During the past 14 months Debbi and I have lost two nephews, an aunt, an uncle and just a few weeks ago, my father. It has been hard to lose family members…especially Dad. Dad was my cheerleader, my mentor, and my godly example. He was a faithful prayer warrior and faithful supporter of this ministry for the past 35 years.
Since Debbi and I began Teen Quest back in 1976, Dad has always been an encouragement to us. In 2001 when we were taking a big step of faith purchasing the Teen Quest Ranch in Somerset County, he would talk to me every day and ask, “Well … did you get the keys to the property yet?” He was constantly encouraging me to think beyond myself and rely totally on God, especially during these tough economical times.
As a child I can remember being taught how to work hard on any project or task. Dad taught me how to step out on faith, dream big and turn those dreams into reality. Building the Teen Quest Ranch from scratch has been the biggest step of faith of my life. With Dad’s encouragement and his faithful prayers we have been able to continue our strong outreach through this ministry for the last 35 years.
During the last twenty years I watched Dad continue exemplifying his love and devotion to our Lord. I knew not to call him certain times at night because he was in his bedroom spending time with God. His time with our Lord was more important than talking to me or doing anyone else in this world. I know he prayed for every family member every day and oh, how I am already missing his prayers.
Dad also taught us how to be concerned for others and how to give to their needs. I can remember as a child visiting our neighbors at Christmas, a poor elderly couple we called Uncle Elmer and Aunt Violet. They lived in a little shack down the road from our house and they were so poor they could not afford electricity. We brought them Christmas gifts and spent lots of time singing Christmas carols and reading from the Bible. The love Dad had for people made a positive impression on me that I will never forget for the rest of my life.
I have been very fortunate to grow up in a strong godly family. Many young people today are not so fortunate and do not have the strong Christian foundation that I have experienced.
We know we are in a spiritual battle for the hearts and minds of teenagers. The pull of the world is so strong that a large percentage of Christian students are falling by the wayside. This is why we run weekend camps and events for students from all over the region during all four seasons of the year. We must win this battle through the power of God and His Word.
During Power Charge, our second November weekend camp, we witnessed a large number of students surrendering their lives to Christ in prayer sitting throughout the Ranch auditorium. All of our camp speakers have been preaching powerful spiritual messages that God is using to transform lives.
Dad understood that this is the crux of our ministry of Teen Quest. He really believed in our ministry to teens and he had a real passion in the building of the Teen Quest Ranch and prayed faithfully for our success. We need prayer warriors like Dad, weekend volunteers, counselors, chaperones, handymen and financial supporters.
Would you consider partnering with us on a monthly basis in 2010 by joining our Teen Quest Priority Club? Priority Club members give $30 or more each month for the next 12 months to help us reach teenagers who have never experienced God’s love and forgiveness.
In addition to the Priority Club we have begun the Ralph C Witt Jr. Memorial Fund. The Ralph C Witt Jr. Memorial Fund is a way you can give a one time year-end gift in my Dad’s honor.
We are in the midst of our annual phone-a-thon asking folks to join the Priority Club or give a one-time gift to my dad’s, Ralph C Witt Jr. Memorial Fund on the phone.
I would like to challenge you to join the Priority Club or give a one-time gift in memory of my dad by filling out the coupon below and mailing it in the envelope provided. (. . . saving us a phone call.) Your partnership will be an investment in the future and will make the difference in the lives of teenagers that will count for eternity.
Merry Christmas !
Rev. Mark S. Witt | Teen Quest Executive Director