NEW CHRISTIAN SAN ANTONIO YOUTH HUNTING MINISTRY NEEDS YOUR HELP

NEW CHRISTIAN SAN ANTONIO YOUTH HUNTING

MINISTRY NEEDS YOUR HELP

  

By Adam McManus

 

Over the course of my 30-year career as a radio talk show host, I've met and interviewed a lot of fascinating people.  Many of them are household names which you would recognize instantly.  

 

The Vision of Tom Snyder

 

Tom Snyder, the 46-year-old owner of the regional Colonial Life Insurance office here in Garden Ridge, has got to be one of the most intriguing people I've metin a long time.  He's not famous.  He's not a political leader.  And he hasn't even written a book.

 

But he's spearheading a unique Christian ministry in our own backyard whose vision is as big as the Texas sky.

trinity oaks tom and boy shooting broadside

Tom Snyder guides a young boy on a Trinity Oaks Youth Hunt.

 

And the vision was born out of Tom's difficult and impoverished childhood.  "My father, who was a salesman, had his first heart attack in his mid-30's -- followed by four more heart attacks, two strokes, and three open heart surgeries."  Declared legally disabled, Tom's father's poor health forced the Snyder Family to go on welfare.  "It was always a struggle to put food on the table," recalls Tom.  "He died of his last heart attack at the age of 62."  From his tone of voice alone, I can discern a deep sense of loss.

 

Not surprisingly, Tom wanted to contribute to the family economy the best he could.  In fact, he was so motivated to work, that he lied about his age in order to start working full-time at the age of 13 at Wienerschnitzel where he earned $2.50 an hour.  Then, in Harlingen , he became the assistant manager of Baskin Robbins at the ripe old age of 14 followed by work as a car wash manager at the age of 16.  

Whatever he made helped his three brothers and mother scrape by due to his father's disability.  In fact, after the farmers harvested their crops, "we would glean tomatoes and sell them door to door."

 

To this day, Tom can recall getting invited to go places which required that he had disposable income.  To avoid embarrassment, he would make excuses. "It might have been something as simple as being invited to go get a burger with friends.  But if it involved any cost, I did not want to have anyone feel obligated to pay for us."

 

Having come to faith in Christ as a fourth grader at a James Robinson Crusade, the same year as his father's first heart attack, Tom said, "I made up my mind that if I ever had the resources, I would do all I could to make sure that other people would not have to experience the same things as me."

trinity oaks tom and boy fishing

Tom Snyder and a young man after having successfully caught some fish.

 

Now that he has become a successful businessman, Tom, a member of River City Community Church here in San Antonio , has a passion to give back to the community - especially to the children in demonstrable, life-changing ways.  

 

The heart of Trinity Oaks: Youth Hunts

 

That's why he founded Trinity Oaks, a 501(C)3 non-profit organization.  At the heart of the ministry are the youth hunts for 10 to 16-year-olds.  Throughout their time, the young people experience firearms safety instruction, target shooting and actual big game hunting. 

trinity oaks logo 


In the process, Tom wants to give the tweens and teens access to the great outdoors, to build their character, and to teach them the importance of responsibility in our narcissistic culture. 

trinity oaks youth hunt 1Tom Snyder, founder of Trinity Oaks, helps guide a young boy during a Youth Hunt.  

 

While some of the youngsters come from impoverished, inner-city homes, the key to these youth hunts is to cement the child's relationship with his/her father or, if he's not in the picture, through the help of volunteer Christian guides, to provide a role model with whom the newbie hunter can bond and ultimately emulate.

 

During the 2010/2011 hunting season alone, Tom personally acted as the lead field guide for every one of the 20 youth hunts attended by 85 young people, 53 of whom were first-time hunters.  Typically, each hunt is comprised of 3-5 youngsters along with their fathers and some volunteer guides. Each youth is assigned to an adult. 

 

Their goal for the upcoming 2011/2012 hunting season is to have 30 youth hunts attended by 100 kids and 75 first-time children hunters.

 

Goals of the Texas Youth Hunts

 

"Our goal with youth is three-fold.  First, we want to teach kids that hunting is not just about 'killing animals', but also about building relationships and enjoying God's majestic outdoors.  Second, we want to promote our country's hunting heritage to future generations," said Tom Snyder.  

