Measuring Progress

“True progress quietly and persistently moves along without notice.”
St. Francis of Assisi

Some seasons—more so than others – pass by with easily recognizable milestones. At those times, it’s easy to track progress and growth against the backdrop of changing surroundings.

Other seasons are much different. The mountain you are trying to reach seems perpetually out of reach and try as you may, it’s just not getting any closer.

Tristan, Matt, and Matt's family

Tristan, Matt, and Matt’s family

For the matches in our mentoring program, and the boys at the Kinloch Price Boys Ranch – there have been both big and small milestones this spring.

Mentoring match, Matt and Tristan, along with Matt’s family, made a milestone memory last month. They spent time finishing at the Blue Sky Ranch and got quite the catch!

 

 

2016 Bingo Night

2016 Bingo Night

It was Bingo Night at the Youth Horizons office last month. The event was a good opportunity for matches to spend time together in a fun setting, with some great prizes! The evening was facilitated by the youth group of Calvary Chapel.

We continue to seek candidates for additional staff at the Kinloch Price Boys Ranch. We are looking for a family coaching couple, overnight staff, cook and a case manager. You can find more about those positions HERE.

The boys applied themselves well in school this year, and the partnership with the Valley Center School District continues. This year also marked the switch from street clothes to a school uniform. From all of us at Youth Horizons, thank you to the supporter who made that switch possible.

We are confident we will continue to see the Lord work this summer. We pray you do as well.

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Letter from Earnest: June 2016

Earnest AlexanderSharing at a staff meeting at the Kinloch Price Boys Ranch last month, I had an overwhelming thought.

So many of the good people working there took jobs with enthusiasm and commitment. They discovered during the last six months to a year, how extremely challenging it is to work with underprivileged and disadvantaged youth. I know as I look at them – that is, the staff – and as I listen to them, many of them feel they are in a war zone.

Frequently, it looks as though the enemy is winning. I think to myself, after doing this for nearly 40 years, how difficult it must be for these young people. They love Jesus. They want to make His love known. Even though we have worked diligently to help them understand what it is they are committing to, no words can adequately prepare them for the road to Calvary, the Via Dolorosa, the way of suffering.

That day at staff meeting, I shared with them that their suffering in this mission field is part of God’s plan. They can go all the way to Calvary, they can die to self on the cross of sacrifice, but it has to be done willingly. It’s not easy to succumb to the death of one’s own ambition, desires, and pleasures – especially for the sake of an ungrateful child who would just as soon spit and cuss you out as to look at you.

It’s easy to ask yourself, “How could God as me to submit to this for the sake of a child?”

It’s easy to ask yourself, “How could God ask me to submit to this for the sake of a child?”

It’s not for a child, but for yourself, your own personal being. It’s a clear picture of sacrifice that gives one an indication of your love and commitment to Jesus Christ.

Many years ago when we were given the original Martin House, I – along with several friends – found myself cleaning up cat poop from the previous owners time in the house. I was completely disgusted.

As I found myself on my knees cleaning up the mess, I realized it was worth it for the sake of the Gospel and the opportunity to share it with a child.

Don’t be discouraged in well doing. After a while, you will reap – if you faint not (Gal. 6:9). Please pray for us, and pray with us for our children. When you can, please give.

Your brother,

earnest's signature

 
Earnest

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Letter from Earnest: May 2016

Earnest AlexanderRecently I had a dream that was a very powerful and moving experience. In it, I found myself at a conference for broken and at-risk children. A woman participating in the conference came to me to complain about some of the children we had brought with us. While she was speaking, one of the boys walked by me. She proceeded to berate him—denouncing and threatening.

The child she had accosted was a boy in our care. He looked very young for his age because he had been horribly abused and malnourished. He was a little black boy who had been adopted, but the relationship failed, so he ended up in state custody.

As I began to speak to him in my dream, he took off running and yelling, “Leave me alone! Leave me alone! Leave me alone!”

Finally I caught him and got down on my knees to speak to him face-to-face. I grabbed him and held him tight—not in a disciplinary action, but in an attempt to calm him.

