In 2013, Barb and her husband Dennis moved to the Ranch property and served at Bethel Ridge Retreat, which was a mile up the hill from the Ranch. While there, they became very interested in the ministry of the Flying H. Their interest in, heart for, and desire to serve at the Ranch grew and in November 2017 they became full time volunteers at the Ranch. Dennis worked with maintenance around the Ranch and Barb worked in the office. Dennis’ time at the Ranch was short as he contracted a fast-moving cancer. He passed away in January 2019. Barb desired to continue to serve at the Ranch and was allowed to stay as a widow and full-time volunteer. Barb serves as the general office manager. She is often the first person families talk to who are searching for a placement for their son. She loves telling people about the Ranch and listening to the challenges they are facing and offering hope for them. Most calls end with praying for the family who has called.
Barb grew up in a minister’s family and developed a heart for service at a young age. She has spent her adult life serving in various capacities in churches, from doing the janitorial work to being head of the worship committee, teaching children’s and youth Sunday School, women’s ministries, youth ministry, choir, and serving as the church secretary. She and Dennis together led several backpacking camps for Jr. High aged youth and served on a church camp board for many years.
Barb loves being out in God’s great and varied creation, from enjoying the ever changing ocean or taking in the amazing views from mountaintops, the beauty of the dry desert or the power of waterfalls as they cascade down. Along with enjoying nature, Barb loves photography, quilting (traditional and art quilts), laughter, tea parties and dark chocolate.
Barb has four, now adult, children – two biological and two adopted – and one granddaughter. She has experienced many similar challenges with her children that many families who have their boys at the Ranch are dealing with and has a heart for these hurting families. Her desire is to serve for many years at the Ranch, but more importantly to serve and be wherever God calls her, until He calls her home.
Chuck has been volunteering part-time at the Flying H Youth Ranch for the last 15 years. His job here as construction and maintenance manager consists of facilitating volunteers and missions teams on projects all over the ranch as well as all capital improvements and maintenance to the staff homes and various buildings such as gym, offices, lodge, dorms, barns, etc.
He has been in the construction trades for nearly 40 years and truly enjoys all aspects of his work and is blessed to be serving the families here at the Flying H as well as the boys in the program. He often gets to have one or more boys work alongside him in various projects, learning the ins and outs of maintenance and construction. In November 2020 he will be honored and blessed to be adding Cinthya Tamara Aguirre Lopez as his wife and ministry partner to his service here at the Flying H Youth Ranch. Cinthya is the mother of two grown girls and for the last several years was the head administrator for a private school in Mazatlan, Mexico. Her faith, enthusiasm, education and culinary expertise will be gifts all of us will be looking forward to
Steve & Kathie Francis
Steve and Kathie first visited FHYR in 2017 when their son, Joshua, and his family took up residence at the Ranch. Josh had been accepted by the board to teach as the new English teacher at Hope Academy and as a Youth Services Worker. As Steve and Kathie looked toward their upcoming supposed retirement, both felt that God still had work for them to do as His servants..
Steve is a graduate of Calvary University (1975) in Kansas City and Kathie graduated from Biola University (1972). She has taught English in public schools in Oregon and California for about forty years. Steve had pastored a couple of churches before serving as the Protestant Chaplain at a California, maximum security, men’s prison for twenty years before retiring in 2016. Kathie retired from public service in June of 2019 and they packed up their belongings, sold their house in Imperial, California and joined the staff as full-time volunteers in August of that year.
They have four adult children, three of whom are married with children giving the senior Francis’ eight grandkids. For the first five months that they lived here, they were in the RV park in a 35 foot, Class A RV. A few days before Christmas, they took delivery of a 399 square foot, Park Model Tiny House that is now in Space 1 in the RV park here at Flying H.
Kathie has stepped in to teach some of the English classes, freeing up her son to do the work as Family Services Director. She also helps with the accreditation process and curriculum planning. Steve is assisting the program of FHYR wherever he can, bringing his chaplaincy experience and training to interactions with our boys. He cherishes the time, like taking them to doctor appointments where he can spend time with them one on one.
Steve says, “This summer it has been our privilege to be the host to two groups of volunteers that stayed in the park. It was a joy to assist them with the whys and what-fors of the park and what was available to them while they were here. We look forward to hosting future groups.”