate conversations that encouraged them to grow in their relationship with God and with others. 
 
August 28: Montreat College Ministry Fair
 
As mentioned in my last update, Peter and I are praying fervently that the Lord would send more staff our way, that our team could grow and be able to serve more people. One way we seek to pursue that goal is by regularly attending college events and fairs to talk with students who may be interested in joining ministry after graduation. In August we attended Montreat College's ministry fair and connected with several students who are both outdoor education majors and interested in serving in outdoor ministry. We are excited for these connections and ask that you would pray with us for the possibility of new staff joining our team in the next year. 
 
September 21: Hike with Returning Cru International Missions Interns
 
When international missionaries return to the States, the transition can often be full of unknowns and lack control. This was the topic of our discussion on a hike with a group of eight returning Cru international missions interns. Our original programming was overtaken by a very real experience of unexpected swarms of bees along the trail and protecting a participant with a serious bee allergy. I'd like to share a little bit of some reflections that participant shared with us after the hike: "Ironically, I won't say I thrived on this hike, but rather was merely attempting to survive. But with God working through Peter and Abby with Thrive Adventures, I reached the base of the mountain reminded that God wants us to thrive, not merely survive. This means testing us, sending suffering our way, and stripping of us our controls, so that at the end of the day, we rest refined, trusting, and thriving more than when we started. Though He takes away, He also gives. We just have to open our eyes to His hovering presence, new trails, helping hands, and His sacrificial leading." Thankfully we all made it safely down the mountain, though it was a memorable experience that we will not quickly forget. 
 
On-going National Ministry Operations/Nonprofit
To update you on our progress with the 501(c)3 application for Thrive Adventures, I have some great news: we are nearly there! This week we are reviewing and finalizing our documents to be sent off to the IRS. This has been a long process since finding out in February that we really needed to get this non-profit going sooner rather than later, but we are so thankful that God has brought us to this point of applying. Once we submit the paperwork we can begin to set things up for Thrive Adventures to run as a small non-profit as we get our feet under us. Please pray for Dan Litchfield, our National Director, and myself as we continue to learn and grow in this area of our ministry! 
 
Upcoming Fundraiser
The event we are most looking forward to this fall is our first ever fundraising concert on November 15th! We have the pleasure of hosting a North Carolina native singer/songwriter Jess Ray as well as an open act of our friends Tyler and Will! There will be Thrive Adventures t-shirts and hats for sale as well as a silent auction. 
Our prayer for this fundraiser is that the proceeds would be enough to get our rafting program funded in time for offering whitewater rafting ourselves in 2020! I know many of you are out of state, but if you are interested in attending, please let me know so I can send you the event invitation! 
 
 
The Iversons
Mark and I are doing well and enjoying a season of less traveling and more exploring around Asheville. We hope to continue discerning God's will for Mark's vocational future as well as a home for us to buy. We are desiring to be patient in all things, yet as we all know waiting can be a very challenging thing. We are grateful for our community and for the opportunity to live in such an interesting, vibrant city in Western North Carolina! 
 
Support Update/Praises
As you may have read in my last update, I am currently seeking out 10 more financial support partners to either increase their giving or start a new gift! Thank you for praying for this and for encouraging me along this process. I am so grateful to let you know that I've had two increases in giving, one new partnership, and one special gift to help me achieve this goal! This is truly exciting news to me so please praise our Father who provides. I will continue meeting with people and sharing what God has called me to in this ministry. If you or someone you know might be interested in joining me in partnership, please let me know as I am still seeking out about 6 more new partnerships or increases! Thank you for considering sharing my information, I am so very grateful. 
 
Abby's Giving Website: Please share!
 
Prayers & Praises 
1. Give thanks to our Father who provided so many valuable opportunities for Thrive Adventures to serve Christians and non-Christians this season.
2. Please pray with us for the application for our 501(c)3 status. Pray that the agent reviewing our application would understand our mission and the pieces are all there for the approval we need to be a non-profit.
3. Continue praying that God would bring us more staff who are called to serve in outdoor ministry with Thrive Adventures in North Carolina.
 
Partners in prayer and support, I'm incredibly grateful for you! Please let me know how I can be praying for you or celebrating in life with you! Never hesitate to reach out and know that I care for you deeply. Your part of this ministry is so clear to me!  
                                                                    - abby
abby iverson
director of operations, guide, & facilitator
abby@thriveadventures.org
540.460.2163