 

"Third and most importantly, we want to show children of all ages that they have value and let them know there are people who care about them, people willing to listen to them and mentor them.  We have found you can really reach a child and make a difference in his life just by sitting next to a campfire and listening to what he has to say."

trinity oaks youth hunt 2

You can see the looks of accomplishment and pride on the faces of the young people who participate in the Trinity Oaks Youth Hunts at no cost to them.

 

Initially, the youth hunters receive comprehensive firearms safety instructionprovided by the local Texas Parks and Wildlife game warden and the volunteer instructors.  In addition, they learn how hunting is a game management tool as well as the importance of obeying game laws.  

 

Then, each first-time hunter gets comfortable on the range, shooting rifles of ascending calibers (.17 Rem., .223 Rem. and 7mm-08 Winchester ) in order to become accustomed to the recoil.  Throughout the entire process, an adult volunteer guides each youngster, ensuring that he/she will be confident enough not only to shoot the paper target, but a real live animal later on.

 

Participants are not charged for anything

 

Amazingly, Trinity Oaks covers every single expense including the cost of transportation, the lease of the land, the hunting license fees as well as the food and lodging.  To top it off, their goal is to give away 50 new rifles with a carrying case at the end of the hunting season.  All kids who hunted throughout the year will be able to participate in the drawing for a free rifle if they write a letter to describe their experience.

trinity oaks girl shooting

Kids develop confidence, appreciate God's creation and
form strong bonds with their friends and the volunteer guides on the hunt.  


And, to top it off, Trinity Oaks even covers the taxidermist fees to have their trophies mounted as keepsakes to remember for years to come.  All Tom asks in return is that each young person makes a commitment to "pay it forward" by enabling their own future children and other kids in their circle of influence to enjoy the same kind of experience.

 

trinity oaks youth hunt 6

The boys and girls who experience a Trinity Oaks Youth Hunt have created memories for a lifetime.  Thanks to the generosity of Christians, everything is free including the lodging, transportation, use of the land and taxidermist expense.

Durwood Hollis, whose 11-year-old daughter Kailea and he flew in from California to go on a youth hunt, wrote a very complimentary article in The Modesto Bee on July 27, 2011. 

 

"Everything about the program was outstanding, including the fine food, the accommodations and the hunting.  The entire program is without peer in the arena of youth outdoor/hunting education. While there are many programs for Hunter Safety and shooting, there isn't anything that includes real-time in the field hunting in their course curriculum."

 

Trinity Oaks shows the love of Christ to widows and their families

 

11-year-old Zac Spruill was playing a pick-up basketball game at San Antonio Christian Schools with his father Bill, 46, as well as some of his peers and their fathers.   To his horror, his father, who suffered from high cholesterol, fell to the ground and died of a heart attack right in front of his very eyes.

 

"For the first six to eight months, Zac had repeated panic attacks which made him feel as though he was literally dying.  He broke down and cried whenever he heard an ambulance," said his mother Debra, now two years after her husband died so unexpectantly.

 

Zac, now 13, and his sister Andrea, 17, both suffer from post-traumatic stress.

 

Without question, Trinity Oaks has become their lifeline and Tom Snyder has become their father figure.

 

Ironically, Zac's late father had purchased hunting rifles to take his son on a hunt just two weeks before his death.  Now, thanks to Trinity Oaks, Zac, who loves being out in the wilderness, has perfected the art of stalking the animal and learned the skill of aiming properly.

 

But there's a lot more going on beneath the surface, than a 13-year-old young man simply learning how to hunt.  "When Zac comes back from hunting, his eyes are lit up.  He's excited about it!" said his mother Debra.  "His mind is constantly having to fight the flashbacks of his father's death which causes major stress.  After he comes back from a Trinity Oaks youth hunt, he's so relaxed.  His mind was set free for a while."

trinity oaks zac and tom buffalo

 

12-year-old Zac Spruill, whose father died of a sudden heart attack 2 years ago during a pick-up basketball game at San Antonio Christian School , poses with Tom Snyder after successfully getting a buffalo on a Trinity Oaks Youth Hunt.

 

Zac's mother is convinced that Tom Snyder is doing the work of the Lord.  Some days, Zac will come home from school and say, "I just need to go spend time with Uncle Tom. I need a hug.  He treats me like his son."

 

In the middle of shooting rams, buffaloes, hogs, deer, and now a bear, Trinity Oaks is helping minister the unconditional love of Christ to Zac.  

