Arizona Ranch For At-Risk
Has Reached Full Operating Capacity
and Kathy Lithgow
June 3, 2006
Alan Ranch announced this week that they have reached their
full operating capacity of eight boys. God has blessed the ministry
from His initial call in Jan '05, through the non-profit corporation
filing in May '05, first students in Sept '05 to this week's
announcement. God brought new students in gradually and at just
the right pace. Two boys will complete the one-year program soon
so openings will be available in the Fall. Alan Ranch is a private
boys' ranch ministry (Arizona non-profit, 501.c.3 organization)
providing a loving structured environment for at-risk teen boys,
ages 12-16, 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.
Alan Ranch, which has been open since Sept 2005, uses a basic
one-year program with four breaks. Students go home for 10 days
at Easter, for one month in the Summer, for 10 days at Thanksgiving
and 10 days at Christmas. Home visits with parents or grandparents
are available on the third Sunday of each month. The Alan Ranch
program emphasizes studying the Bible (both in group settings
and individually), hard work (on ranch facilities, in the community
and on school work), and fun activities to build community and
fond memories. Students work at their own pace and skill level
attending school on-line through Alpha Omega Academy, a fully
accredited Christian home schooling program. GED training is
also conducted in place of traditional school work if appropriate.
Ranch staff and volunteers help students with their studies.
Alan Ranch students also learn many practical lessons in building
construction, mechanics, horse care and ranch management.
Many activities are available at the ranch. Students care for
and learn to ride horses. Much time is spent helping others out
with service projects in the community and volunteering at a
local food bank. Music training is provided for students with
interest and plans are in place to develop a ranch band. In addition,
students get away from the ranch weekly for fun outings like
waterskiing at the lake, fishing and camping in the mountains,
bowling, hiking or canoeing.
Alan Ranch currently operates on 10 acres in Queen Creek, Arizona
just outside of Phoenix. The boys care for 13 horses, a steer,
a goat, dogs, ducks and chickens, which provide opportunities
for learning important life lessons. Students are isolated from
the outside world without TV, radio and internet to focus on
learning the Bible and how to love and serve others. God is moving
daily in boys lives changing them forever and molding them into
the young men He created them to be: Young men who love God and
others above all, respecting each other, and using their gifts
to work hard and impact their world.
Parents bring the boys to the ranch and assign the ranch directors,
Paul and Kathy Lithgow temporary guardianship of their child
for one year. The ranch is designed to provide a loving family
environment and eating dinner together around the big table is
one of the highlights of the day. Paul and Kathy Lithgow have
been married for 19 years and are the parents of 2 boys ages
15 (Matthew) and 17 (Daniel). The vision for Alan's Ranch dates
back to 1997 when their oldest son, Alan died in a car accident
at age 17. Three years before his death he was involved in a
tragic accident where he was responsible for his best friend's
death and he struggled a great deal with all the issues surrounding
that. A ministry like Alan's ranch would have been very helpful
to their family during that time.
Alan Ranch serves boys for whatever monthly contribution parents
can afford, agreed to at the time of admission. Alan Ranch relies
on God and His Divine Provision through its nationwide prayer
team, outside financial supporters and volunteers to survive.
Anyone desiring to help impact teen boys' lives is encouraged
to contact the Ranch by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Paul and
Kathy are currently exploring the possibility of publishing the
stories they've experienced since Alan's accident and through
the start-up of Alan Ranch. They have had the privilege of witnessing
God demonstrating His awesome Power time after time. It is their
desire that others may be encouraged through the telling of the
stories and that the ministry might benefit from any proceeds
God would bring through such a book.