Wednesday, December 17, 2014
January 1st I will hand over the organization that I founded. It was never mine to own anyhow, only steward. Seth Harkins is ready, I couldn't have asked for a better young man to continue the legacy. He's surrounded by some amazing people to help carry on the vision. And I am excited to accept a full time pastoral position with theCHURCH (a church that I helped plant in Pinetop, AZ). God is so faithful and I continue to be amazed that I get to be a part of His great work in this world and although the sun sets, with morning comes a new dawn...
Monday, April 7, 2014
Thursday, January 20, 2011
2010 came and went and we allowed our 10th year anniversary fade without much fan-fare. And I’m perfectly fine with that. Not that this ministry that God birthed doesn’t deserve to be celebrated. It does. But I want it to be celebrated mostly in the hearts and minds of those we have served. And in that, we don’t need a 10 year anniversary sticker or a plaque. We just need to reflect on memories. I’m a firm believer that if you need to tell someone how important you are, there is a problem. We try to let our importance in our community (and in the Lord) speak for itself. Because God began this work, He will complete it. He will sustain it. He will challenge it. He will grow it. He will shrink it. He will use it. This whole deal is His. Our total reliance is in Him. We are His tools. It’s all for His glory. We remain focused on Him. Whatever He chooses for us and for AYM, that’s what we will do.
Our country’s economic position has many people and organizations reeling financially. Lately we’ve felt the crunch. Over the last 2 months I’ve received more notifications for cutbacks than ever before. As I write this letter a photo of our first youth group hovers over my screen. I can’t help but think back to the day that Darcy and I moved our family into a dumpy reservation house with no windows, doors, or flooring. We had no furniture except a bunk bed and a dresser for her and I and our 2 boys. She was pregnant so I gave her the bottom bunk along with one of our boys. What kept us there? This group of young people. Being there for them, loving them, teaching them, crying with them, and inspiring them to be great in the Lord. Just from this photo, I can share one victory…Tonya. The girl with the smile (top, center). She’s married with a beautiful daughter. She and her husband live in Phoenix and are working with a little church and dreaming of ways to impact the community they live in through this church. Darcy and I are proud god-parents to their baby girl and they stop and visit us whenever they are in town. How did this happen? The equation is really pretty simple. God plus passionate, genuine, and servant hearts. Not Darcy’s and mine…yours. God uses the humble to serve and inspire…all for His glory.
That was the past. Looking to the future we know that Jesus will use us this year to “empower Apache youth to impact the world”. I could probably come up with a list of 50 great reasons you should be a proud supporter of AYM and our staff this year, but for simplicity, let me specifically name 5:
1. We have staff living in our ministry house ready to serve this community every day of the week, every week of the month, and every month of the year.
2. Every weekday after school we will have staff in our youth center waiting at the door ready to serve, love, and mentor over 60 teens that come to hang-out.
3. Every week we will lead a discipleship group. We will build meaningful relationships. We will teach the Word of God and allow it to transform lives.
4. We will employ our youth and other community members in our “real-world” screen print shop (Little Bluebird Studios), mentoring them on many levels including life and business skills.
5. We will host, train, and develop teams from all over the country, inspiring them to appreciate the Apache people and to do great things in the communities in which they live.
Many of you have served alongside us and partnered with God work through us for many years and have also fallen in love with the people that we serve. Thank you for sharing in this work and, along with that, you share in the victories that we’ve experienced.
All For Jesus,
Ron Everingham, Executive Director
Apache Youth Ministries
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
How could I even begin to thank everyone or even think of all that has gone on since 2000? Over these years we have had amazing staff and supporters...truly unique and awesome people! We have also been completely blessed with so many friends that have come alongside of us (from all over the country) and shown us the kind of love that only comes with being in the family of God. It seems we have experienced every extreme. We have rejoiced with many who have given their lives to Jesus, cried with those who have experienced death, witnessed miracles, and seen His many blessings. We have advanced in ministry with a clear vision, clarity, and the will to persevere on God's path, come what may.
I have so many fond memories, but more importantly I have grown to love and trust Jesus more and more....month by month....and year by year. He has entrusted us, empowered us, and strengthened us. All Glory to Him....it's all for Him....only He is worthy.
