AN EARLY YEAR-END LETTER!
Dear Shepherd’s Fold Family,
The negative agenda that our media continues to force on us keeps us on a steady diet of
“The economy is tanking, Hollywood values concerning drugs, sex and money are the standard; divorce, abortion and homosexuality are an acceptable part of the family culture; our government is corrupt; our churches are irrelevant and our educational system is humanistic and ineffective”
Our kids are faced with this cultural status quo every day! Lisa and I have two daughters, Maddy (18) and Clare (10) and we see the conflict pulling on them. We agree with Patty Gerstenberger, whose sons, Carlin (16) and Peter (12) have been coming to SFR for the last four summers:
“Our biggest prayer is for them to find their own trust and relationship with the Lord; for them to actively seek the Lord and feel their own need in their hearts for a savior. We believe that Shepherd’s Fold has facilitated that. Our kids have not only come home with a taste and a hunger for the Lord, but they’ve come back with their own faith. So as parents, our prayers have been answered!”
At SFR, we believe that the only safe place for our kids is in a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Not a relationship just built upon what mom and dad say, but a relationship built upon their own personal encounters with God – encounters that involve hearing Him, seeing Him and feeling Him. This is how God becomes REAL for all of us! Stan and Genyce Goodchild, whose three kids have been coming to SFR for a combined 20 some years expressed that their kids
“have a week to flesh out their faith, to own it, to engage in it. And we see it carried out through the year.”
And how wonderful for our kids to experience these encounters in the company of their friends so they can have a community of support around them each day! These communities of young believers are having an impact on the way our kids are thinking about going back to school. Daniel Miller, a sophomore at Jenks High School in Tulsa comments
“Going back to a big place like Jenks it’s easy to be thrown into so much darkness. This summer I feel like I’ve been developed as a leader and with me and my set of friends, we can really do God’s work and His will and bring the kingdom to our school.”
My mom and dad (Don and Shirley Staires) started doing summer camps at Shepherd’s Fold Ranch in 1972 because, even back then, they saw a need for challenging the status quo in our culture. All of us feel the pressure to be “conformed” to the status quo! At SFR, we believe the reason why people do the things they do is because they think the way they think. We believe that if you can “transform” thinking, you can “transform” culture!
Many of you, as parents, staff, or campers have said, “I would like to give back to the place that has given so much to me or to my kids.”
Now is the time!
Each year we need to raise $35,000 to support our annual budget. This year that amount has grown to $50,000 to offset some unrealized revenues and some ‘over-realized’ expenses. We’re also in a place where we are in need of these funds sooner rather than later to help keep our programs available through the fall and winter.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO THIS MISSION! We have been ‘providing a place in the country for kids to do business with God for 39 years and plan on being here for a long time to come!
We continue to do things to keep our ministry moving forward on solid ground. Our Board of Directors is growing in numbers and excitement over the future. We expanded our programs in 2010 to include our first ever ‘City Camp’ in a government subsidized housing edition in Tulsa. We are restructuring our staff and putting together marketing initiatives to attract new users. This last year we have added some long-awaited capital improvements to our facilities and grounds to meet the growing needs of our changing culture! The vision at SFR and the response from families have created a strong momentum over the past 12 months!
This letter is to let you know of our need in helping you meet your needs in raising your kids and providing safe ‘circles of influence’ for them as they develop.
This letter is going out to over 3,000 people who, just like you or someone you love, have developed a more intimate relationship with Christ because of the ministry at Shepherd’s Fold. We’re asking you to consider us in your year-end giving. As you know, the Spirit of God compels us to plant seeds into fertile soil. As you can see from the testimonies mentioned in this letter, SFR is fertile soil; and has been for a long time. We are making a difference in the lives of kids and their families.
Enclosed, we have provided an envelope. Please take a moment now to reflect on how the belief and commitment of those here at Shepherd’s Fold Ranch have impacted your life and how you would like to respond with a tax deductable contribution. For your convenience, you may also make your donation online by clicking on the DONATE link at our new website www.ShepherdsFoldRanch.com.
Thank you very much for your consideration and for your belief in our mission.
Shepherd’s Fold Ranch
P.S. Need one more example of how the SFR ministry is making a difference in families like yours? How about this one? “There’s an anointing for discipleship at Shepherd’s Fold Ranch. (SFR) instills a desire, not only to be discipled, but to also turn around and disciple others. This discipleship not only has a dramatic impact on our campers lives, but on their friends and their communities… it’s contagious and Shepherd’s Fold is a big catalyst for all this.”
Roger Gerstenberger (Camper parent and SFR Board Member)