 

One night Tom Snyder called Debra Spruill in the middle of a youth hunt. "Debra, I think you need to know something about Zachary.  He got up from the campfire here on the hunt and walked away.  When I caught up with him, Zac was balling.  He said, 'It wasn't fair that Jesus took my dad. I want him to come back and give me a hug.'"  

 

They prayed with him, reassured him that he would be reunited one day with his late Christian father in heaven and that he could lean on his Heavenly Father.  "Ittouches a mom's heart.  My kids wake up with nightmares, crying and screaming for Bill.  Trinity Oaks has blesses me beyond my imagination.  I'm thrilled at the mighty things God has done for me and my family through their ministry."

 

How bear hunting bonded father and son

 

Before Trinity Oaks, Bill Defrees, 48, had never been hunting with his 13-year-old son David. Just recently, Bill went on his first hunt.  And they bonded over tracking bears in the Canadian wild.

 

Growing up the son of a policeman who opposed guns in the house, Bill continued the non-hunting, no-guns-in-the-house family tradition.  However, David, the youngest of Bill's five children, had befriended Tom Snyder's son Josh and had already shot deer, Havalina, buffalo, and Texas Dall Ram.

 

"I remember the first day that David came home from a Trinity Oaks youth hunt.  He said,  'That was the best day of my life.'  It's been an incredible experience for him," noted Bill.  "Not only has hunting given him confidence, but he's learned about gun safety and is enjoying the great outdoors that God has given us."

trinity oaks bill and david

Bill Defrees, 48, with his 13-year-old son David, on a Trinity Oaks Youth Hunt

in Canada where David successfully shot a 350-pound black bear

 

Tom Snyder took 15 people including 8 kids on the Trinity Oaks Youth Hunt to Canada with the expressed purpose of hunting Black Bear.  Needless to say, it wasn't your typical hunt.

 

Bill Defrees remembers the first day well.  It was pouring rain, low 50's, cold enough to see one's breath.  His son David and he were wearing camouflage with blue rain ponchos in the midst of thick forest close to 55-gallon drum feeders. The time?  6:45 p.m. or dusk.

 

And then came their face-to-face encounter with a 350-pound black bear.  "It's pretty intimidating when the bears come out. There's no blind.  We're just sitting there in a couple of plastic chairs.  There's nothing protecting you," said Bill.  

 

"When the bear was 50 yards away, he just stood there, staring at us.  Dave got it sighted and said.  'I could drill it right now.'" But the bear was head on, not the best angle for a good clean shot and lumbered back into the woods.

 

When the bear reappeared, he stood broad side, with his right side facing Bill and his son David. "Dad, pray for me.  I'm shaking so bad!" whispered Dave.

 

"Me too!" said Bill.  "But it wasn't really a scared feeling.  It was an adrenaline rush."

 

As a father and son team, Philippians 4:13 took on new meaning:  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

 

Through rigorous training on paper targets, Tom Snyder had taught them that the best place to shoot the bear is in the shoulder where the vital organs are located including the heart and lungs.  When 13-year-old David squeezed the trigger in the midst of that cold, wet Canadian wilderness, he lodged his bullet into the bear's right shoulder, just as he had been instructed.  Immediately, the bear took off running.  The next morning Bill and David found their trophy just 20 yards from where David had shot it.

trinity oaks david's bear and kids

13-year-old David Defrees poses in front of the bear he killed 
on a Trinity Oaks Youth Hunt in Canada on September 3, 2011.

 

"It was great to spend so much time together," said Bill.  "It was especially neat to be there when he shot the bear. I've never seen anything like that before.  It'sbrought us closer together.  Truly, a trip of a lifetime!"

 

When asked how he would summarize what the Trinity Oaks Youth Hunts have meant to his family, Bill said, "It's more than just hunting.  It's the camaraderie with the other children and parents. I would highly encourage other fathers and their children to hunt though Trinity Oaks.  It builds the kids' self-esteem, gives them a sense of accomplishment, and develops a passion for hunting."

 

The perspective of two volunteer hunting guides

 

Charles Arriaga, a 35-year-old volunteer hunting guide with Trinity Oaks, has been hunting since the age of 4.  Having grown up around the world of hunting his whole life, he even had friends who shot a lot of exotic animals.  When he heard about Trinity Oaks, Charles couldn't volunteer fast enough in order to share his hunting knowledge with children who might not otherwise be exposed to it.

