How God Called Us into Ministry at The Flying H Youth Ranch
This is our story of how God called us into ministry at the Flying H Youth Ranch. To learn more about what the Flying H Youth Ranch is you can go here or check out my husband’s videos on the Flying H YouTube page here. In short The Flying H Youth Ranch is a ministry to struggling teen boys and their families. We have a bit of a unique story in that my husband’s parents were missionaries here for 18 years. They started here when my husband (Aaron) was 8 months old! They left when he was 18 so he actually grew up in this ministry as a staff kid.
God has been creative in calling my husband’s family to The Flying H Youth Ranch. In 1980 my father in law was interviewing for a job near the ranch and mistakenly stopped at the ranch. Back then the students at The Flying H Youth Ranch were bussed into the local public school each day. That created several problems and Reverend Hires, our founder, was praying for a teacher to begin a school at the ranch. My father in law knew a man on the board for the ranch who had asked him if he would consider the ranch. As a favor my father in law decided to check it out. At first he had no interest in working with troubled youth but my mother and father in law went home after meeting with Reverend Hires and prayed about it. The Lord began to nudge them in the direction of the ranch and they did come on board but thought maybe it would just be temporary. The Lord made it clear that He wanted them at the Flying H longer than that. What started out as temporary became 18 years!
When Aaron and I met I was going to Bible college at Moody Northwest and was a Young Life leader. My husband was working on a PC Specialist degree that would transfer into a business degree. So, on our first date my husband felt the need to make sure I knew that he had no intentions of ever going into full time ministry. Period. He was a Christian and didn’t mind an occasional volunteer job at church but he was planning to make money. You could say God definitely has a sense of humor!
A Change of Mind
After we were married and Aaron was in the midst of working on his business degree he began to feel that it was not for him. Through talking through this as a couple and with his dad he felt led to switch to a teaching degree. This was just one small step in the direction the Lord was taking us even though we had no idea what He had in store for us.
A couple years later Aaron had finished his teaching degree and was substitute teaching while we looked for a permanent teaching job. At the same time we had been volunteering to help with our church youth group. Through our involvement with our church and the different studies we were doing in small group I began to feel like maybe God had a different plan for us then we had for ourselves. I mentioned this to Aaron and he felt that if that were true God would lead us to where He wanted us. That same night our good friend and youth pastor mentioned the same thing to Aaron.
Where The Lord Leads
Shortly after that I happened to be looking at the Flying H website. The website said that they needed teachers. I called Aaron up at work and told him and his immediate response was, “No!” I asked him to pray about it and he agreed. When we got off the phone I walked and prayed that if it was God’s will for us that He would change my husband’s mind. To my shock and amazement Aaron called me back later that day. He told me we were going to the ranch! He prayed about it and felt that was where God was leading us. God had completely changed his mind!
The Flying H has one of the lowest tuitions of any similar program and is able to keep it this way because the staff are all missionaries who raise support through churches and individuals. Through a series of interviews we were approved for full-time ministry at the Flying H once we raised support. The ranch assigns a minimum income amount we have to raise based on our family size. They also view our support as a final confirmation from the Lord. We were able to reach that goal within a year. We have now been at the ranch for 13 years. As most of our support is from individuals it is constantly fluctuating. It has been a blessing to see the different ways the Lord provides! If you feel led to be a part of our ministry we always need people to lift us up in prayer. We are always looking for more staff and of course more teachers at our ACSI accredited school. For information about becoming staff you can go here. If you feel led to help support us financially you can go here and select the Hunting family.