I don’t work at the ranch much but have had a few occasions where I find myself filling in or helping out in some way. On one occasion I was giving a boy some specific direction on where I wanted him to sit and what he needed to do in school. As you might know, sometimes boys don’t like being told what to do. He let me know that he was not happy and proceeded to storm out of the school building. I gave him few minutes and then followed him.
After a bit of time passed, he calmed himself, accepted his negative consequences and complied with my instructions. We carried on through the day with no more incidents. At the end of the day, I was talking with the boy and debriefing the situation. He owned up to his failures and I confessed that I might have gotten a little hot under the collar as well. At the end of our conversation, the boy said something I will never forget, “Mr. Rodney, I wish you were my dad.”
I was taken back and unsure how to respond. This boy has experienced significant challenges in his life, but in our residential home he has experienced family and caring. We have become his family and he is in need of our love. God has not asked me to adopt this boy, but God has asked me to love this boy while he is with us. I can, with the staff of Youth Horizons, love this boy and faithfully support the mentors in our mentoring program.
Providing love and support for this boy and others like him is only possible because of your generosity. At this time of the year we receive about 1/3 of annual budget through your gifts. I am writing to say thank you for giving and allowing us to love “the least of these”. To date, our unrestricted contributions are $327,725 and income from the residential home is $240,100. Our expenses for 2014 year to date are $880,440 and staff salaries make up 60% of our budget. All of our bills are paid and because of a strong fund-raising year last year we operated with a surplus throughout the year. We are a debt-free organization and are committed to continuing to operate debt-free. Our only debt is to continue to show love to the children that God provides for us to love. If you have not made a year end contribution or pledge to Youth Horizons would you take time now and ask God how he might want you to support our work?