Arkansas native Chase Evans is using his passion and skills to further the kingdom of the Lord.
One year ago, Evans and his dad purchased Silas, a black Labrador, and trained him to be a top duck hunting dog. Evans pledged the sale of Silas to go toward scholarships for campers at Camp Siloam.
“What I love about what Chase is doing is that he’s using something that’s a passion and a gifting for him for the glory of the Lord,” Camp Siloam Director Jason Wilkie said.
Evans sold Silas for $6,000, paying the way for 50 students to attend Camp Siloam.
“Some people have asked, how can you put all that work in and just give it away? God gave me this skillset and this passion and it’s how I pay it back. It’s my offering back. I’m just paying it forward,” Evans, who grew up attending church camp and worked multiple summers on staff at Camp Siloam, said. “I love camp and I believe in it. I always have.”
Evans chose to donate toward scholarships for the camp after speaking with Wilkie, who told him it was an area of need.
“I set the goal that I wanted. I wanted to be able to send 50 kids. I set my price almost a year in advance and trained (Silas) to where he was worth that much and sold him,” Evans said.
Already, the Garner Creek Kennels owner is training a second dog, Bruno, for the same purpose. Once trained, money made from the sale of the golden retriever will go toward scholarships in 2024 for Camp Siloam. Evans’ goal is to sell Bruno for about $1,000 more than Silas and send even more children to camp next year.
“That money is set aside for them and this project. It’s set aside for kids that need it,” Evans said. As a former camper and staffer, Evans knows the benefits church camp has on youth.
“There is nothing else I know of I could give money to that furthers the Kingdom more than that,” he said. “Camp is just a special place. I don’t know anything else in the world I could give my money to where I know 7,000 kids are going to hear the Gospel and probably 6,700 of them are going to get saved. I don’t know anything else in the world that does that. So that is where I am going to target my money and my giving.”
Evans’ passion for training and hunting dogs began at an early age, hunting with his dad. He got his first duck dog when he was 18. Unfortunately, she died young after getting hit by a car.
“I didn’t know what I was doing training. She wouldn’t listen to me, and we were out hunting, and she ran off and wouldn’t come back. She ran off in the road and got hit,” Evans said. “By that time, I’d already fallen in love with dogs, training and hunting. I said, I have to have a dog, but I will never have a dog that is not trained.”
And he’s kept true to that. The next dog Evans got he used every resource he could find on training retrievers. He began work with a professional trainer and learned a different side of duck dogs he’d never seen before, including hunts, field trials and more. Evans had his first hunt test in March 2018.
“I’ve been running them nonstop ever since,” he said.
Evans, who grew up attending First Baptist Church in Cabot, said training and selling dogs to benefit Camp Siloam is something he plans on doing for the foreseeable future.
“I love it when our former staff members find a way to connect with camp and give so that other kids can experience the power of camp,” Wilkie said.