Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

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Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by Gabriel » Tue Nov 17, 2020 3:53 pm

I'm always not sure where to put my Ranch news - the "working on" thread? The "useless facts" thread? Prayer request forums? So here will be the repository for all ministry related stuff. Read or ignore as you see fit.

First item: Raising Support!

After much prayer, discussion, and with enthusiastic support from our own home church Mrs. Gabriel and I are raising financial support in order continue our ministry. Since many of you have supported my family in so many different ways over the years, I will go ahead and post a quick summary of the situation here, if any of you would like to receive an actual support letter from us, please PM me with your address and I will get one out to you in the next couple weeks.

For those that don't know, Salem4Youth Ranch is a private, Christian residential facility for young men that are struggling with their lives. Our students are placed by their families, there is no state or school involvement with that process. The boys live on campus and experience school, vocational training, counseling, and mentoring provided by loving Christian staff. Their parents also have counseling, training, and mentoring as well. In front and behind all of these tools is the idea that our main mission is to truly introduce this young man and his family to the life changing power of the Gospel. We seek to do that with words, actions, and a consistent lifestyle. A lot could be said about Salem, I find it to be unique in it's field and it's the main reason we haven't strongly considered leaving IL. For more information on Salem itself, our website is:
www.salem4youth.com
and the facebook page is:
www.facebook.com/Salem4Youth

My roles at Salem have been many - most of them have fallen under the title of "Residential Program Director.' As that director I oversaw a great many areas of the Ranch, from dealing with students in crisis to writing personnel policies to creating and implementing a staff training program to parent counseling. It's been hard, but exciting to see so many of the goals we had for this ministry come to reality over the time I held that position. These days I maintain a few of those responsibilities - I still oversee all staff training, I write for the Ranch, and help out with various administrative tasks as needed. Most of time is now dedicated to getting the woodworking vocational program off the ground and up to high level of excellence and effectiveness.

It's a great challenge and has been a fun change of roles for me. I now spend a lot more time in a mentoring/teaching role and less time as an administrative disciplinarian. We structure our vocational times to meet the primary goal of building mentoring relationships while at the same time teaching skills and providing new experiences. It's a very effective ministry and one that is full of nearly unlimited potential.

As I said at the beginning though, we are needing to raise support to supplement our salary. Salem Ranch firmly believes we should accept students from any income bracket, this means that we don't always have the budget we wish we had. Many staff believe strongly enough in the importance of this work to supplement the payroll budget by raising their own support. This is the category we fall into. This is turning into a really long "summary." The short version is that my family and I are passionate about this ministry and the multi-generational possibilities it holds (I often tell my staff that we're not just ministering to a particular young man, we're trying to also reach his children and possible grandchildren with the gospel). We need others to join us and be passionate about the opportunities here as well.

I always love talking about the Ranch, so if you want more information please PM me. If you're in the area I'd love to show you around, and please, PLEASE pray that we can raise the support we need. Again, if you're interested in seeing our formal letter, just PM your address and I'll get you one soon!

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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by JimVH » Tue Nov 17, 2020 4:47 pm

I've followed the ranch for a while on FB. There's a lot of great work going on there.
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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by mont974x4 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:12 pm

I always enjoy reading these posts.


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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by Gabriel » Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:27 pm

mont974x4 wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:12 pm
I always enjoy reading these posts.


Hello FredS
Glad to hear it! I plan to start posting more regularly about my work, mostly because I’m excited about it, but it also seems right up the alley of most here and could be interesting.
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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by Jocose » Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:45 pm

Good stuff!
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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by Gabriel » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:05 pm

First round of letters are out! If you would like one or know someone who would, make sure and PM me and I’ll get you on the next round.
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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by ReverendThom » Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:34 pm

I always enjoy seeing your posts on FB. Excited for you and your wife, and for those young men and their families. I pray for you folks often and will continue. Keep up the great work!
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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by Gabriel » Mon Dec 07, 2020 2:53 pm

With everyone back from Thanksgiving and the dust starting to settle I’m back to teaching patience and perseverance with hand tools. :D

Image

Image

Working on accessories for the workbench.
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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by Gabriel » Tue Dec 08, 2020 2:28 pm

Finished this one. Made a “sliding deadman” for the front of the workbench. 9/8” white oak. My student was shocked at the progression from dirty, rough cut timber to clean white oak. Always a fun lesson to teach first hand.

