Josh and Alyssa Bridges
Josh first came to MMR as a rancher in 2009. He went on to attend the School of Discipleship in 2013 and 2016, then joined the ranks of staff in the fall of 2017. Alyssa was a student from 2016-2018 and they married in October 2018. Josh serves as the Program Director; his job primarily entails scheduling retreats and overseeing summer camp. Josh and Alyssa both have a passion for discipling young men and women and enjoy the opportunities the Ranch avails them. Josh and Alyssa welcomed their first baby, Tessa, in November of 2019!
The Bridge’s Newsletter
Dear friends and family, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We rejoice in God’s faithfulness to our family and the ministry of Miracle Mountain Ranch. We are excited to update you on what has been happening in our lives these last few months.
In our last newsletter, we mentioned that we were in our fourth week of summer camp, and everything was off to a great start. We are delighted to report that the summer ended just as well as it started. We are praising God for more than 70 kids that gave their lives to Jesus Christ over the course of the summer. We also praise God that many kids rededicated their lives to Christ and made various commitments to serve Him. It is a huge blessing to be a part of a ministry that makes proclaiming the Gospel its highest priority.
This was Josh’s first summer as the head of the programming department, and he was grateful to have such a great team of counselors and programming staff to serve alongside. In addition to the joy we experience when we hear of kids receiving Salvation, it is always an added joy and encouragement to have a front row seat as God works in the lives of the summer staff and students. Many of them shared that they were built up and encouraged in their faith by the army of like-minded young adults here. The fellowship is incredibly sweet. If you have been here for long, you know what I’m describing! Thank you for praying for our summer ministry.
Following the conclusion of summer camp, we celebrated the graduation of another class of School of Discipleship students. We deeply enjoyed having Salome and Katie as a part of our family for eleven months and it was a joy to grow in the Lord alongside them. When reflecting on her time here, Katie said, “This past year has been a wonderful period of time full of laughter, new friends that have become family, a few tears, and most importantly, a growth in my relationship with Christ. I started out this year feeling anxious about my future, and far apart from God. Month after month I was encouraged to pray more, worship more, dive into God’s Word, and once the year was over, I could finally see an immense improvement. Today, I can honestly say that I have never felt closer to God. I am a happy, stronger, braver, believer in Christ.” We rejoice with Katie in God’s faithfulness to draw His children to Himself and can attest to His faithful work in our lives as well.
This year we again get to have Rachel Rothey as a co-advisor, and we have two girls in our advisor group to introduce to you. Tiana is a second-year student, and her area of focus is the kitchen. Geneva chose the barn as her area of focus, and this is her first year as a student. Both happen to be from Michigan! We’ve already enjoyed many Tuesday evenings together, so we are getting to know each other quite well. We look forward to seeing how we will all learn and grow as the year continues.
In our July newsletter we shared with you that the programming department has been undergoing some change. There has been a shift in the staff that serve in the department as well as how responsibilities are divided among them. This fall, Josh was excited to welcome two new members to the team. Katy Harlan has been serving on staff in the housekeeping department. We are thrilled to have her in programming where she will oversee paperwork and help with retreats and events. Josiah Gross graduated this fall from his second year in the School of Discipleship and has come on staff as the assistant program director. He will oversee the scheduling of retreats and events. Though Josh will still be involved in retreats and events, he hopes to invest more of his time in summer staff recruitment and summer camp in general.
Some news that we are most looking forward to sharing with you is the birth of our sweet baby. Jedidiah Thomas Bridges was born on September 1st! The joy and gratitude we have for him seems impossible to put into words. Tessa is eager to be helpful and involved in taking care of him. At the beginning of winter, we found out that we will get to move into a new house on the ranch. It has more space to fit our family, so we are thrilled! It will also make it much easier for us to host students and friends. Josh continues to take online classes in his free time. This last semester he took American History and Dynamics of Discipleship. Though it often consumes much time, Josh is thankful for the opportunity to study and hopefully become more effective for the Lord’s use.
Prayer requests and praise:
- That God would work in our children’s hearts and give them a deep love and desire for Him.
- Praise for the health and strength of the summer staff as they ministered to the kids this summer.
- Praise for the many kids that found hope as they heard the Gospel and received salvation in Christ this summer! Pray that they would continue to grow in their faith and find like-minded friends to encourage them.
- Praise for the good health and safe delivery of baby Jed
- Pray for Geneva and Tiana as they seek to grow in Christ this year.
Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletters. It is encouraging to know that our friends and family are genuinely interested in the work God is doing through the ministry here at the Ranch. We are always so blessed by the responses we receive after sending a newsletter. We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season as we reflect on the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.