One of the things I love about working at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is the daily devotions shared by Chaplain Rick Jones. Chaplain Rick works with our kids and our staff and knows so well the challenges and weight carried by each. His devotions beautifully connect the work of the Ranch to Scripture.
When I read the following devotion, I thought about how his analogy of Silas to Ranch staff was spot on. And then I thought of you. You aren’t here with us every day, so maybe you feel a little under-recognized like Silas, too. You need to know that your prayers and support are as critical and important as the work of those of us who are here each day. As Chaplain Rick says, “THANK YOU. You are helping at-risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ.”
Here is his devotion:
From Acts 15:22-41
22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers…
30 So the men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together ... 32 Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers. 33 After spending some time there, they were sent off by the believers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them. 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord.
39…Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
February 10th is the Church’s commemoration of Silas. Silas is a figure who shows up throughout the book of Acts as a fellow worker with Paul and Peter. He was instrumental in helping the early Church get established and was a very influential part of many Christians’ lives throughout the Mediterranean and Asia Minor.
Silas helped spread the message of Jesus Christ to the first generations of believers. So why do we not remember him as vividly as Peter and Paul? Why is he not as big of a player on the stage of history? He is every bit as important to the work of the Church, he just doesn’t get the same recognition.
I don't have an answer to these questions. Perhaps Silas was more of an auxiliary figure with his work. Maybe he did not want the recognition. Maybe his work was more behind the scenes. Whatever the reasons, we must remember that sometimes very important people do not get the recognition they deserve.
This can happen with our work at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch too. Everyone who works here is a vital part of the help and success our clients receive. Every one of you is part of the care we offer to the hurting families and youth we serve. Unfortunately, not all of you will get the same recognition. Some of you work on the “sidelines” or “behind the scenes.” You may never have a one-on-one breakthrough with a student or resident but you are still an essential part of the team.
Just as much as Silas and the countless other helpers and Church workers of the 1st century were a blessing and encouragement to everyone they shared the love of God with, you are a blessing and encouragement to all of our clients as your efforts help show them love and care through the mission of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. For all of you who give of yourselves to show compassion and care for our residents but may not get the recognition you deserve: THANK YOU! You are helping at-risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ.”
Please continue to keep our staff and kids in your prayers. You are in ours.
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
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