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Christian Encounter News

Welcome to the Christian Encounter News Page. Here we keep you updated on all that is going on in the life of the extended Ranch Family. This includes updates on former students and interns, as well as inspiring stories and event recaps.

Thanksgiving Dinner at CEM

We would love to have you join us for our family meal on Thanksgiving Day! Guests are invited to arrive at 1:00, we'll gather for prayer/thankfuls at 1:30, and we'll feast at 2:00! Please call Zoya at 530-268-0877 in order to let us know you are coming and to sign up to bring food to contribute to the meal!

Annual Planning Meeting

Yesterday, CEM staff gathered for our Annual Planning Meeting. We are excited about the many events - Girls' and Guys' Igloo, Spiritual Emphasis Week, Easter Sunrise Service, Rescue Run, Annual Celebration and Graduation, Family Camp, Agony, Summer Wilderness, etc. - that are on the calendar for 2016! 

Recent Blessings

Abundant food; over 200 lbs beef and pork
Alfalfa and rye grass hay
Greeting cards
Craft, art, and school supplies
Christmas decorations
Batteries, extention cords
Paper plates, dishes, serving trays
Camp chair, paddle
Quilt, comforter
Vacuum cleaners, carpet cleaner
Lawn mower, tools, gas can
Fencing supplies; paint
Printing paper; filing cabinets
Mattress, quilt, towels, linens
Display banner
33’ motor home
1993 Chevy pickup
2002 Honda Odyssey van

Vehicle Donations

We are so thankful for recent vehicle donations we have received! Over the last month, we have been given a work truck, mini-van, and motor home. These vehicles will help us maintain the Ranch property, transport students, and more!

Annual Fall Work Day

Please join us Saturday, October 17, 9am-5pm for our Annual Fall Work Day. Lunch and great fellowship provided. Let us know you plan to come via email - - or phone - 530.268.0877. See you soon!

Falling into Fall

It is feeling like Autumn as students are back in school (we have 9 school students and 6 non-school students), the skies are cloudy, and leaves are beginning to fall from the trees! We're thankful for the turn in weather, but we need rain!

Summer Wilderness

CEM's annual 15-day summer backpacking trip begins Friday. Lead by several staff members, each year all of our students and interns participate. The purpose: to learn and grow as an individual and in one's relationship with the Lord through an outdoor experience. 

We'll return on Friday, September 4. Join us Tuesday, September 15th @ 7 pm for "Wilderness Paper Night", during which each student and several interns will share regarding their personal experience.

New Student Arrivals

We have four new students scheduled to arrive between now and August 7th. We are excited to welcome each of them and be a part of their journey of healing, freedom, and new life in Jesus.

We also have four interns scheduled to leave between now and August 12th! Please pray for our intern team as they adjust to being a team of 6 with 16 students!

Financial Report

Thank you, Lord, for your provision! Last year at this time we reported a deficit of $45,600. Through His faithfulness and generous donors we paid off that deficit and are currently in the black. We were also able to do some large projects including re-tiling the kitchen floor and counters, remodeling the intern office, installing a new commercial washing machine, and recently replacing our worn-out ice machine and kitchen range. May God bless all of you for your prayers and giving!

Student Pray Outs

Congratulations to Kareem and Megan, two students who were recently prayed out. It was a blessing to live with, work with, and love both of you. We are praying for you and hope that you choose to put into practice the tools and wisdom you gained during your time at the Ranch!

2015 Family Camp

Spots are filling up quickly for Family Camp 2015! See all the details and register today on our Family Camp page. Have more questions? Call Caryn @ 530-268-0877

Spring Celebration & Graduation

Over the last year, we've had 25 students, 16 interns, 4 residents at our transition house, & 100+ volunteers. That is a lot of people to CELEBRATE! We also have 5 CEHS graduates this year! ... We'd love for you to join us Saturday, May 30th @ 2pm in Angel's Meadow for our Spring Celebration & Graduation Ceremony! Have questions? Call us @ 530-268-0877.

Generational Leadership

CEM is excited to host Generational Leadership (GL), an 11-month Christian leadership school from Maple Valley, WA, over the next three days. Former CEM student, Justice Loeza, is a current student with GL. During their time here, the GL crew will do work projects and Thursday evening, starting at 7:30, in the lodge, will have an evening of song, dance, and testimony. We'd love for you to join us!

Spring Work Day

We'd love to have you come to Spring Work Day! Saturday, May 16, from 9-4, join us in beautifying the CEM property! We'll have a variety of skilled and non-skilled projects for groups and individuals. Want to let us know you're coming or ask questions? Call Kayla @ 530.268.0877

Recent Blessings and Current Needs

Recent Blessings: Abundant food - pastries, produce, bread, energy bars, coffee, and many other items; painting canvases and supplies; clothing; toiletries; alfalfa hay; vehicle windshield; basketball; 10 soccer balls; living room chair; 2 recliners; XC skies, poles, boots; dining room set; 2002 Dodge Caravan; Costco gift card; 2 chests of drawers; boom box; games; school supplies - calculators, index cards, markers, books; DVDs; HP printer.

