Our fundraising campaign, Enlarge Our Tent 2018, is an answer to the challenge laid down in scripture, “enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; Lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” (Is. 54:2) We believe the time is now to reach more kids and strengthen our current program. Come learn about our vision for the future, then join with us as we continue to transform lives, restore families and change communities.
Way Places 360 November 2018
Enlarge Our Tent
Emiliano graduated some weeks ago with a BA in nursing as a registered nurse. His parents are subsistence farmers living in a rural, indigenous community. But Emiliano wanted a different life. He left home to go to the city of Monterrey to find a way to attend high school.
Emiliano was a classmate of Rancho Del Rey kids in high school. After graduation, he entered into a B.A. program in nursing and began working at Rancho Del Rey as a personal care assistant to Hank Moller, co-founder. While attending classes full-time, he eventually joined the kitchen staff, getting up at 5 A.M. to prepare breakfast for our hungry boys, shop, and make the main mid-day meal. Today, Emiliano still serves as cook and campus nurse in addition to working in a local physician’s office.
I sat next to Emiliano’s parents at his graduation ceremony. Only sixteen of the original forty-four in his class completed the degree. They were so proud! I handed his mom the program with words to the anthem for nurses. She quietly said, “I can’t read.”
Our boys arrive at Rancho Del Rey between the ages of six and twelve, usually without knowing how to write their names, read, or do arithmetic. Many of their moms can’t either. They often have special learning needs due to trauma and physical disability. Jannet, our new learning specialist, provides the intense intervention most of the boys need.
At Rancho Del Rey, our boys find release from the vicious cycles they were born into. Here they grow intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Their lives are enriched by biblical education, sports, technology training, music, art, drama, and counseling. They are taught, nurtured, and loved in a wholesome family environment.
The property on which our campus is located is expansive and provides ample space for the boys to play, climb trees and run. It has served more than 2000 boys in its 62-year history. The buildings which were new in the 1960’s and 70’s are showing their age. One large structure, which houses the youngest boys, a recreation room-technology lab, and a former airplane hanger (now shop and storage), is covered by a deteriorated and leaking asbestos roof.
We have been prayerfully considering our present needs and vision. We have outgrown our residence capabilities and want to respond to the urgent demand to take more boys into the fold. We need another passenger van to safely transport the boys we have plus new boys we hope to welcome soon. We need classrooms for our supplemental education program. We envision serving nearby children, children from other homes and serving as a site for college interns. We now see these needs as opportunities, to enlarge the place of our tent and stretch our tent curtains wide. New inspiration and vision have come from different sources. We are inspired by this text:
Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; Lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. Isaiah 54:2
In the summer, we received accreditation from ECFA, the Evangelical Association of Financial Accountability. Shortly afterward a generous donor offered a challenge grant of $17,500 to repair the roof. Then the idea came to us that while the roof was off, we should add a second floor over the current recreation room to add classrooms. After that, Back2Back Ministries offered to help us construct new guest housing so that we could convert the current building into space for new boys. In the process of imagining expansion, our old faithful 15-passenger 2000 Dodge Ram has needed repeated repairs, and it has only seven correctly functioning seat belts. Recently that original challenge grant was matched, raising the total given to $35,000. Since then another $30,000 has been offered in challenge grants. This means that the next $30,000 donated will be matched dollar for dollar, equaling $60,000 total.
After seeking God’s wisdom and godly counsel, we have developed a plan that will take us in a solid, strong direction for the future. We invite you to prayerfully consider being part of this plan for the future of Rancho Del Rey and the boys God has entrusted to us.
Our goal for this yearend effort is $120,000. $35,000 has already been given. Here is our plan:
- Replace and raise the roof.
- Taking advantage of the roof removal, construct a needed second story above the recreation room.
- Build two flexible classrooms in the new second story to serve Rancho Del Rey boys and expand outreach.
- Renovate our existing guest house as a home for additional boys.
- Replace our ailing 2000 Dodge Ram van with a safer vehicle to transport boys to school.
You can help “enlarge the place of our tent and stretch our tent curtains wider,” expanding outreach, and to “lengthen our cords and strengthen our stakes,” adding breadth and depth to Rancho Del Rey’s education program. Today the call is ringing in our hearts, “Do not hold back!” Indeed, the great need of these children is your opportunity to invest in lives that can transform a nation.
Please contact us with your questions and ideas.
Serving the KING’s children together with you,
Susan Mino, Rancho Del Rey board member and director of development