I Sought The Ark But Instead I Found The Face Of God. – Kevin DeVries
Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering. St. Augustine – The Confessions
What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous. Thomas Merton – Wisdom of the Desert
To those men who are born for mountains, the struggle can never end, until their lives end – to them it holds the very quintessence of living – the fiery core, after the lesser parts have burned away. – Elizabeth Knowlton
I climbed the highest mountains, descended the deepest depths of despair and explored the ends of the earth only to reach the end of myself and discover as if for the very first time that there is no height we can climb that God’s GRACE is not higher still, no depth we can descend that GRACE is not deeper still and no place we can be where GRACE is not already there. – Kevin DeVries
Kevin DeVries is a Keynote Inspirational Speaker, Entrepreneur-Explorer, Author-Adventurer, Dutch immigrants’ son and loving father of two from Grand Rapids, MI. In addition to starting and selling several companies across diverse industries, Kevin served as a Director and Consultant for several faith-based, non-profit organizations across the country. As Founder & President of GRACE EXPLORATIONS, “a spiritual guide service helping wandering and wounded hearts find home and healing in Christ”, Kevin combines a business mind and a pastor’s heart with an explorer’s soul and a poet’s pen as a passionate voice reaching the hurting hearts of women and men.
From 2009-2013, Kevin was a Lead Mountaineer for ARK SEARCH, LLC engaged in a scientific search of Noah’s Ark on Mt. Ararat, Turkey. Kevin has climbed five of the seven continental summits, skied to the North Pole; expedition-kayaked all five of the Great Lakes and is a 2013 Boston Marathon Qualifier and Finisher. His lifelong goal is to complete what only a few dozen explorers have dared to dream and do: The Explorers Grand Slam – Climb the Seven Summits and Ski to the North and South Pole. To complete the challenge, Kevin needs to climb Mt. Everest and Mt. Vinson, the tallest peaks in Asia and Antarctica respectively along with skiing to the South Pole.
The glory of God is man fully alive. – Saint Irenaeus
Kevin is writing an epic, 2000 page, four-book series – EXPLORERS OF THE LOST ARK based on all his true and mythic adventures across six continents in over sixty countries and nearly every state in the US to fundamentally and figuratively change how people think and feel about God through The Power of True Myth. The series is the literal story of Ark exploration that fades in and out of a sprawling, poetic, dream vision reminiscent of Dante, Milton, Bunyan, MacDonald, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis’ sanctified myths as it attempts to express the unexplainable – God’s grace. Whether guiding climbers, ministering to men, bleeding words on paper, giving an inspirational talk or leading a faith-based journey to the ends of the earth, Kevin embraces the experience economy where imagination is ignited to distill dreams into destiny. His favorite quote is:
Here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
As a Lead Mountaineer for ARK SEARCH, LLC from 2009-2013, Kevin assisted a group of professional archeologists, geologists, geophysicists and engineers conducting 3-D Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Electrical Resistivity Surveys on Mt. Ararat’s nearly 17,000 Ft. Eastern Plateau, a frozen, unforgiving, lunar-like landscape the size of several football fields famed for its mercurial temperament in the mythic pantheon of “mountain gods.” Directed by real-time, satellite imagery, these sub-surface technologies penetrated Ararat’s ice cap to reveal anomalies beneath the ice of peculiar similarity to the biblical dimensions of Noah’s Ark. Upon the Eastern Plateau, modern technology and ancient lore converged on a crevassed ice field that has fractured mankind’s imagination since civilizations rebirth. Technical “witnesses” supported by anecdotal eyewitness accounts throughout the ages, led to one of the most herculean excavation attempts in the history of archeological exploration.
Nature still has secrets which she cannot be forced to reveal. When one seeks to penetrate the mysteries of the world, their guardian rises in one form or another to forbid our approach. – Brigadier General Charles Bruce, CB, MVO.
Scientific data, however tantalizing, must be verified by daring explorers willing to endure a gauntlet of pain and climb above the clouds where legends sleep and “Guardians of Glory” keep watch over their secrets by night and day. Surviving extreme conditions for up to two months at a time on a “Painful Mountain” enveloped in a war-torn demilitarized zone, hair-raising electrical storms, tent-shredding hurricane force winds, greedy crevasses, gaping black voids and “rock giants” hurling giant boulders at unsuspecting climbers over the course of five highly eventful summers without a single loss of life or limb, defies superlatives and bankrupts language into the lofty lineage reserved for living legends. Under significant duress, one can experience a surreal detachment to their own harrowing ordeal. In those suspended moments, characters become narrators inside their own story reciting unrehearsed lines just like Samwise Gamgee uttered to Frodo Baggins in J.R.R Tolkien’s “Lord of The Rings” mythic masterpiece: “I wonder what sort of a tale we’ve fallen into?” Now the whole world knows what sort of tale Kevin DeVries fell into with the 2015 nationwide release of FINDING NOAH. ARK SEARCH, LLC, now rests unashamed and undaunted in the hallowed halls of exploration’s most ambitious undertakings of all time while the prize for the greatest archeological discovery of the ages remains unclaimed.
In memories we were rich. We had pierced the veneer of outside things. We had “suffered, starved and triumphed, groveled down yet grasped at glory, grown bigger in the bigness of the whole. We had seen God in His splendors, heard the text that Nature renders.” We had reached the naked soul of man. Sir Earnest Shackleton – South
So if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward then you won’t see why we go…What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for. George Leigh Mallory – Climbing Everest: The Complete Writings of George Mallory
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence- “Lawrence of Arabia,” Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
Sir Francis Drake – Captains Log 1577
Join Explorer, Kevin DeVries, on his epic, five-summer adventure searching for Noah’s Ark at nearly 17,000 Ft. on Mt. Ararat, Turkey featured in the 2015 nationwide, award winning documentary: FINDING NOAH for an intimate and intense encounter with biblical history buried under the ice of legendary myth. Come see and hear for yourself “the greatest discovery in life is Who finds you while you are looking for something else.” You’ll be fascinated and inspired by what Kevin has discovered for your own life.
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