and Kathy Lithgow
February 1, 2006
Alan Ranch students and staff have just returned from a weeklong
trip to help in the storm ravaged Gulf Coast. Alan Ranch was part
of a workforce organized to help a pastor and his family in DeRidder,
LA build a home to replace theirs destroyed by Hurricane Rita.
Pastor Kennis Smith and his church have been helping everyone
else since the two storms that hit the area. Church members were
in New Orleans the day after Hurricane Katrina hit cooking rice
and beans for people in desperate need. Then when Rita hit weeks
later they led the effort to distribute food and supplies from
church and government organizations to their own community. Since
Hurricane Rita Pastor Smith and his family have been living in
a FEMA provided travel trailer and Pastor Ron Lithgow from Arlington
Community Church in Arlington, VA organized this work trip to
help get their new house started.
Alan Ranch students packed into the ranch motor home last Sunday
and made the 1300 mile trip arriving in time for lunch on Monday
and to begin constructing the first wall. They carried lumber,
built and anchored walls, put up sheeting, built door headers
and partition breaks and many other tasks during the framing operation.
Students learned how to read a tape measure, use a chalk line
and square, use levels to plumb walls, and use power tools like
nail guns, drills, and circular and reciprocating saws. They were
well fed by the kitchen crew organized by Pastor Ron and slept
well, worn out each night on air mattresses in the church youth
room. The experience was very valuable for the kids and staff
alike learning the joy that comes from helping others.
Alan Ranch is a ministry (Arizona non-profit, 501.c.3 organization)
providing a loving structured environment for at risk teens to
improve their lives through faith in Jesus Christ, a family atmosphere
and work on ranch facilities, and with animals. The teens live,
work and go to school at the ranch.