I said to him, “I’m just trying to love you. I want to help you.”

He yelled back, “I don’t want your love. I don’t need you! I don’t trust you! No one else wants me–why are you going to want me?!”

He continued to yell, “Let me go! Let me go!”

The strange thing was, as he was yelling, “Let me go!” he was clinging to me with all of his might.

I awoke from that dream, shaking with emotion and exhausted. I can still see the image of this child in my mind.

What’s worse, in our mentoring and residential programs, we have boys and girls with whom we’ve had encounters like this—but we keep loving them. I need you to pray we will be strengthened in our ability to continue to love them, and ultimately that they will come to believe.

Frequently children try to push us away, but if we could see into their souls, we know they are really saying, “Please love me. Please forgive me. Please help me.”

Don’t just love your children when they’re good. Don’t speak to them only to correct them, but also to articulate affection and show that you genuinely care for them.

Remember, we’re on a “Treasure Hunt!”

Your friend,

earnest's signature

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Kinloch Price Boys Ranch Update

And he remembered a word in the Book of Mountaineers… it heartened him, for it told him that he was created to walk in precarious places, not on the easy levels of life.”

– Amy Carmichael

 Two Brothers HouseAs the year continues to unfold we see the providential hand of God at work at the Kinloch Price Boys Ranch. God’s faithfulness remains, through the triumphs and what can – in the moment – feel like setbacks. We see Him at work in the lives of the boys He’s brought to the ranch, and in, and through, the lives of staff members. We are thankful for His unchanging character and generous providence!

 As of this writing, we have three houses open and are almost ready to open the fourth.  Please continue to pray with us that we would find favor in the necessary inspections, and throughout the remaining logistical steps.

With the opening of the fourth house comes the need for additional staff. We are looking for a family coaching couple, overnight staff, cook, and a case manager. If you or someone you know is interested in finding out about one of these positions, please call 316-262-8293, or go to youthhorizons.net.

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.

Deuteronomy 7:9

 

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Mentoring STEM Night with MakeICT

2016 STEM NightLast month, MakeICT – a community project lab—hosted a STEM night for Youth Horizons mentoring matches. Matches had the opportunity to work on a variety of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics-based projects. This is the second year we’ve held a STEM-themed evening, and matches loved the return of the event.

We are thankful for partnerships like the one with MakeICT that allow mentors and their protégés the chance to try fun, new experiences in the Wichita area!

For more pictures from STEM Night – as well as other recent mentoring events – go to Facebook.com/YouthHorizons.

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Mentoring Christmas Party

Christmas Carnival 2015The Annual Mentoring Christmas Party was held Dec. 12 at Calvary Baptist Church in Derby. The new venue was the perfect location for the party, which included a fun carnival and many different games.

Mentors, protégés, kids on the waiting list for a mentor, and their families attended the event. Kids had the chance to earn prizes at each game, and everyone enjoyed the fun activities.

Youth from Calvary Chapel help facilitate the games and different stations and helped making the event possible. We are thankful for their support! James Bazil, youth pastor at Calvary Chapel, shared a message at the party. His wife Becky led the group in singing Christmas carols.

Children in the mentoring program received a gift that had been specifically chosen for them by a local church or individual sponsor. The excitement on their faces was contagious.

You help make events like this possible through your generosity and support. Thank you. Make sure to head to our Facebook page at Facebook.com/YouthHorizons to see all the great pictures from the event.

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Mentoring Updates

Becky, Aliciaus and Stuart at the Living Nativity

Becky, Aliciaus and Stuart at the Living Nativity

 

Aliciaus Copes went to see her mentor Becky Reimer and Becky’s husband Stuart at the Living Nativity in Peabody, Kan. Aliciaus says Stuart and Becky did a great job in their roles.

 

 

Dary and Sebastian

Dary and Sebastian

 

Mentor Brian Jackson took his protégé, Sebastian Hickock on a deer hunt last month. The hunt was conducted through the Outdoor Mentors program, and was hosted by Dary Southwick.

