By the Kimble Family
It was May 19, 2006, and we were very excited to attend the Mission: Haiti presentation that Climbing For Christ was sharing with our congregation at Hope Lutheran Church in Rochester, N.Y. We know from personal experience that on a mission trip you have the privilege to see God work in special ways and to experience His presence in new ways. So we could not wait to hear how God had been working in each of the team members' lives while they were in Haiti and since they had been home. As we followed the Dispatches posted on the Web site we already knew that God had done amazing things in the lives of those living in the village of Jeantilhome, Haiti.
But little did we know that God had a mission trip in mind for our family.
Tim Trezise of EduVenture Mexico “happened” to be visiting in Rochester that same night and gave a presentation about the cross-cultural educational program he directs for Christian college students. He shared his vision of a climbing program that would teach the students dependency and trust along with a sense of accomplishment. A donation of equipment from a Climbing For Christ member was helping to turn this vision into reality. God stirred our hearts and we knew that when the presentation was over we must find an opportunity to talk with Tim.
Before we go any further with this story let us introduce you to our son and brother, Brian Kimble. Brian loved many things — climbing, boating, soccer, taking things apart, helping others, anything outdoors, and the list goes on and on. Yes, he loved many things, but he had a passion for two things — his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and people. Brian was a child of the King and continually looked for ways to serve God and share Him with others.
Brian was a member of Climbing For Christ and an avid climber in the Gunks, the Adirondacks, New Hampshire and Connecticut. A 2004 graduate of Clarkson University, Brian worked as a mechanical engineer at Timken Bearing Company in Torrington, Conn. He was 22 years old when a senseless act of violence took his life two years ago. (CLICK HERE to read the news story.)
Brian had accumulated a large collection of climbing equipment. He enjoyed the sport so much and loved to teach others; helping them experience the thrill and challenge of mastering a route they may have thought was too hard. Now Brian’s climbing gear sat in his childhood bedroom along with the rest of his earthly possessions. Sometimes we talked about going through his stuff, but we never did. Along with that we talked about what we might do with his things. It was difficult to make any decisions and so we just did nothing.
That is until we heard Tim speak and God stirred our hearts. We prayed together and God helped each of us come to a level of acceptance and even excitement. The EduVenture program combined many things that Brian loved into one — a biblical foundation, training to do God’s work in the world, outdoor adventure, new experiences, close friendships, and more. We felt led by the Lord to donate Brian’s climbing equipment to the EduVenture Mexico program.
Tim Trezise came over to our house and we spread Brian’s climbing gear out on the family room rug. He shared information about various pieces of equipment and exactly how he would be able to use those pieces to set up the climbing program. Tim told us the equipment would bring the vision of an expanded climbing program to reality. That night we experienced his excitement about EduVenture Mexico and what rock climbing could bring to it. We visited and shared for many hours, late into the night. It was exciting to see the vision of a climbing program come closer and closer to reality. But the night was about more than belay devices, rope, chalk, harnesses, cams, gear slings, etc. Tim was most interested in the person behind the equipment, our son/brother, Brian. He wanted to know about the goofy things Brian was known for, the silly things he did which allowed the joy of the Lord to pour right out of him. He wanted to know about Brian’s 4-foot tall co-pilot, Kermit the Frog. He was interested in Brian’s hopes and dreams, what his favorite bible verses were, unique sayings he was known for, and his wild and often breath-stopping climbing stories.
Tim got to know Brian that night and we felt blessed to be able to donate Brian’s climbing equipment to a place that will use it to God’s glory. Tim extended an invitation to our family to come and visit EduVenture Mexico. An idea was planted and after much discussion and prayer our family will make the trip to Mexico in February of 2007. Brian’s climbing partner and friend, Eric Gessner, will be joining us along with another close family friend, Bryan Mabee.
So why exactly are we going to Mexico and what will we do there? Only the Lord knows for sure. We go to give, but we also go to receive. We have a wide variety of building, repairing, and handyman skills. We will be sharing those talents with EduVenture Mexico in whatever way they are needed. We look forward to the slower pace of life in Mexico and pray that the closeness to God’s creation will help strengthen our focus on the Lord and renew us for the challenges of making it through day-to-day life without Brian. Whatever happens, we trust God that He will use this trip to bless both us and EduVenture Mexico and to bring glory to His name.