"Homelessness on the Rise Among Loveland Area Students". One of our board members, Kari Southard, lives in the Loveland area of Colorado and sent us this article. It was written by Madeline Nobey and appeared in The Loveland Reporter Herald on March 1, 2010. This article stated that over the past 3 years the Thompson area school district has seen an increase in homeless students. Here are the statistics. In school year 2009- 2010 there were 216 homeless students. In 2010-2016 there were 246 homeless students and for this school year 2011-2012 there were 349 homeless students. This article went on to say that students ages 16-17 are falling through the cracks when it comes to receiving help through local or state agencies. The focus, of Child Protective Services, is on the needs of babies and young children and so the older teens are left to fend for themselves. I was left pondering these sobering statistics and wondered how in the world does a 16 or 17 year old fend for themselves? I did not like the thoughts that entered my mind as I thought of the life they must be living in order to survive. These statistics confirmed that God absolutely knows what He is doing when He called us to begin a ministry for young adults in Colorado. There are young adults that need a home in Colorado and the main mission of Soaring Wings Ministries is to provide needy young adults with a home. This article encouraged Ed and I to keep moving forward in our plans for Soaring Wings Ministries. The Loveland area is currently working to lower the number of 349 homeless students to 200 homeless students in 2013. There is a Joint Task Poverty/Homelessness Committee in Loveland, Colorado trying to address homelessness in the Thompson School District. We truly look forward to the day when Soaring Wings Ministries will be actively serving in the Loveland area. Hopefully, with everyone working together, the number of homeless students in the Thompson School District could be reduced all the way down to zero! I do know that we serve an amazing and powerful God and He can do amazing and powerful things when we give our lives completely over to Him. To God be the glory! Amen!
His joyful servant,
The vision that Ed and I have for Soaring Wings Ministries was first and foremost given to us by God and it is also based on our many years of working with needy children and families. Ed and I have both been working with children and families in many different capacities since 1974. We know that people need to be respected, valued and loved. They need privacy and at the same time they need to have healthy relationships with other people. Ed's favorite phrase in working with children and families is "It isn't rocket science". What he means by that is....most people in order to heal, thrive and "soar" need basic love and care. They need to know that they are loved and cherished by another human being and also by God. They need to know that someone else values them and cherishes them.
So the question is how do you convey this love to people in a practical way? Ed and I have been thinking about this for many years and we have a good idea of what Soaring Wings Ministries will look like. We have a vision in our heads and hearts and I am going to do my best to paint a picture for you so that you too will have a good idea of what Soaring Wings Ministries will look like. Let me start by saying that we are actually going to move to Colorado and live out there when Ed retires. We are going to sell our house, pack up our things and make the move out West. We will make Colorado our new home. We expect that we will be located in the area of Colorado just outside of Fort Collins or Loveland. We hope to find some land for sale with about 40 acres. On this land we hope to build a small home for ourselves along with other buildings. These other buildings will consist of small cabins or cottages for the people to live in that we will be serving. These cottages would be able to accommodate one person or possibly a family depending on the need. Each cottage for a single person would basically be an open concept room with a bed and small living area and then a separate room for a bathroom. If it is a cottage for a family it would have possibly two bedrooms, small living area and bathroom. There will be no kitchens in these cottages. The idea behind the cottages is to give the people a place that they can call home and a place where they can retreat to when the world gets too big. Our main building on the property at Soaring Wings Ministries will be our largest one as this will be "the heart" of our ministry. In this building there will be a large kitchen, large dining area and large living area. This will be where the people will cook their meals, do laundry, use computers, watch t.v.,and socialize with one another. It will be a place where those all important healthy relationships with other people can develop and grow. We also hope to have a "barn" building. This barn would be available for community organizations to use for meetings. We also hope and expect that churches will send out youth groups to help us at Soaring Wings Ministries because Ed and I cannot possibly do this by ourselves. The barn would be a place where youth groups can stay when they are there helping out. The barn could also be used for any type of classes such as art, music or education. We also plan to have a vegetable, flower garden and animals on this property as we know how healing plants and animals can be.
When Ed and I were first brainstorming as to what Soaring Wings Ministries would look like we wrote down words in a notebook that we would use to describe this home. We said peace, hope, rest, fun, safe, pretty family, trusting, wholesome, healthy, forgiving, sharing, tender, gentle, loving and calm. Our hope is that these words would create an environment where young adults, either single or with families, could learn to grow and become strong physically, emotionally and spiritually. We want them to feel loved and valued so that they in turn can recognize their special talents and gifts that God has given them and use them to help others.
In the near future we hope to have a drawing available of what these buildings will look like at Soaring Wings Ministries. As soon as they are available we will share them with you; after all, a picture is worth a thousand words. I hope this blog entry gives you a better idea of our vision for Soaring Wings Ministries and what we will be doing in Colorado. It will be an actually place with real people living there. It will be our home and their home. We hope that you come to visit!!!! We'd love to see you in Colorado!!!!!!
His joyful servant,
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries