Here are a few important jobs that have been completed at both campuses with the help of our amazing volunteers. We cannot say thank you enough to the many volunteers who help us keep our children’s program running safely and smoothly!
At the Arizona Ranch:
- Installation of new underground wiring for several buildings around the grounds
- Relocation of covered wagons to a shaded area to reduce sun damage and heat inside the wagons
- Leveling of roof and addition of walls to pavilion to create an additional indoor activity space for the children
- Remodeling of kitchen, including installation of new stainless steel countertops and refinishing of the floor
- Addition of a stage in the children’s chapel
At the Michigan Ranch:
- Installation of a new roof at our Hayloft Family Ministries Center, due to damage from the harsh winter of 2014
- Re-covering of chairs for use at special dinners for the children and in our Family Ministries Center
- Deep cleaning and treatment of children’s bunk beds
Several volunteers and volunteer groups are already scheduled to help with various projects this spring, as we prepare for our busy summer season. If you or your group would like to help, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Stephanie Ludwig, at 517-569-3328 or 520-466-3093!
Bedding for the Children
A warm, cozy bed with sheets, blankets, and a pillow is something many of us take for granted on a daily basis. But some of the children who come to Youth Haven don’t have clean sheets, blankets, pillows, or sleeping bags to bring with them when they come.
This spring and summer, we’re excited to be able to provide bedding for the children while they are with us. In addition to the food, lodging, activities, and other things your financial love gifts already provide, now your gifts will also help make it possible for each child to have freshly laundered sheets, blankets, and pillows to use.
This is a necessary step for the time being – one we’re happy to take. However, it will mean an additional expense for Youth Haven of approximately $3.00 per child. Please pray with us that God will meet this new financial need. If you are able to give a special one-time gift or increase your regular giving amount to help cover the cost of the bedding for the children, it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Dear Youth Haven,
Your camp has impacted my life immensely. I was in a very bad spot when I came to you guys, and you helped me see that God is still there to love me and help me through the hard times… You guys, this camp, has helped me move through those hard times blocking my way, with faith and love. Before you guys, I lost my way, but all of your lessons and meaningful team talks have been wonderful in helping me restore my relationship with God.
I am very proud to say I’m training to be an L.I.T. (Leader-in-Training). I love being able to take part in helping kids find God like you guys did for me. I love it when kids come to me and ask questions about things they don’t understand, or just to ask me to play a game. Youth Haven brings out the best in a lot of people, from kids to adults.
Thank you for investing in this child!
Matt* came to us at the impressionable age of 12. He had been living with his foster parents, whom he now considers “Mom” and “Dad,” since the age of nine; prior to that, he had been in the foster care system for two years.
Our Food Service Manager, Faith, remembers Matt as thin and frail-looking, quiet and sad. He stood out in her mind because of his many dietary restrictions, but it was his apparent sadness that touched her heart. “Here was this 12-year-old kid,” she says, “and he just seemed so sad all the time.”
Because you invested in this ministry, our staff were able to invest in Matt’s life. To love him and persistently show him the love of Christ. To share with him that his life has great value, and that God has an incredible plan for him. “In short,” Matt says, “the staff at Youth Haven were strong for me when I couldn’t be.”
Five years later, Matt’s desire is to return to Youth Haven to serve as a volunteer or staff member. He recently wrote to us, “Years ago I was a troubled young boy with a history of trauma and was very very lost. That was in about 2010. Now I have grown in nothing short of enormous ways, but was only able to do that with help from many many people along the way, including the staff at Youth Haven Ranch in Rives Junction, Michigan… I think it is high time I return the favor by helping the kids who are there today.”
Matt’s foster dad added his own note: “I’m so proud of the man Matt is becoming, and delighted that he’s interested in finding a way to serve.”
You can be proud of him, too. This is your ministry, and the Youth Haven children are your children. Thank you for your investment in their lives.
*Name changed for confidentiality.