 

Specifically, he's tasked with taking the kids out, picking out the animals for them, and sitting in the blind with them. Oftentimes, they'll stalk the animals by driving around in a vehicle after they've set up some feeders. Typically, Charles will help the young person set his gun on the shooting tripod to minimize bad shots.  "The most important thing is to make sure that they are not shaking in the blind before they pull the trigger to ensure their safety."

 

He remembers helping one 9-year-old named Josh.  "I got him to shoot a Javelina.  Boy, you should have seen the smile on his face, the confidence that he developed afterwards.

 

After scoring his first trophy that hunt, Josh beamed with confidence.  "This is the best hunting trip I've ever been on."

 

"I would recommend other hunters offer themselves as potential guides," challenged Charles.  "I get more joy out of a kid pulling the trigger, than I do myself.

trinity oaks guides

In addition to fathers, Trinity Oaks always has volunteer field guides who ensure that the young hunters are safe and instruct on what to do at all times. If you would like to volunteer as a field guide on an upcoming Youth Hunt, call 210.447.0351.     

Kyle Lindsey, 40, has also volunteered with Trinity Oaks as a hunting guide.  Over the last year, he has helped on five hunts including one with Sophia Lozano, a 15-year-old  8th grader, captured on tape by a Texas Trophy Hunter cameraman.

 

"We were in the blind as we hunted for an axis buck.  We literally watched the animal for an hour and a half in the midst of a lot of joking around and a discussion about the best place to shoot it," said Kyle.  "Trinity Oaks is not just about killing an animal.  There's a lot more to it.  One of the life lessons is you don't get everything you want.  You need lots of patience and practice."

 

But what motivates him to sit in a blind with a young person and watch as the novice hunter bags the trophy?

 

"I enjoy the kids' expressions, sharing the hunting experience with them. I feel like I get more out of it than they do.  There's tremendous satisfaction in giving back. Hopefully, it will be an experience that they never forget. And hopefully, at some point, they see the face of Jesus through me."  Now that'll preach!

 

Wild game meat donated to homeless and orphans

 

What makes Trinity Oaks particularly unique is the synergistic relationship the youth hunts have with hungry families, the homeless and orphans in group homes both here in Texas and across the border in Mexico .  

 

First, Tom has recruited multiple teams of volunteers to gather in the Trinity Oaks commercial-grade kitchen on the same property as his Colonial Life Insurance business.  Their task is to strip each carcass of every piece of meat possibleso that nothing goes to waste.  After the meat is ground and vacuum-sealed into 10-20 pound "Family Packs," it's frozen for distribution later.

 

Chuck Byrge, a 58-year-old Army veteran who works full-time in construction, is Tom's lead volunteer at the Trinity Oaks commercial-grade, meat-processing kitchen.  He oversees different volunteer teams of up to 15 people Monday through Thursday nights from 6:30-8:00 p.m. during hunting season.  And he could always use more help.

trinity oaks chuck byrge teaching teen

Chuck Byrge, the lead meat-processing volunteer, trains a teen on how to process the wild game for needy families throughout South Texas and Mexico .

 

On an average night, they will process 6-7 deer in a two-hour time span. Each deer will yield 35-40 pounds of meat.  On one occasion, Chuck remembers when they processed 8 sheep, 5 Red Stags, 4 pigs, and 3 Axis Deer.  Their only requirement is that the animal has already been field-dressed, meaning that the internal organs have been removed at the hunt location.  After prayer, the volunteers hang the carcasses up on five gambrels which facilitate the skinning and the deboning of the wild game so that they can cut the meat into smaller pieces for grinding.

 

"Before we vacuum pack it, we add 10-15% of brisket fat to the wild game in order to flavor the meat and to ensure it doesn't fall apart if folks are making burgers," said Chuck.  "Sometimes, we also make sausage, salami, buck stick, pastrami, dried sausage, and jerky."

 

After the meat is frozen in commercial-grade, walk-in coolers which keeps the meat between 30 and 40 degrees, Trinity Oaks distributes the tasty protein toHaven for Hope, San Antonio's city-run homeless shelter, three children's homes -- two of which are in Mexico, an assisted living facility in Mexico, amen's recovery home on the south side of the Alamo City, and a variety of San Antonio area churches who minister to the poor.  

All told, 14,000 pounds of meat per month provides sustenance, given free of charge, to the less fortunate for miles around.

trinity oaks meat processing 1

Trinity Oaks operates a commercial-grade, volunteer-staffed, meat-processing kitchen throughout the hunting season November through February Monday through Thursday nights. If you would like to volunteer, call 210.447.0351.  

