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History Highlight: The "Desert Ranch" Ministry Begins

Ephesians 3:20 tells us God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” That’s exactly what He did in 1982! Founders Morry and Dorothy Carlson had begun spending their winters in Arizona because the harsh Michigan weather was taking a toll on Morry’s health. This particular winter, they arrived at their hotel and received a phone call from the owner of a soup kitchen in a small town called Picacho. He was no longer able to keep his ministry running, and he wanted to donate 40 acres and the soup kitchen to Youth Haven. His only condition was that it would continue to be used for the Lord’s work. Centrally located between Phoenix and Tucson, it was the perfect place for Youth Haven’s “Desert Ranch” to begin! Under the leadership and direction of Co-Founder Larry Carlson, the Arizona campus began to take shape. It has since doubled in size, and thousands of disadvantaged children have experienced God’s love at this special oasis in the desert.

Above: Co-Founder Larry Carlson, Founder Morry Carlson, and Board Vice President Dr. Randy Carlson at the dedication of the Arizona campus and Children’s Dining Hall in 1982


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