I anxiously await these next years...thank you for your partnership.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
All of this is to say thank you for your trust, sacrifices, and prayers for what God is doing through us. I pray that God would continue to put a dream (a vision for purpose) in the simple nobody’s….the most unassuming congregants of GCC… just as he did with a young punk, home-grown kid like me…
Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth would even care to know my name? It was somewhere around 1994 when we were invited by friends to attend an Easter cantata at GCC. Darcy and I were newly married (1991) and quickly had two beautiful boys. Both of us had grown up un-churched but we both were set on taking the boys to church because we thought it would be the right thing to do for them. We couldn’t have been more wrong…the Lord was revealing Himself to us too! His love, grace, redemption, and calling became so irresistible that we soon found ourselves going forward to be saved from our sins and be totally committed to His call on our lives. We learned so much in those early years…the young married class was amazing and we developed close supporting friends there. A youth mission’s trip to Arizona was when God really spoke to my heart about stepping out. I’ll never forget when it happened….a little native girl looking up at me with love as she clung to my leg up on the Navajo rez. God used that hug and the silence of a child to ask me, ”Ron, could you do something for me?”
Me? I love the story of Jesus and the disciples in Matthew 14:13 and on (and illustration points by Andy Stanley). I’m sure you’re familiar with it… the disciples went to Jesus with a big problem…too many people, too little food and they are all in a solitary place…in the middle of nowhere and everyone is hungry. The disciples go to Jesus with their plan…send everyone away so they can go into town and get something to eat. Jesus says to them the people don’t need to be sent away, they need to be fed. They give Him the excuse, thousands of people… only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Jesus gently says bring the food to Me and then gives it back to them to pass out. Everyone gets fed and there is extra.
Immediately after this story Jesus invites Peter to walk on water.
These stories could sum up my calling. I never thought I had much to offer God. I considered myself a simple man with little education and a desire to go wherever He would lead me. Like the disciples, I too would have doubted what God could do around or through me. And Jesus tells me the same thing He told them…you give Me all you have and trust Me to do what only I can do. Give Me your “fish”….step out of your comfort zone (your boat) and trust Me to do what only I can do.
I’m deeply humbled to have watched God work through me. I’ll never feel worthy but I’ll always be grateful and amazed at all that He has done through me as I have been available to serve and inspire hundreds of Native youth throughout the years. He has given me an amazing platform to bring a message of hope, love, purpose, and redemption to a broken and over-looked people group. And now, He is teaching me how lead a fast-growing organization that year-by-year is enlarging its impact on the Ft. Apache Indian Reservation.
There have been times that people have said to me “you can’t” or “you’ll never” because of my lack of whatever. But I’ll continue to declare that no matter who is with me, or around me, or supporting me…I’ll continue to believe that I can do all things through Him who strengthens and empowers me and stand back and watch in awe as He does what only He can do.
Your 10+ years of faithful support amazes me, thank you. May God bless you both as you serve Him at GCC and beyond.
Giving all I am and trusting Him to do what only He can do…
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I loved watching the smile on his face as I responded to the crisis of belief in his little mind. He didn't even need to respond, it was a big "amen!". I said, "Corban....if God isn't real then: who made the sun rise this morning, can any person do that? And who hung the stars in place, could any of us ball up stars in our hands and toss them up to the sky? And what about the air we are breathing, who gave us that? And where does love come from, can we make that? And why would we sing to Him every morning?". Bless her heart, my 8 year old daughter chimes in with the rhetorical question...."yeah, and who heals us?" His grin confirmed his error and was proof of his re-affirmed belief.
So, I guess God addresses the doubts in my little mind the same way this morning. He says, "Ron...am I really able to be the giver and sustainer of your whole life? And will you trust Me with every part of your life...even the parts you don't think you need My help with? And am I able to provide your every need even in a troubled economy? And am I able to heal the hopeless around you? And, by the way, where does hope come from anyhow, who created it? And am I able to humble kings and kingdoms for My sake? And who can over-throw the proud and raise up the humble? And who fills the hungry and ushers in justice? And who brings mercy to generation upon generation?And....and....and......" This morning I feel a little like Job and utter similar sentiments..."Lord, I know that you can do all things, and no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Who am I to worry...or doubt....or question? You are sovereign and you supply our every need. We have heard of You but, because of Your work in our lives, we can now see Your love and provision. I repent in dust and ashes."
After my declaration of truth in the car, we went on to the next song in our set and I have to tell you, our little 3-man air-band sang "sing, sing, sing" with more belief than ever.....
He's worthy of everything we have...it's all His.