This Friday’s look into the In2venture community sees us heading down to Yorkshire with Steve Windass.
Hi I’m Steve Windass, project leader of Forest of Galtres In2venture Skelton, York.
I’m 37 years old and have been a christian since I was 12.
My wife is Sarah who is also a outdoor instructor with F.O.G In2venture and we have our little girl Esther who is almost 4 months old.
Since I was the age of 15 I wanted to be a outdoor instuctor especialy a rock climbing instuctor. I was inspierd from the age of 10 when I use to atend a weekly adventure club called cliff hangers.
2 days after my last GCSE exam I volunteered at a Christian run outdoor center in the north of England for 10 weeks before going to outdoor college for a year in Skipton.
I gained my first main qualification (spa rock climbing) in 1998 whilst working for 4 years at a outdoor center in mid Wales.
Whilst working in Wales I felt that God had put Eastern Europe on my heart and got to go on a trip to Romania in 97 to take part in a christian camping Romania conference high up in the mountains of Romania.
A few years later whilst on a trip to Kosova and Albania in the October of 2001 I herd about a Christian charity in the south east of Albaina that had started providing sumer camps for Albanian young people including a outdoor climbing tower !
So in the January of 2002 I traveled to a very cold little town 3,500 (aprox) ft above sea level in the mountains on the Greak / Albanian border.The top of the mountaian been about 8,000 feet, where you can stand with one foot in Greece and one foot in Albania !
After many short trips to cross roads camp in the town of Erseke I ended up living there for 3 years to help develop the outdoor activites and train local Albanians to be outdoor instuctors.
It was really over this time that I got to know In2venture as instructors came out from the UK to help with training Albanians in Canoeing, Kayaking, cave exploring, Archery and more.
While living in Albania I was supported by my home church in Skelton,York. While visiting home one Christmas I spent time praying and talking with my Pastor about using outdoor activities to work with young people in our own local area of Skelton and to cut a long story short, after returning to York from Albania in March 2007 we ran our first session of forest of Galtres In2venture in June 2007.
From starting with 1 after school club once a week we now run 4 we also provide canoeing for another local charity and have provided activities such as climbing, Archery and pedal go carting for a number of schools in the York area.
Though been based at home in York for the last 7 years I have continued to make trips to Albania with my wife Sarah as well as helping with Pathfiner camps in the Lake District each summer.
Please pray for us, and our continuing work with young people in the York area.