Current Needs: Hay bales for cows; truck inner tubes for floating; wooden pews; heavy-duty irrigation hose; small pick up truck; T posts for fencing; metal leaf rakes; bags of concrete mix; lawn mower (heavy duty); weed wacker; chain saw.

For more ideas of where to give, visit our Material Needs and Special Projects pages.

PR Trip to Southern California

CEM staff members, Nate Boyd and Charlie Cazin, will be heading out this Saturday for an 8-day PR Trip to Southern California. They'll be visiting several churches and college campuses throughout the week. Interested in having them visit your church group? Call our office at 530-268-0877. 

Current Interns

We have a dynamic group of interns serving at CEM. Several are contributing to the development of new promotional material including videos, t-shirt designs, and more. It is so great to see the Lord use each of their unique skills and passions to benefit CEM! Interested in serving at CEM as an intern? Visit our Internship pages for more information.

Girls' "Igloo" 2015

There may not be enough snow to build igloos, but the girls are still going on an adventure this weekend! 7 students, 4 interns, and 3 staff members will leave Friday morning for a 3-night winter camping/hiking/backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Please pray for safety, but most importantly for spiritual impact and growth.

Mike Petrillo's Retirement Party & Reception 

Please join us for:
Mike Petrillo's Retirement Party & Reception
Saturday, Jan. 31 @ 3:00pm
In the CEM Lodge 

Join us for the "after party" from 5:00-7:00pm at Alta Sierra Pizza in Grass Valley.

If you would like to make a scrapbook submission for Mike, please email photos/text to

Have questions or need more info? Call us! 530-268-0877

School Semester Ends

Our school students took their last Semester Finals today. As of today, three of our students have officially completed all necessary graduation requirements for the State of California. Congratulations to Shane, Cheyenne, and Katelyn Joy. We are very proud of you and look forward to celebrating your graduation, along with others', in May!

Christmas is Here

Christmas Banquet is in two days. The Ranch elves are hard at work wrapping presents and preparing a feast! Christmas Break begins Sunday, 12/21 and ends Monday, 12/29. Please remember to pray for our students and interns as they celebrate Christmas away from the Ranch.

Abundant Provision, part 2

A long-time supporter of the Ranch recently passed away. He was thoughtful and generous to include us in his estate planning. Yesterday, we received his financial gift which will help to close the financial gap we've recently been experiencing. We thank God for the blessings He gives through His people!

2 Corinthians 9:6-10 (NIV)

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

Abundant Provision

We’re counting our blessings at CEM. Many of you responded to our deficit report in July, helping close the gap. Revenue for the first four months of the current fiscal year is up by $4,741 over last year. In addition, the kitchen tile project is fully funded and almost completed. Our prayers for male interns have also been answered. One year ago we had one male intern; now we have four. We are operating at optimal capacity with 16 students, packing out our schoolhouse with 14 students.

While revenue has increased, expenses have as well, still leaving a budgetary deficit. As you consider your year-end giving please keep CEM and these precious young people in mind.

Christmas Tree Sales to Benefit CEM

This weekend (Saturday 9-5 & Sunday 10-5) CEM staff, interns, and students will be working at Wolf Mountain Christmas Tree Farm. Located near the Ranch at 18251 Retrac Way. Come and buy your Christmas tree - ALL proceeds will be donated to CEM!

Rummage Sale to Benefit CEM

On Saturday, November 8, from 7am-3pm, we're having a HUGE rummage sale and ALL proceeds will benefit CEM. Location: 10247 Aspen Road, Grass Valley, CA 95945

Show up. Shop. And help 'Rescue Youth from Ruin'!

Come to CEM for Thanksgiving!

We're having Thanksgiving at our "house" and you're invited. The meal will be at 2:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day - November 27, 2014. Guests can plan to arrive around 1:30 pm. Please call Zoya @ 530-268-0877 to RSVP and we'll let you know how you can contribute to the meal! 

Mike Petrillo's Retirement Party & Reception 

Mark your calendars! Mike's retirement party and reception will be January 31, 2015. Stay tuned for more details. If you would like to make a scrapbook submission for Mike, please email photos/text to or mail it in pre-made, marked "Attn: Zoya Lee". 

Interim Executive Director Determined 

It is my privilege to announce that the Christian Encounter Ministries’ Board of Directors has selected Mark Andrews to serve as the Interim Executive Director of CEM. Mark will assume his duties on February 1, 2015. It will be a great honor for me to plan and initiate the process of leadership transition with him. The Board has chosen Mark because of his wide range of ministry experiences before coming to CEM, and because of his thorough knowledge of many daily operations in CEM life. Mark will be invaluable in the training of a new Executive Director and will assist the Board in their ongoing search and evaluation process.

Mark’s term of office as Director will be determined by the availability of the next director. It is his hope to return to his regular duties as Director of Internship and Pastoral Care at the earliest possible date. I have full confidence in Mark’s commitment to the central themes of Christian Encounter Ministries and in his ability to lead the CEM family into the next phase of leadership. Please continue your prayers for the ministry of tending lives and training leaders.

Very Sincerely,

Mike Petrillo
Executive Director, CEM