Thursday, January 20, 2011

Looking ahead to 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