 

Before Chuck and his team of volunteers stepped forward, Tom Snyder had been paying for others to professionally process the meat.  At a typical cost of $300 per animal, these devoted volunteers are saving the ministry literally thousands of dollars each week.

 

"I could really use more volunteers to step forward and help us process meat any night Monday through Thursday between 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. during the hunting season from November through February," urged Chuck.

 

"I want the kids to know that nothing is wasted and all of the meat goes to a good cause," Tom said.
trinity oaks meat processing 2

Processing the meat from the Youth Hunts and the Wounded Warrior Hunts is a labor of love since it's donated to the needy throughout South Texas and Mexico .

 

During the 2011-2011 hunting season, they distributed over 10,000 pounds of meat to needy families, homeless programs  and orphanages in Mexico .  That's a lot of meat!  Their goal for the 2011-2012 hunting season is even more ambitious: to distribute 15,000 pounds of meat.

 

Thanks to the top-of-the-line freezers which Trinity Oaks gave to several orphanages in Mexico , the volunteers can transport the "Family Packs" of frozen, ground venison in big coolers across the border to ensure that the orphans receive balanced meals including protein.   Plus, here at home for example, Trinity Oaks recently delivered 135 pounds of ground game meat to a local homeless ministry on North New Braunfels in San Antonio headed up by Brother Henry.  What a blessing!

 

In fact, right now Trinity Oaks is looking for a 3/4-ton or larger truck to deliver meatand for general use on the ranch.    

 

How Texas and Mexican Families along the border benefit

 

You couldn't get much closer to the border than Williams Road Baptist Church in San Benito , Texas .  It's just 20 miles north of the Mexican border.  

 

Pastor Darryl Smith, 47, founded Helping Hand Rescue Ministries to meet the needs of the impoverished in his area.  The stories he tells puts it all in perspective.

 

"One lady had lost her job as a teacher.  She and her 11-year-old daughter were literally existing on Ramon noodle soup," said Smith. "When we provided them with a couple of frozen ground meat family packs from Trinity Oaks, this teacher said, 'Thank goodness. We were tired of eating Ramen noodle soup.  I didn't know where I was going to get nutritional food for my child.'"

 

Interestingly, Smith is a long-time friend of Tom Snyder's ever since they went to high school together.  "Not only does he provide 40-50 packets of frozen meat every month, but he actually gave us a big freezer -- free of charge -- where we store the meat. It's been a tremendous blessing!"

 

Prior to the Trinity Oaks' supply of meat to Helping Hand Rescue Ministries, Smith was limited to providing only canned or boxed food.  "When you know that they are just eating beans and rice, you want to be able to do something!  One family with 13 children had flat run out of money.  After getting help, the parents said,"Thank God that we have food to eat!""

 

But the physical food is just the beginning.  Pastor Smith has a heart to see the lost come to God through Christ.  "As opportunity arises, I'm always willing to share the Good News.  I've seen some children come to know the Lord as a result.  They saw that we actually cared about them which prompted them to start coming to church. It's seemed to make a difference."

 

Frank Gonzales, another pastor along the border, delivers the frozen meat packs to two different Mexican orphanages where Trinity Oaks has also provided free freezers. "We thank God for this blessing.  Most of the time they don't get a lot of meat; it's very expensive in Mexico .  So it's a big blessing that we get this meat.  A bakery donates the bread enabling them to make sandwiches."

trinity oaks mexican orphanage

Trinity Oaks distributes frozen ground meat to Mexican orphanages
 like this one called Refugio Infantil Santa Esperanza 
or Children's Shelter of Hope in Puerto Vallarta .

 

Wounded Warrior Hunts

 

In addition to sponsoring the youth hunts, Trinity Oaks also offers hunting trips to our valiant soldiers who were injured in the line of duty -- soldiers like 23-year-old Sgt. Ken Bowen. 

trinity oaks wounded warrior 2

The Wounded Warriors are surrounded by volunteers who demonstrate 
the love of Christ throughout their South Texas hunt.

 

While on tour in Iraq , he suffered third-degree burns over 80% of his bodywhen his vehicle was hit with an IED.  Even after multiple skin grafts and operations, the skin is remarkably sensitive and doesn't stretch normally when the warrior walks due to its tightness.  After being sent to an American hospital in Germany , Sgt. Bowen was then flown to Brooke Army Medical Center here in San Antonio , one of 25 hospitals throughout the country where wounded warriors are sent to recover and rehabilitate from catastrophic injuries.  

