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
This update is far overdue. We are excited to bring you up to date on some of what the last eight months have held for our family and ministry.
In our last newsletter, we asked you to pray that God would provide summer staff for camp. We are happy to report that God did provide the exact team that we needed, and summer camp was able to run at capacity. We are so grateful that all restrictions on summer camps were lifted just in time. This summer brought many unforeseen challenges as the degradation of our society was very evident. It is heartbreaking to see the effects of sin on the kids that attended our programs. Many of these children are dealing with issues that no child should have to experience. While being involved in these situations certainly took an emotional toll on us, it is also an indescribable joy to be able to share hope with kids that are suffering. We are praising God that we were able to share the gospel with over 1,100 kids during our summer season.
The 2020-2021 School of Discipleship students graduated in August. Five of them decided to stay a second year and we welcomed 31 new students in September. We are privileged to have two of the girls join our family this year. Salome is a second-year student from Germany and Katie is a first-year student from Long Island, New York. Along with Rachel, a new staff member, we get to be their advisors for the year. The girls come down every Tuesday for dinner and fellowship. We have enjoyed games, movies, bonfires, and bowling. Though it has only been a few months, we have found it easy to get to know each other and we enjoy our time together as a group.
In December, the students chose which area of focus they wanted to be a part of for the remainder of the school year. The options are barn, kitchen, operations, media, guest services, and programing. As the Program Director, Josh spends a lot of time with the programing students each week. They are learning things like planning retreats, leading games, facilitating groups, and Biblical counseling. Josh’s hope with the programing students is that they would be able to use the things that they learn to minister to their churches and ministries when they return home after this year. Six students chose programing as their focus, and we are excited to see how they grow in the coming months.
In other news, we decided to begin taking college classes this fall. This is something that we have been wanting to do for the last few years, but our schedules have not allowed it. We received college credits during our years in the School of Discipleship, and we were able to transfer those credits to Clarks Summit University. Because Josh is still working full-time and Alyssa is busy with Tessa, we are doing school part-time. We are working towards a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Counseling. We believe this focus of study will greatly aid in our ministry at the Ranch or whatever ministry we may be directed to in the future. We thoroughly enjoyed our first class this fall, and we are looking forward to our next class that will start at the beginning of the year.
We know the main reason everyone reads our newsletter is to hear an update on Tessa and see pictures! We celebrated two years with Tessa on the eighth of November. She is a very chatty little girl when she wakes up in the morning. She loves to eat cheerios for breakfast, go for gator rides with Josh, help with laundry, play with her baby doll, and anything related to horses. She also loves to walk up to the barns to see the animals and swing on the playground. She enjoyed helping plant and harvest the garden with us this summer. She likes being a part of everything we do and helping in any way she can. We are so grateful that God saw fit to make us her parents.
Sometimes we feel like a broken record when trying to express our gratitude for the many individuals, families, and churches who come alongside us as we serve at the Ranch. Whether it is a hug or handshake, phone call, letter, text, financial gift, or prayers spoken from miles away, each of you encourages and enables us as we seek to serve and glorify Christ in Spring Creek, Pennsylvania. We understand that the groups and individuals that support us will change from time to time as God enables people to serve and give in different seasons. This year, for a variety of reasons, some of our regular financial supporters have had to step away from that avenue of support. Subsequently, we ask that you would pray that God will lead individuals and groups to joyfully meet our needs in this way. We are confident that He will make provision for us to continue serving here if this is where He wants us. If your church would be interested in hearing us share about our ministry at Miracle Mountain Ranch, we would be grateful for the opportunity.
- Biblical wisdom as we train and admonish Tessa
- That Salome and Katie would grow in their knowledge of God this year
- That God would continue to provide for us financially
- Safety as we travel to Maine for Christmas
- Wisdom as we manage our time between college classes and our other responsibilities
Thank you for partnering with us in this ministry!
Josh, Alyssa, and Tessa Bridges