In April 1992, the old abandoned piece of land, which once flourished as a pinto bean field, stretched out before us, empty and brown except for the tiny green six inch cedars sparsely spread across the 40 acres. To the unknowing eye, its only redeeming quality seemed to be the purple mountain majesty view to the west. But God had a plan to redeem that which had been forsaken and to use it for His glory.
Now some twenty years later, I look out a window to the north and see six horses basking in the sunlight as yet another spring dawns on the ever changing landscape of that piece of property which became Eagles’ Wings Youth Ranch. Nearby stands a large barn and a shop building. Just beyond the north fence line, 9 cows and one bull search for the first sprigs of green grass on the additional 310 acres leased by the ranch. A top of the line ropes course rises above the roof of the two story 4,000 square foot ranch house and the uppermost limbs of a variety of tall evergreen and deciduous trees which have reached maturity. To the south of the ranch house, I see the outdoor recreation pavilion (which also houses a game room), the bunkhouse, three other staff homes, and two storage sheds. Seven huge buildings and three small ones in twenty years! God is faithful!
Missing from this scene is the love of my life, Albert Lawrence Hagan, the one to whom God so graciously gave the vision. Missing also are the voices of the 800 plus campers and their families whose lives God ordained to intersect with the ranch through the years. Present, for now, is only one camper. In this the twentieth year, this one returned on February 19th. Obviously not for summer camp, nor for another event sponsored by the ranch, but for refuge from the storms of his young life. He is thriving and growing by the power of the Holy Spirit on this place. God is faithful!
In those twenty years, all of the dreams for Eagles’ Wings Youth Ranch placed on Albert’s heart ranging from something as small as a putt/putt golf course to the beginnings of a strong follow-up ministry have been realized. As he committed himself to waiting on the Lord rather than going into debt, not once were we wanting for anything financially. God is faithful!
Now we sense God directing us to trust His faithfulness even more as He leads us into the next twenty years. As we reach this one for Jesus Christ, we need mentors to join us in reaching the other “ones”. God has begun a good work in the lives of so many. He is the One Who is faithful to complete it! Is He calling you to join Him as he did us twenty years ago?
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” Psalm 115:1 (NIV)