 

That's where Master Gunnery Sergeant Art Garcia, who runs the Combat Marine Outdoors program and partners with Trinity Oaks, met him and invited him on a hunt.  Garcia has served in Desert Storm, Saudi Arabia , and the first Gulf War.

trinity oaks arturo garcia

Master Gunnery Sergeant Art Garcia takes Wounded Warriors out on hunts

to allow our soldiers to focus on God's creation, not their injuries.

 

Without a moment's hesitation, Ken, who hails from Wisconsin originally, said, "I would love to go hunt. I've always heard stories about Texas and how good the hunting is here."  

 

Garcia explains the mindset of the wounded warriors.  "When they left America and went to war they were able-bodied, athletic, oftentimes the high school football stars of their hometowns.  When they return home, they're missing one, two or three limbs.  They're severely burned or disfigured.  Some have prosthetic ears. They're reluctant to go out into the community because they don't look or feel normal."  

 

In addition to the external scars, the wounded warrior has to cope with the internal scars from the chaos of combat, the psychological scars of seeing their buddies die horrifically in front of their eyes.   

 

"We want to show them that people love them.  When they're out hunting in the great Texas outdoors, they forget that they have missing limbs or burns.  We laugh and joke together.  They're normal again.  In the hospital, there's a lot the focus on the injuries, but on the hunting trip, the focus is on the campfire, the cactus, God's creation."

trinity oaks wounded warrior hunt

Trinity Oaks invites Wounded Warriors to hunt for free as a way of saying thank you for their sacrificial service.   Like the youth, Trinity Oaks gives the wounded warriors a finished trophy for free which they can hang on their wall at home.

 

Amazingly, Trinity Oaks even provides the wounded warriors, when needed, with arugged wheelchair meant to conquer the rough hunting terrain.  Valued at $10,000, the quiet-as-a-whisper, toggle-switch equipped wheelchair ensures the gift of independence.  Not only can it endure for 10-12 hours without being recharged, it's tough enough to plow through 10 inches of water.

 

Frankly, Sgt. Ken Bowen's primary challenge was dealing with the pain of his burns.  Thankfully, the hunting vehicle they used for the 4-day respite from the hospital provided cover from the sun, enabling Ken to hunt relatively pain-free.

trinity oaks wounded warrior 3

 

This rugged wheelchair, valued at $10,000, gives the wounded warrior true independence as he hunts.  Controlled by a toggle, it can blaze through 
10 inches of water and over South Texas terrain

On that hunt, a number of the volunteers played guitar.  At one point Ken, smiling from ear to ear, grabbed a guitar and started singing along with them, saying, "I used to play the guitar as a way to pass the time in Iraq .  This is awesome!"

 

Sgt. Bowen had never seen a Javalina, a white-tailed deer or a Nilgai.  Thanks to Trinity Oaks, he harvested one of each!

 

In addition to enjoying the sweet fellowship and adventure of hunting game in South Texas , these American heroes are given the meat that is processed for their own families to consume in the months ahead.

trinity oaks wounded warrior 4

The Wounded Warriors are thrilled to leave their hospital rooms, get out in the fresh South Texas air, and enjoy the fellowship and encouragement of Christian hunters.

 

During the 2010-2011 season, they sponsored two "Wounded Warrior" events.  Their goal for the 2011-2012 season is to do a minimum of one "Wounded Warrior" event per quarter (4 per year). The first Wounded Warrior hunt of this hunting season just occurred October 9-13.

 

If you're the kind of person who has a tender place in your heart for the men and women who have put themselves in harm's way for our sake, then you'll recognize that Trinity Oaks is a good place for your time and your treasure.

 

Long-term goal: Purchasing land to build "Celebration Ranch"

 

If the youth hunts and wounded warrior hunts weren't exciting enough, Tom Snyder is also in the process of purchasing a 17-acre tract of land in Seguin along the Guadalupe River which he will name "Celebration Ranch."  (The name was chosen because everyone who comes to the property will be given the chance to "celebrate Jesus.")

 

This will become the hub for a God-sized vision of future ministry including:

 

*    A Children's Christian Camp for day camps, weekend and week-long camps with no charge.

