Archive for ‘Press Releases’

ALERT Update

February 22nd, 2013

New Website!

Some of our young men have been working on a new design for a more “user friendly” ALERT website. We still have our International ALERT Academy website to include all aspects of the ministry, but the change occurred with the ALERT program part of the ministry. I was excited to see the potential of this new site some months ago and now my feelings have been confirmed having viewed it enthusiastically just a few days ago when it went live. You can access it through: or

Reaching Out to a Need

On Saturday, a team of men will be heading to Hattiesburg, Mississippi where they will begin working to repair damaged homes and yards following the aftermath of a recent tornado. This will be a great opportunity for them to meet the needs of those people who have suffered loss, while sharing the message and love of Christ. Check back next week for updates on the deployment!

ALERT Basic Training Unit 49 Blog

February 12th, 2013

Unit 49 is currently in progress. Follow their training blog at for updates and pictures.

ALERT Recent News

January 31st, 2013

It was only thirteen days ago that 61 young men arrived to begin Basic Training Unit 49. God’s hand was immediately evident in softening their hearts and strengthening their resolve to be like Christ. With some new changes in place, this unit’s first week consisted primarily of spiritual application in preparation for the next eight weeks of more rigorous activities. Strengthening the inward man is a key ingredient to our Basic Training program with a goal of developing a courageous heart through both the spiritual and physical disciplines. The sixth day began with their “formal” induction into Basic Training introducing them to greater physical challenges that will gradually increase with intensity. This, coupled with much scripture memory and spiritual input, begins to challenge the young men to seek after God for strength, wisdom, purpose, and guidance, while testing and developing depth of character.

I spent five days last week with some of our ALERT Cadet leaders from across the nation. This is our father and son program that operates in local communities around the world. As we maneuvered through some of the needed changes that would enhance the father and son interactions, I was greatly encouraged by the hearts of these men (these fathers) who not only have a deep desire to strengthen relationships with their own sons, but also to help other fathers do the same. Throughout these meetings I was energized by the unity of these men as well as their insight and wisdom. They brought many ideas to the table resulting in a strengthening of our ALERT Cadet vision of “Assisting Fathers to Win and Keep the Hearts of their 8-17 year old Sons!”

As we press forward with our vision to ramp up our evangelistic opportunities this year, we are in the process of developing our own gospel tract that will use the “Search and Rescue” theme to introduce people to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is completed and will be going to “print” soon. Our plan is to continue developing others that use the tornado, hurricane, flood, and fire responses as ways to open the door of the gospel during disaster relief events.

We are praising God for designated donations that came specifically for us to bid on a Breathing Air Compressor that is much needed for our Fire Academy and our Underwater Recovery training and responses. This was a $35,000 piece of equipment brand new, which had only 10 hours of operation that we were able to get for half that price.

As God continues to bless the ALERT ministry with opportunities to serve others in times of crises, I hope and pray that you will continue supporting as God prompts and allows.

No matter where you live, it is common to hear of drowning incidents during the spring through fall seasons. ALERT has been called out for two drowning events within four days surrounding Labor Day.

Our first call came on Sunday afternoon when a 16-year-old young man drowned while trying to swim across a small lake with his sister. Other divers were in the water ahead of us, but when our men arrived the authorities on the scene directed us to a potential area that they had not searched yet. Our men entered the water and found the body in less than 10 minutes.

The second call came when a man did not return home after fishing alone on another small lake near Tyler, Texas, on Tuesday evening. His boat was discovered floating in the lake, but with no eyewitnesses, it was hard to know when or where he fell in. The call for our assistance came after 10:00 p.m. last night and our men were asked to come out on Wednesday morning (today) to conduct the search. Within just over an hour our men found the body.

Our ALERT men receive dynamic and detailed training for such events as these. We see the affect when these men perform their acts of service tirelessly when the needs arise. God used the skills He had given David to bring down the Philistine giant and I know that He prepares us to do good in the face of difficult circumstances.“And let us not grow weary in well-doing.” Galatians 6:9a

ALERT Update

August 30th, 2012

Thinking we had done so little, tears began streaming down his face by the time we sang the third word of the hymn. At first, I could not understand how such a little thing could mean so much to this man.” These words were shared by one of the ALERT men who had been serving with the clean up project following the devastating fires that destroyed more than 400 homes in Oklahoma recently. The ALERT men had been sifting through the debris with this man in hopes of finding some rings – with memories attached! They had not anticipated the relief from the anguish that weighed so heavily upon this man’s very soul when these items were found (Since ALERT began, we have considered it a vital part of our ministry to sing and pray with people after each home is completed – often with this same result).

