Friday, November 30, 2007

Youth Horizons, God Still Touches Fatherless Children

Things have been hectic over the last few weeks. I guess it is time to confess. I have been doing 2 jobs, plus trying to be a father over the last weeks. As many know The Virtual Pew was having some financial difficulties. As a result I picked up what was intended to originally be a part time job to help meet my families’ financial needs. It has turned into a full-time position, but one that will allow me to continue The Virtual Pew on a full-time basis. I will be speaking a little less in the near future, but will be doing virtually everything else I have been doing with The Virtual Pew. I will continue speaking but on a limited basis. This will eventually get back to my regular routine. This is not such bad news though; I will be able to concentrate more on my writing, and in getting The Keystone Kid published. It will also allow me to speak more locally.

I am blessed to have picked up a position with a wonderful ministry, one I am learning more and more about, and one I believe in. The name of the ministry is Youth Horizons. You can find out more about Youth Horizons by visiting their web page, This ministries mission statement is: “To empower children and their families to become healthy and productive members of our community and to create a nationwide awareness of the needs of at-risk youth.”

For those who know my story, you know of my own reality of growing up in a fatherless home. Youth Horizons recognizes the value of touching children who come from fatherless homes. It is for this reason that you can imagine why I am so excited about this ministry. I will attach the video The Story of Anthony on the primary web site where this is listed. If receiving the email, go to the link provided to see my own story of growing up without a father. To say the least, I know of the value of this ministry, because I still struggle with never knowing a father. God bless Youth Horizons for standing strong to this concept. Not just helping those without a father, but showing them the ultimate Father.

Youth Horizons as a part of their mission provides various program and ministry services in the Wichita area. Those include:

Mentors and Protégés: Here, Youth Horizons matches boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 14 with a Christian mentor who commits to spending one-on-one time with them.

The Kinloch Price Boys Ranch: This group home is for boys between the ages of 10 and 18 who are in need of out-of-home placement.

Speaking Engagements: Youth Horizons strives to educate the public about the needs of at-risk children in our community and the nation. Presentations to church groups, civic organizations, and schools help to accomplish this task.

For those wanting to know more about this wonderful ministry I again encourage you to visit There is much I am learning during the orientation process, not the least of which is observing, and working closely with wonderful Christian individuals. One of those has already begun to teach me so much, just from observation and listening. For those who know me, I am intentionally keeping my mouth shut, listening, observing, and marveling at the things I am learning.

Ernest Alexander is one of America’s finest vocalists. Ernest is a man after my own heart as he has been a part of this ministry for so many years. Ernest takes the income from his concerts and other ventures and gives it back to Youth Horizons from which he draws a salary. For those familiar with The Virtual Pew, you know this is a concept I have desired for The Virtual Pew. Not to be a burden, get rich, or anything of that nature, but to provide an effective ministry to The Lost, The Last, and The Least. Ernest has established an incredibly effective ministry, and followed this model. I know that not only can I learn ministry application from this man, but I can, and have already started to learn from one who has shown a heart of serving God by loving others.

As a part of my efforts, I will be taking the salary from Youth Horizons, as well as the donations that continue to be needed, for The Virtual Pew. Of this, I will take my salary of $375 per week. Every penny above and beyond that will be used for direct services for The Virtual Pew. I encourage you to check out last month’s newsletter, attached with a link later on to see an example of what we have, and will continue to do. Through this, it is possible that if donations continue to come in, eventually The Virtual Pew will be able to bring on additional staff, and in the process, provide more effective ministry that will allow us to grow. The reality is, the need, the broken hearts, The Lost, The Last, and The Least needs have not diminished, they will continue, and the need to love and serve continues.

As a result of my association with Youth Horizons, the work of The Virtual Pew has taken a back seat until after the training process is concluded. It doesn’t mean it has ceased, it hasn’t, it is just not possible to give my family, the Virtual, or Youth Horizons its time as there are only so many hours in the day. Since Youth Horizons is paying the bulk of my salary, I am committed to this new ministry and realize the positive impact it can have. Until the training process is completed, I am only spending 2-4 hours a day with The Virtual Pew. Once the training process is complete, I will be able to go back to my regular schedule. I anticipate this happening prior to the end of December.

One of my concerns is that during this Christmas season, a time of year we receive a good deal of contributions, many would slack in their giving. Those who have given in the past are needed as much as ever. Many have already given this season, for those, I am grateful, for others, I thank you in advance for your wonderful contributions which you will be making. Rest assured, The Virtual Pew continues to develop, and God continues to have his hand on it.

For the remainder of December, I am going to ask you to do something different; I am asking you to consider also making a gift to Youth Horizons. This wonderful faith based ministry is not only supplementing my income, it is teaching me much more than most realize. I value that, and know they would appreciate a contribution to their ministry. For those living in the Wichita Kansas area, you can attend the annual Christmas Concert this weekend featuring Ernest Alexander and Friends at Central Community Church 6100 W Maple. Tickets to the concert are $10 and then individuals will be given the opportunity to contribute additionally to Youth Horizons. You can not only give financially, you can contact Donovan Karber about becoming a youth mentor. There are approximately 160 youth placed with Christian adults in the Wichita area. There are another 60 or so awaiting volunteers who will become a part of their lives. This program is one I was, and am quite impressed with. It would be wonderful if those in the Wichita area would volunteer their services as a result of being moved by The Virtual Pew. I am reminded of Jesus on words, what you have done for the least of these, it is as if you have done it for him. I am also reminded of Jesus own efforts to allow the children to come to him, you can be a part of that effort in a real, and practical way.

I could go on about Youth Horizons, but I wanted to keep it brief. I am open to speaking to any of you about the specifics regarding what all is going on with The Virtual Pew and how I see God developing me, and the ministry of The Virtual Pew. The work will continue, but with much more solvency. Thanks for your prayers, your support and all you have done. Now again, if in the Wichita area, attend the Christmas Concert this Sunday, consider making your regular contribution to The Virtual Pew, but this month I also ask you, consider making a special contribution to Youth Horizons.

Contact information for Youth Horizons follows:

1601 E. Douglas
Wichita, KS 67211
Phone: (316) 262-8293
Fax: (316) 262-8829

Oh yea, how good has the orientation been? In a word GREAT! I have been spending time talking about faith, the walk with Christ, loving others, and praying about everyday. I even have developed a friendship who loved God so much that after he got saved, he couldn’t wait to preach his first sermon. While he couldn’t find anyone to preach to, he did find a dog in the neighborhood, so, he preached away. Word is still out on if the dog made a decision or not. I think Paul was about ready to baptize him though.

God bless, and just for those in the need to know, I am pasting here the link to the last newsletter, check it out, and thanks again for being such good friends.

The Virtual Pew News 15, The Golden Compass and Thanksgiving.

Click on the following video to see one story of a Fatherless Child. If the video don't appear, just click on the link below:

Click Here to Go to The Virtual Pew Daily Verse and Read The Bible in a Year Passages

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