He came to us a confused, hurting child.
Michael* lives with his mother in a home where he is surrounded by immoral behavior. His parents divorced some time ago, and there is no man present in the home to provide the guidance a young boy needs.
Going to his father’s house on occasional weekends doesn’t help. In fact, it makes matters worse for him. You see, his dad is so mean that Michael hates going to visit him. And he is certainly not a good role model for his son. The last time Michael was there, the police had to be called because his dad got into a bad fight, and Michael was taken back to his mom. He confided to our staff that he hopes he never has to go back to his dad’s house again.
It’s no wonder Michael struggles with low self-esteem. The first time he came to Youth Haven as a Rancher, he had a hard time following the rules and treating the other Ranchers with kindness.
Like all of our Children’s Programming staff, Michael’s team leader understood that his “acting out” was a result of deep-rooted pain, a need for attention, and a lack of positive examples in his life.
It takes a special kind of person to show these children the love of Christ. To be patient, kind, and gentle. To provide that positive example that has been lacking in their lives. And to lovingly but firmly teach them that certain behaviors are not acceptable. This is what our team leaders do so well.
Michael accepted Jesus as his Savior while he was at Youth Haven. He received his very own Bible, the Youth Haven “Trailbook,” to take home with him. He will continue to receive letters in the mail, encouraging him to read his Trailbook and do what it says. And he has been back to the Ranch and will continue to be invited, allowing our staff to provide a stable positive influence in his life.
One of the verses Michael learned at Youth Haven is John 12:46: “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” What a privilege it is to share this hope with children!
Michael and many others like him have a new hope for the future because you cared enough to make a difference in their lives. We know these children would not be able to come to Youth Haven if they had to pay for their stay here. That’s why we are committed to offering our programs to them free of charge. We also receive no state or federal support. Your financial love gifts, prayers, and volunteer hours have made these life-changing experiences possible.
On behalf of Michael and the many children whose lives have been changed at Youth Haven, thank you for your support, and for allowing God to use you to show children the light of Christ.
*Name changed for confidentiality