"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." Mathew 28:18


October 26, 2017


Planning meeting for spring weekends:  tentatively set for November 18th in Havre. Time and place TBD.

 Spring weekends both at St. Thomas camp:

May 10-13 for Men’s weekend.  Rector: Jay Springer.   mrejay@havremt.net        406-702-0030. Or 406-445-1113

May 17-20 for Women’s weekend:  Rectora:  Jamie Jespersen. luvngod4ever@hotmail.com        406-422-9962      909 Menlo Park Rd, Helena, MT 59602


Secretariat Officers:  New officers will be elected in January.  See upcoming announcement.


ARTICLE:  A Call To Fruit-Bearing- reading on July 17th from Rhythms of Growth: 365 Meditations to Nurture the Soul by Linda Douty.


On a solo trip out West, I was hoping to gain some guidance for my future.  However, it came in an unexpected way.

I was walking alone along a path in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, accompanied only by hundreds of saguaro cacti that dotted the landscape.  As I rounded a bend in the path, I found myself face-to-face with an old, beat-up cactus about fifty feet tall.  Up close and personal, these stately plants are anything but beautiful.  This one bore ragged holes where birds had nested, ugly gashes cut by years of weather and wear.  Unexpectedly, I burst into tears.  My silent thoughts said clearly, Look how tall she stands.  See how proudly she wears her scars; she is unashamed. 

As I gathered my emotions, my eyes fell on the open desert, sparsely covered with hundreds of tall cactus plants, looking like fingers pointing ot the sky.  After a long silence, the gentle inner voice whispered again:  Just be a “pointer”…I have scores of them.  You don’t have to be the smartest, the prettiest, the best-educated, or the most engaging.  Just be one…always point up.

Turning once again to face the cactus that provoked my tears, I noticed that the gigantic plant was situated in the center of a small rise, surrounded by smaller desert plants.  Another thought emerged:  Be a pointer in your small area of influence.  Don’t try to do everything; just point the way ahnead to those on your little hill.  And then the most surprising suggestion of all arose:  Allow people to build nests in your wounds.

I felt stunned, confused, full of self-doubt.  Was I imagining all this?  Had I been in the desert heat too long?  I bagan to chastiese myself for having such a crazy, vivid imatination!

But the experience has not faded over the weeks, months, and years since that day in the desert.  I keep a photo of a saguaro cactus on my desk to remind of the purpose she shared with me that day–to stand tall in the dry, desolate landscapes of life and to allow people to build nests in my woulds.  I’m only begining to understand what that means.

Editor’s note:  Isn’t this what we do at a Tres Dias weekend and in our Fourth Day groups?  We stand tall despite our scars, we point up, we share our stories & in doing so, we allow people to build nests in our wounds…this meditation really spoke to me- I hope it speaks to you.                                        

Julie Jardine


Missing e-mail addresses– the following e-mail newsletters have come back undeliverable…if you know an updated e-mail address for this person, please let Julie know (see editor info, lower right, first page)

Failed email contacts:

Kent Johnson                       Adam Garcia             Christy Ruckwardt

Pam Fanning                        Jody Maxwell            Ron & Pat Long



Miracle in a Highway Rest Stop

In my years serving on Tres Dias weekends, I have had many experiences that are hard to explain as mere coincidences. Here’s one of my favorites.


During the last worldwide recession, I was serving on a team in Colorado Front Range, which was their first set of weekends ever. Toward the end, I asked the Rectora if I could make a quick request at the end of the closing service. As a member of the steering  committee for the startup of Jamaica Tres Dias (then called Montego Bay Tres Dias), I was aware of a great need. Even though Colorado TD was a very small community, a startup itself, I felt a strong urge from the Lord to speak. The tourist industry had been hit hard in the recession, and I explained the serious struggle the Jamaicans were experiencing. Many were unable to pay team fees or sponsor candidates/pilgrims for the upcoming set of weekends. Several people gave me donations.


After driving a few hours along a major interstate road, my friend and I got off at an exit to take a break and get some coffee. I was coming out of the restroom when a couple came up to me and seemed very excited to see me.

“Do I know y’all?” I asked.

“We were at the closing service for Tres Dias,” they answered. “We wanted to give to the Jamaicans, but you had already left. Wow! Can you believe we just got off the Interstate hundreds of miles along the way, and here you are!”


They handed me a large check along with a hug and went on their way. I called the Rectora for the coming weekend in Jamaica and told her, “Our God is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our Provider.”


Even though there are thousands of travelers on the interstate and many exits we passed, He brought them to me. This confirmed to me and to both of these new communities that God has planned for Tres Dias to succeed around the world.


John Schipf, President

Paul Kroeger, Vice-President

Nancy MacCracken, Secretary

Blanche Saemen, Treasurer

Contact Information:

Big Sky Tres Dias

1631 Highwood Rd

Great Falls, MT  59405



Great Falls/Highwood:

First Wednesay, 6PM sack-dinner, mtg. at 7pm, contact Leslie for location: 406-727-6253.

Havre/Hiline:  3rd Wed or Thurs of month- contact Mandy mandysuenitz@gmail.com  406-265-4816

Helena:  No secuelas currently. If interested in coordinating, please contact John Schipf: jaschipf@hotmail.com

Livingston: No secuelas currently.  If interested in coordinating, please contact  Julie Jardine 406-223-2090


Townsend:  last Tues of month, 6:30PM potluck, then meet.  Trailhead Christian Fellowsthip Church @ 20 Trailhead View Dr.,  Paul Kroeger: 406-439-1042.


Please feel free to contact me for any suggestions/articles:

Newsletter Editor:

Julie Jardine 406-223-2090


by:  Patti Jo Bach:  Article from Tres Dias International Newsletter September 2017