Last month I discussed our need to step into the next phase of growth as a ministry and our excitement to do so. I’m happy to say that since then the first two steps forward are completed!
Step one: dealing with debt. We’re thrilled to announce the Ranch is now 100% debt-free! Ten years ago CEM purchased the house and property of our closest neighbor on a 15-year loan. This purchase has provided crucial staff housing, enabling another family to live on property and provide community, safety, and support for our students. Housing is often essential for staff to afford to serve here, so this investment will be a key longterm benefit to CEM. Thanks to the last two record-breaking Agony rides covering much more of the burden of student sponsorships than usual, we were able to use general fund money to pay off the house five years early! This is a tremendous victory and a crucial first step in our plans. Please join us in thanking God! Now we can use those resources to tackle other hurdles we face.
Step two: streamlining operations. We’re making a number of adjustments for efficiency and effectiveness; one has to do with these newsletters. We love keeping in touch with you, and we want to do what we can to best connect with people. Most organizations and companies have progressively decreased printed publications in favor of increasing electronic communications. Of course, many factors have played into this change in the culture of communication, such as costs, readership convenience for some people, a broadening range of available media, and more. After carefully examining the needs of the ministry, we’ve determined it will most benefit us to reduce the frequency of newsletters from 12 to 7 each year, dropping the one-page versions like this one. This frees up a considerable amount of time as well as printing and postage costs. Newsletters will still have the same feel and content: student stories, intern profiles, event recaps, and other Ranch life news will continue to be included.
This dovetails perfectly with our next step forward, which is bolstering student and intern recruitment—most of which happens online now. Over recent years DIRECTOR’S VIEW Steps One and Two Complete numbers have fluctuated more than we want: sometimes we’re turning people away, but other times we have room for more. Now we can pivot and devote these extra resources toward increasing our online presence, which we anticipate will significantly help more young people find their way to us.
These are important changes: the heartbreaking reality is young people are dying—physically and spiritually—because they haven’t discovered there’s a place like CEM where they will find refuge and hope. At the end of the day, we can make all the great plans we want, but they only matter if they make a difference for these young people. Please pray with us that the Lord will continue to guide and bless our efforts! Nate Boyd, Executive Director
CEM Executive Director