 

*    A Home for Expectant Mothers where women could live for free while building life skills and acquiring Christian parenting skills

 

*    A Christian Adoption Agency where parents seeking to adopt children could so free of charge.

 

*    A Christian Boot camp where kids going down the wrong path could be mentored by Christian "drill instructors" to see that Christ is the real answer who can grant the peace they seek.

 

*    A Retreat Center featuring programs for couples, families, pastors and missionaries.

 

After the purchase is complete, Tom needs help financially and with boots "on the ground" in "Phase 1" to build a multi-purpose lodge, a gym, a swimming pool, a recreation center including an archery field and a pond stocked with fish, and hiking trails.  

 

During "Phase 2", the goal is to build the Expectant Mothers Home, a recreation center for the elderly overlooking the pond, the boot camp and staff housing.  Finally, in "Phase 3", Tom hopes to build the conference facilities, worship center, offices, and retreat family cabins.

 

Bottom Line

 

God is doing something very special in our midst here in San Antonio through Trinity Oaks.  Not only is it touching the lives of hundreds of young people and wounded warriors for Christ through the free hunting trips, but, as you can see, Trinity Oaks hopes to offer a number of unique ministries.

 

After meeting with Tom Snyder and a number of key organizers over a Mexican meal of fajitas at their office on Tuesday, August 15th, I wrote him a personal note in which I spoke very plainly: "Tom, God has given you such a big vision, only He can accomplish it through the San Antonio area Body of Christ."

 

Here's my question for you:  What role does He want you to play?

 

ACTION STEPS FOR ADAM'S ARMY:

 

1.  If you would like to suggest a boy or girl between the ages of 10 and 16 to participate in a future Trinity Oaks youth hunt,  please call 210.447.0351 or e-mail 

 

2.  If you would like to volunteer to become a guide or firearms trainer for some of the youth hunts, please call 210.447.0351 or e-mail

 

3.  If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to Trinity Oaks to ensure that the Youth Hunts and Wounded Warrior Hunts continue, donate on-line here.  

The cost of sending one underpriveleged kid on a Christian Youth Hunt is $1,200.  And now, thanks to the generosity of one sponsor, anything that you give up to $100,000 will be doubled.

trinity oaks tom and boy shooting

Please help sponsor the hunting trip of a lifetime for a young boy like this one.


So, if you give $150 today,
 your donation will be doubled to $300 and fund one-quarter of the $1,200 cost for one kid to participate in this life-changing ministry.

If you give $300 today
your donation will be doubled to $600 and fund one-half of the $1,200 cost for one kid to participate in this life-changing ministry.

And if you give $600 
your donation will be doubled to $1,200 and fund the entire cost for one kid to participate in this life-changing ministry.

I, Adam McManus, would love to see at LEAST 10 underprivileged children get sponsored for a Trinity Oaks Youth Hunt.  Can you help?

adam mcmanus mic

Adam McManus



You can also or to help pay for the building of the various ministry structures on the "Celebration Ranch" property.

I John 3:17 asks, "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?" 

You can also make a tax-deductible donation by check made out to "Trinity Oaks." Send it to Tom Snyder, Trinity Oaks, 9385 Miller Lane , San Antonio , Texas 78266 . (Write "McManus newsletter" in the memo) 

 

4.  If you would like to be one of 30 volunteers to step forward and help them process meat on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday nights during the hunting season between November and February, please call 210.447.0351 or e-mail

 

5.  If you would like to donate your ¾ ton or larger pick-up truck for a tax deduction to Trinity Oaks in order to help them deliver the ground meat throughout Texas and into Mexico instead of trading it in at your dealership, please call 210-447-0351 or e-mail

6.  If you would like to allow Trinity Oaks to hunt on your ranch or land with their Youth or Wounded Warrior hunts, call 210.447.0351 or e-mail.

 

7.  If you would like to volunteer in another one of the ministries cited above at "Celebration Ranch," please call 210.447.0351 or e-mail

 

8.  If you have any construction experience or own a company that could help with the plumbing, the electrical, the cement foundation, the AC/heating, the roofing, etc. to help build the ministry structures at "Celebration Ranch", please call 210.447.0351 or e-mail.   

 

9.   If you want to "like" the brand new, ministry page of Trinity Oaks ....  

 

10.    If you have specific questions for Tom Snyder exclusively, please e-mail him at tom@texbenefits.com or call him on his cell at 210.860.8342.

 
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