Dear AYM Supporters,
This letter comes with a heartfelt sincere “thank you” to everyone who has served and/or given and prayed for Agape Youth Ministry (AYM) and its Agape Youth Ranch over the past 16 years, and to inform you that as of June 22, 2016, the Agape Youth Ranch has been acquired by another faith-based ministry, GAP Ministries, which is based in Tucson, Arizona. (See their website at www.gapmin.com. Also, you can see videos of the plans for the Ranch by GAP on their Facebook page, GAP Ministries.)
Gap Ministries’ purpose is well stated in their Mission Statement, which is: “Our Mission is simple: Stand in the Gap for those in need. People need hope, help and healing to navigate life. We believe that through the practical expression of God’s love we can impact their lives with destiny. Partnering with our community in unity bridges the gap to impact one life at a time. GAP Ministries, a social service nonprofit serving Southern Arizona since 1999, stands in the GAP for those in need in three core areas: Family, Community and Ministry.”
The President and Founder, Greg Ayers, along with his wife, Pam Ayers, also a Founder, describe their foster care program as follows:
GAP Ministries has grown to one of the largest providers of residential congregant care in our State. We serve 120-130 children every night in 14 residential homes in the Tucson area. Our reputation within the Foster Care Community has grown each and every year and we are now considered one of the finest agencies within the State. We work at many different levels with DCS by providing training, supervision and daily support to individual foster families throughout the community. We also provide court-ordered supervised visitation services to hundreds of families and their children each month within our facility and out in our community. Our approach is unique among Foster Care providers as we built this agency on the value of family and the restoration of family within our community. This has created recognition by DCS for our care and attention to children and the family unit. When looking at the care we provide, our family model is also unique among providers and has been recognized by the State of Arizona as a model that is effective, safe and appropriate for child development. What makes us as effective as a traditional foster family is the quality and quantity of support we give to our house parents. This support empowers them to be effective parents to all the children they care for.
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After much prayer and discussion, the Board of Directors of Agape Youth Ministry feels this acquisition by GAP Ministries has been designed by God to carry out His ultimate purposes for the Ranch. We are truly grateful for the many, many people who have served God through Agape Youth Ministry over the past 16 years by placing their hearts, hands, resources, and prayers into this Ministry and the Ranch as it was being constructed and serving youths through summer camps and outreaches. During these past 16 years, we have been privileged to see not only youths, but also adults benefit from being at the Ranch. And, all the work that was poured into establishing the Ranch Academy Programs was proven to be an outstanding, effective method of reaching “at risk” teen boys in helping them to make positive changes in their lives as they learned good character building habits, Christ-centered values and good decision- making for positive life choices.
However, God began closing doors on the Academy about a year ago as obtaining quality staffing became more difficult and donations began dwindling. Then, when a “chance meeting” with a member of GAP brought about discussions of a potential merger, and subsequently of their total acquisition of the Agape Youth Ranch for the purpose of serving children and youths in their foster care program, it seemed the most beneficial transition to carry forth the purposes of the Agape Youth Ranch. GAP intends to implement much of the AYR Academy program as part of the ranch experience the children will enjoy, such as having an equine program, teaching dog training skills, and working with small farm animals as part of teaching the children responsibility and care. GAP is even looking at implementing the school program for the children living at Agape Youth Ranch. So, we are excited that much of the initial vision for the Agape Youth Ranch to help hurting kids will come to fruition through the continuing efforts by GAP Ministries. And, … GAP intends to keep the name of the ranch “Agape Youth Ranch”! Thank you, Greg and Pam Ayers and GAP Ministries.
What a privilege it has been to all of us at Agape Youth Ministry to have had the opportunity to work where God was working to build the Agape Youth Ranch and to begin the initial program to serve the at-risk teen boys we sought to help. We are truly grateful that God will continue using what His faithful people built by helping not only “at-risk teens,” but children of all ages for the years to come through the faithful service of GAP Ministries.
We also ask that you consider continuing your donations to GAP Ministries to help them to be able to continue providing the ranch experience to hurting children, as well as providing a good home for the horses, dogs and small farm animals, which will be loved and well-cared for by the staff and children of GAP Ministries.
It has been our blessing to work with you through Agape Youth Ministry as we strived to be obedient to the God-given vision of building a Ranch for His kids!
May God’s favor and blessings be yours,
AGAPE YOUTH MINISTRY
Gordon F. Lange
AYM Founder / CEO
Make an impact, one life at time, on foster children, teens, young adults, on families, or through outreach to an entire community.