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Letter from Earnest: January 2016

Earnest AlexanderDear friends,

I am convinced that I have just finished the shortest year of my life.  Some of you have heard me say – “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times”...  Saying goodbye to Mama, along with 6 other relatives and friends was painful.  Building two new homes at the Kinloch Price Boys Ranch – doubling the capacity of the boy’s ranch and being debt free because of many of you – made it the best of times.  On top of that, God provided the staff that we needed and I am very happy about their potential.

Of course, I have to start the year with a challenge for all of us – the need for mentors persists, the need for residential beds persists, the need for spiritual awakening also persists.  Perhaps if our country could enjoy revival and the hearts of the fathers be turned back to their children, if those of us who are the people of God would confess our sins, ask for forgiveness and commit to knowing and loving God, He would forgive our sins and heal our land. I Chronicles 7:14.  I want to ask you what your plans are for this year.  What will you do differently?  Whatever regrets you have, leave them in the past.  Only bring your hopes into 2016.  Let those hopes be influenced by your love for God and your desire to please him.

For the last few years, as I drive to work in the morning, I’ve been praying  “Dear God, please teach me how to love you in ways that matter to you and help me to make your love known in ways that will be pleasing to you.”  Perhaps you can pray it with me for yourself and for me as we fly through 2016.

In closing, please know that we need you now more than ever and the work that we are doing has eternal weight to it.  Support and tithe to your local church first.  If there is anything left, please remember Youth Horizons.  If you can volunteer, we welcome you.  If you can give, we are grateful.  If you pray for us, we are indebted to you.  Happy New Year!!

earnest's signature

 

 

Earnest

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2015 Christmas Benefit Concert Recap

2015 Christmas Benefit Concert“I have been changed for good.”
Earnest Alexander sang these words, along with a selection of Christmas songs at the 2015 Christmas Benefit Concert. The concert was held Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at ABODE Venue in Wichita. Along with Earnest, it featured the jazz and vocal bands of Friends University led by Craig Curry and Lisa Hittle.

We are honored to share that we had a number of new sponsors this year. Thanks to those individuals and the personal generosity of many, the net total raised from the two concert nights is $42,466. That money is used in its entirety to fund the work of Youth Horizons.

We debuted three new videos at the event, sharing the history of Youth Horizons and testimonials from the mentoring and residential programs. One story that was shared was that of Daniel Thomas.

Daniel Thomas seen far right

Daniel Thomas seen far right

Daniel was a resident with Youth Horizons a number of years ago. You can watch his story – as well as the other videos – at youtube.com/youthhorizonsvideos. He currently helps mentor neighborhood children.

To see more pictures from the event, go to Facebook.com/YouthHorizons. Photography at the event was provided by Joshua Ayres Photography.

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Kinloch Price Boys Ranch Christmas Wish List

Soccer timeAs Christmas draws nearer, we are often asked how people can support Youth Horizons during the holidays. While there are certainly ongoing needs, one way you can contribute tangibly this season is through our Wish List.

Thanks to God’s provision and your generosity, the Kinloch Price Boys Ranch Expansion Project was successfully funded earlier this year. Now, the task at hand is to fill the building with all the items needed to turn a house into a home. We’ve created a Wish List at Walmart that brings those needs together into one place.

It’s easy to access the list! Here’s what to do:

  • Go to Walmart.com
  • Click on “Lists” from the menu across the top of the page
  • In the form, “Find Someone’s List” enter:
  1.     First Name: Youth
  2.     Last Name: Horizons
  3.     State: Kansas
  • Click, “Find”
  • Select, “Youth Horizons KPBR Wish List”
  • The list of needed items will display

If you go into a Walmart store, all you need to do is go to the Customer Service area and follow the steps at the kiosk there to retrieve the list.

If you have any questions about the Wish List process or items on the list, give us a call! You can call the Youth Horizons office at 316.262.8293.

We are thankful for you all as we prayerfully complete this last stage of the expansion project.

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