When it “did not happen to me,” it is much harder to understand how such a seemingly small thing can mean so much to someone who has just lost everything. We may easily think it an insignificant thing, but to those who have suffered great loss, it is everything! This is why it is so important that we keep the mindset that our service to others is not about how I think it should be, but it is about meeting their needs no matter how easy, strange, or difficult those needs may be. In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers, writing about “The Determination To Serve,” (February 23) said, “When we realize that Jesus Christ has served us to the end of our meanness, our selfishness, and sin, nothing that we meet with from others can exhaust our determination to serve men for His sake.” It is this all-important factor that underlies all that we do – that our work is unto Christ, not unto men!

This kind of scenario in Oklahoma has unfolded over and over throughout our history of disaster service. It is this “spark” that sets the hearts of our men on fire with a resolve to do it again. This is why we exist; this is why we train; this is why we continue to watch for opportunities; this is why it is so vitally important that we engage you in support of this work. Our financial needs for doing what we do and keeping this ministry moving forward are enormous. Thank you in advance for considering us as a ministry for your investment in God’s work.

Quest Website Redesign

June 12th, 2008

We are excited to announce a brand new re-design of the Quest website! The new website should be easier to use and captures the exciting, adventurous nature of our program. The ‘About Quest‘ page highlights our history and explains our mission of helping young men transition into manhood. You can then go to the ‘Program Information‘ page to see detailed information about this summer’s program, including schedules and a training syllabus. A new ‘Downloads‘ page provides a one-stop destination to get the most recent forms, brochures and publications. Finally, our ‘Blog‘ is a page you can bookmark and visit frequently to see the latest updates on the program.

If you have any questions about Quest, check under our ‘FAQ‘ page for an answer, or use the newly designed ‘Contact‘ page to send us your feedback.

This website facelift comes just in time for the summer 2008 Quest program. We are still accepting registrations, but the program is filling up fast! Contact us today to reserve your spot!

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ALERT Cadet Website

May 22nd, 2008

Early this morning the ALERT Cadets unveiled their newly redesigned website!

“After months of preparation and hard work they finally have a finished product that they can be proud of . . . without the support of so many and the never ending assistance of young web developer, Benjamin Cahill, we never would have made it. Praise God for what He has done throughout this long process!” Josh Wychopen—Visual Communications Director, International ALERT Academy.

Please take a look today and see what is new with the ALERT Cadet Program!

ATI Regional 2008

May 20th, 2008

Conference Helps Home-Schoolers Resist Peer Pressure Through Religion

Staff Writer—Tyler Morning Telegraph

BIG SANDY—More than 400 home school families from across the country arrived in Big Sandy this week to play, pray and tackle the pressures of being young.

The conference was held at the International ALERT Academy in Big Sandy, a military-style Christian school that trains young men ages 17 to 24 in emergency assistance.

The Advanced Training Institute International (ATI) conference, held April 29 to May 2, is one of three home schooling conferences in the United States that provides curriculum and training to support home schooling parents in raising their children on the principles of the Bible.

At the same time, the children are off playing games, reading Bible verses and learning how to grow as Christians.

The program started in 1989, and for the past five years has used the International ALERT Academy in Big Sandy as their central location.
The activities at the conference are geared toward helping children pursue their relationships with God and their families. Founded by Bill Gothard, the Institute in Basic Life Principles is a biblically based, not-for-profit, nonsectarian training and service organization.

Gothard, who spoke to a group of young people Wednesday at the conference, said one of the largest problems facing today’s youth is a willingness to sacrifice standards, morals and health to be socially accepted by peers.

“God has created every person for a purpose, and when (God) helps them identify what his purpose for their life is then they don’t need to have the acceptance of their friends and can be accepted by God for his purpose and have a greater joy, confidence and maturity,” Gothard said.

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Storms in Big Sandy

April 11th, 2008

Residents Join Officials In Cleanup After Storms

Staff Writer—Tyler Morning Telegraph

The sound of chainsaws filled the air around East Texas after strong thunderstorms raced through the region, felling trees and knocking out power to thousands of homes.

Scores of volunteers lined Gilmer Street in Big Sandy where those wielding chainsaws to clear the roadways and help remove trees from power lines included police, firefighters, ALERT Academy Responders, city and Upshur County officials.

“We had straight-line winds hit us this morning in excess of 60 miles per hour,” said Big Sandy Police Lt. David Sheffield.

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