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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by Gabriel » Wed Dec 09, 2020 6:22 pm

So our photography students have been working “environmental portraits.” It apparently means taking pictures of people in an environment that tells the their story to some degree.

Today they stopped by my woodshop:

Image

Image

So that’s kinda fun.
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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by Gabriel » Sat Dec 19, 2020 11:53 am

I had a volunteer come out the last few weeks to work on some turning techniques with my students. Yesterday they
made new handles for some of my old chisels.

Image these are way nicer than the chisels. Solid as a rock and looking great. Old horse barn white oak with copper bands.

Image
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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by Jocose » Sat Dec 19, 2020 3:42 pm

Gabriel wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 11:53 am
I had a volunteer come out the last few weeks to work on some turning techniques with my students. Yesterday they
made new handles for some of my old chisels.

Image these are way nicer than the chisels. Solid as a rock and looking great. Old horse barn white oak with copper bands.

Image
Wowza!
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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by Gabriel » Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:25 pm

The pictures themselves aren’t particularly special, but they represent more than they seem. You’re seeing a young man working safely in a bright, well organized (mostly) workshop. He’s being taught skills on quality equipment by a person willing to push through the difficult parts of this young man’s personality and attempt to process his life and choices.

This is what I have been working towards for nearly a year now and it’s coming to reality.

I hope this doesn’t sound self serving, that is not my intent. I’m trying share some of my joy. Praise God.

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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by Gabriel » Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:54 pm

1. Praise God, a local church has donated several tools to the shop and the first arrived today:
Image

It’s a 12” sliding compound miter saw. It’s a serious upgrade and I’m super excited about it. :) They have also purchased a set of mortising chisels and a Veritas shoulder plane that are on order. Incredible.

2. We’re starting to get our support raised. It’s a slow process that I’m still trying to be comfortable with. A huge thank you to some of you that have helped with that, we’re off to a decent start. (One note on support, if you send anything to the Ranch on my behalf please sure it’s properly labeled with my name. We’ve had folks forget to that and they’re donations to the general budget. That’s still hugely appreciated by the Ranch, but isn’t always what the giver intended.)

It’s amazing to have churches and individuals partner with us like this. It’s humbling to me and has real world benefits for our young men.
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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by Gabriel » Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:54 pm

I got a call from a lady in a nearby town a couple weeks ago. He husband was an avid wood worker and passed away about a year ago. She wondered if I would be interested in looking at some of his work, his shop, and taking some of the lumber back with us.

She sounded like she could use someone to talk to so I took a couple guys and stopped by. Her husband must have an amazing man, his basement shop was incredible, lots of hand made tools and such just crammed in there. She showed us around the house and talked about all the furniture he’d made them and sent us back with a truck load of 4/4 red oak and told us to come back for sheet food later. Just incredible, it was a real blessing to see this guy’s legacy and to benefit from her generosity.

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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by Gabriel » Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:55 pm

Had another student complete his time with us and head home last week. He finished up his personal project hours before he left...

It’s a massive chest modeled after a sailor’s sea chest. It’s a pine body with oak lid and cleats and a sliding cedar till. Took him a lot longer than it need led to, but he was happy with it.



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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by JMG » Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:53 pm

Gabriel wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:55 pm
Had another student complete his time with us and head home last week. He finished up his personal project hours before he left...

It’s a massive chest modeled after a sailor’s sea chest. It’s a pine body with oak lid and cleats and a sliding cedar till. Took him a lot longer than it need led to, but he was happy with it.



Image

Image

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Looks really good.
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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by sweetandsour » Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:28 am

JMG wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:53 pm
Gabriel wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:55 pm
Had another student complete his time with us and head home last week. He finished up his personal project hours before he left...

It’s a massive chest modeled after a sailor’s sea chest. It’s a pine body with oak lid and cleats and a sliding cedar till. Took him a lot longer than it need led to, but he was happy with it.



Image

Image

Image
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Looks really good.
Indeed.
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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by ReverendThom » Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:54 pm

Awesome stuff. Keep it up!

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Re: Salem4Youth Ranch - updates, support, and various fun stuff

Post by ReverendThom » Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:54 pm

Awesome stuff. Keep it up!

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