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tommysgoodgill

Tommy with a bluegill

Riley smallmouth 1

Riley with a smallmouth bass

 

Who We Are ~ Lives Touched

 

Tommy & Riley

 

 

 

Tommy & Riley's Story ~ written by their mother

 

My thoughts and prayers for Great Expectations Ministry:

My husband and I met Dave several years ago at the annual fundraiser that GEM
fishing hosts.  After listening to the testimonies from some of the campers
that were there and from the parents, I knew what a special program this was
and I wanted to get my kids involved.

Our oldest son Tommy had been diagnosed with borderline aspergers, ADHD/ADD
and clinical depression.  It's alway's been difficult for him to connect
with people and difficult to make friends, but I knew he'd enjoy going on a
GEM outing. After spending a week with Mr. Lindmark and his other staff,
Tommy was in love with fishing.  He came home talking a 100 miles per hour
about how much fun he had and was begging us to go again. To get more then a
few words out of Tommy at any given time was difficult, so I knew his
enthusiasm was genuine.  A short time later Mr. Lindmark called me and asked
if Tommy would like to go again, he had some cancellations and availability
on his next camping trip.  What a wonderful invitation, however money was
and is extermley tight for our family.  However Mr. Lindmark told me if we
could just pay a small amount that would be fine. I couldnt believe how
generous Mr. Lindmark was and is!  Tommy was just as excited from his
second GEM trip as he was the first and couldn't wait go back next year!  Now
my youngest son was too little and too young to go and was a little sad listening to
all the fun that Tommy had on his camping trips.  The next summer Tommy had
went again to GEM, and was now an old pro, and Mr. Lindmark had asked me
about Riley.  Technically Riley was a little too young, however Mr. Lindmark
was willing to bring him along despite his age (Riley has alway's been more
serious and mature then he should be).  Riley came back on cloud nine!  He's
alway's been very shy, but the GEM staff really helped Riley come out of his
shell.  Both Riley and Tommy love GEM for several reasons, they've both told
us, "if we want to talk great, if not, it's ok too".  Now a few years and
many camping trips later my boy's are really growing in their leadership
skills.  Tommy is a camp counsler at another camp, and Riley cant wait to be
a junior guide with GEM.  This past summer, Mr. Lindmark really boosted
Riley's confidence by asking Riley to help some of the younger children
while fishing, and to lead the kids in their bible studies.  Riley has also
participated in a mission trip this past summer to Bluefield VA.  I'm told
that he really stood up and took charge on this trip and our Pastor was
incredibly proud of him.  This past summer our family was on vacation in MI
with some other family members and Tommy and Riley got the opportunity to go
salmon fishing with a professional fisherman.  After very long and grueling
day on Lake Michigan, the Pro said to me. "Martha, it was a pleasure fishing
with your boy's, I've never been on the lake with kids like them, they were
patient, mature, respectfull and never complained once.  They both have a
quiet odd sense of humor, and I really appreciated them on this trip".  The
boy's were exhausted and sore, but were rewarded by their big catches.
Tommy a 25lb King salmon and Riley a 8lb Koho salmon!

I believe that because of the care and dedication that Mr. Lindmark and the
rest of the GEM staff have given my boy's not just on the camping trips but
all year long has made a big difference in the young men that they've
become.  The GEM program has allowed our boy's to experience camping, a
bible program and allowed them the space and room to grow on their own as
well.  We've gotten to know Mr. Lindmark and his wife over the years and
have seen how their hard work and vision for GEM has come to life.  The
generosity of Mr. Lindmark has been very important to us and without it, my
boy's never would of had the wonderful experiences that they've had with
GEM.  We appreciate Mr. Lindmark and the rest of the GEM staff!

Im enclosing photos of both Tommy and Riley with the "big" catches of the
summer.  Little do they know the actual "big catch" was made by Mr.
Lindmark, he caught the hearts of my two boys.

Thank you!!
Martha Carpenter

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