By: Erin Wallace
*This story was originally posted on March 26, 2014.
“…If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself.” – Luke 9:23-25
Admit you’re a sinner. Accept God’s forgiveness. Love Jesus and love others. Sounds easy enough; count me in. Put others first. Sacrifice your desires. Give your life away. Wait…what? This doesn’t sound so easy anymore.
Following Christ when He calls us to uncomfortable places is never easy. It’s where the rubber meets the road in our faith. So what happens when you step out in faith and give your life away? According to Bryan Burke, over time you see life change in others and in yourself that is beyond your imagination. Almost two years ago Bryan found himself wrestling with a sense that God was calling him to step out in faith and start a Cub Scout Pack in the Reedville area. Years before he had been given the honor of becoming an Eagle Scout. It was only recently he’d begun to feel impressed that the rank meant nothing; it was what he chose to do with the gifts he’d been that given meant everything. After months of wrestling and despite worries about financing, level of interest from the community and his own self-doubt he sprang into action and began taking steps to start a Cub Scout Pack. In the last year and a half what started as a small pack of five young boys has grown into 18 young boys and their families from the Reedville/Butternut Creek area experiencing life together.
“My vision is to be guided by God to provide an alternative resource for the boys of Reedville to become godly men…to transform these boys for the better by helping them learn who God is, building their character, and developing stronger families that communicate, worship, and play together.” Bryan’s vision is being lived out every week through this missional community that has had a ton of fun in the outdoors. The boys have learned archery, how to build snow caves, first aid, camping techniques and more. Last year the Pack even shared a week long camping excursion that included an outdoor church for the boys to worship and pray together.
Over time, the change Bryan and the parents have seen in the boys has been inspiring. “Moms and dads have approached Susan and me to let us know of positive changes that scouting is having on their son. For some, it’s discipline and better listening skills. For others, it’s a renewed sense of curiosity leading to better questioning and ultimately better school work and grades.” But the change doesn’t stop there. Bryan has seen changes in his own life. He says his heart is more open to others and he’s developed a greater level of patience. “I can’t take credit for what is happening- it is truly the Spirit of God working through me. Without God, none of this would be possible…” The cub scouts and their families have become so dear to Bryan that he considers them to be part of his extended family. You see, Bryan has found that in giving his life away, he’s gained so much more than he ever dreamed.
-Bryan and Susan Burke faithfully lead Cub Scout Pack 226 with the help of Taylor Grover and several scouts’ parents. But there’s plenty of room for more! If you’re interested in serving the Reedville Community, Pack 226 is a great opportunity. They currently have several volunteer positions open on their committee as well as Den Leaders and Assistant Den Leaders. Want to help? Contact Bryan Burke on The Table.