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.

Employment Opportunity,


  • Must be skilled communicator, organizer, and problem-solver; must have a heart for struggling young people. 
  • Technical skills in areas of construction, facilities maintenance and landscaping a plus but not essential.

If you have a heart for CEM and desire to serve in this way, we’d love to hear from you. Contact Chuck at

Annual Fall Work Day,

Please join us Saturday, October 15, 9am-4pm 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!

Discipleship Seminar,

We are excited to invite the community to a seminar for those wanting to invest in lives and strengthen the Church! It will be on "Growing Disciples Intentionally," taught by Dr. Traver Dougherty of Western Seminary. This is the first of a series of training seminars, that will be held quarterly, open to the public. You're invited! Have questions? Call 530.268.0877 or email

2016 Summer Wilderness,

Our annual Summer Wilderness Trip begins next Friday (8/26)! The purpose: to learn and grow as an individual and in one's relationship with the Lord through an outdoor experience. Please pray for our 12 students and 8 interns who will participate in this year's 15-day adventure!

Mark your calendars and plan to join us Thursday, September 15th @ 7 pm for "Wilderness Paper Night", during which each student and several interns will share regarding their personal experience.

Ropes Course Day,

This Saturday all of our students and interns will be participating in our 6 element high ropes course. This day is full of team and personal challenges and is an "intro" to our 15-day backpacking trip, which is just 2.5 weeks from today!

New Interns and Students,

By early next week, we'll have 2 new interns and 2 new students join the Ranch family. Please pray for Brianna, Salena, Nate, and Brianna (yes, two Brianna's!) as they transition into internship and studentship.

Agony 2016,

The 34th Annual Agony Ride begins in just over 48-hours. As of today, we have 79 riders, over 130 saggers, and countless sponsors participating in this year's ride!

It's not too late to sponsor a rider.

Also, be a part of the excitement by tracking riders LIVE during the ride (Friday beginning at 1:00pm) and following the ride on Facebook.

Open Internship Positions,

We have an urgent need for male interns. Please spread the word! Because of our current and upcoming unfulfilled internship positions, we may be limited in accepting male students. If you, or someone you know, might be interested in joining the CEM intern team, please visit the INTERNSHIPS tab on our website for more information and to submit your inquiry form.


2016 Agony Ride,

The 2016 Agony Ride is just over 2 weeks away! (July 29 & 30) We have about 75 committed riders, 100 saggers (volunteers), and many, many sponsors! Want to join the fun? You can commit to ride, work, or support at

Summer Update,

All of our students returned from June Break last week. As always, we are happy to have them back as the CEM property without students is strange! This week, we have two new male students arriving. Please pray for Mycca and Johnny as they transition into the program and our Ranch family.

Spring Celebration & Graduation

Over the last year, we've had 25 students, 19 interns, & 100+ volunteers. That is a lot of people to CELEBRATE! We also have 4 CEHS graduates this year! ... We'd love for you to join us Saturday, June 4th @ 2pm in Angels' Meadow for our Spring Celebration & Graduation Ceremony! Have questions? Call us @ 530-268-0877.

Semester Finals, 

Our high school students are wrapping up semester finals this morning. We are so very proud of each of them who have worked hard through out the semester. Special congratulations to Madison and Jake - by noon today they will have completed all California State high school graduation requirements!!!

Generational Leadership,

We are very excited to have Generational Leadership, a Christian leadership program from Washington State, visiting the Ranch this week.

You're invited to attend an evening of testimonies and dance Wednesday at 7:30 pm put on by GL in the CEM Living Room. We hope you'll join us!

Susan Hicks - Reception/Pray Out,

After 15+ years serving on CEM's counseling staff, Susan Hicks has accepted an invitation to establish a counseling ministry in Washington State. We are thankful for the years she invested into the lives of students, interns, and staff, but are also excited for this new chapter of her life! Please join us on Sunday, May 22 for her "Pray Out" during church (begins @ 9:30 am) and a cake and card reception to follow.

Madison M - Pray Out,

Congratulations to Madison M! Madison came to the Ranch as a student in March of 2014. After a year of studentship, she recognized that the Lord had more work to do in her and she committed to an entire second year of our program. This past Sunday, we held Madison's "Pray Out" and she has finished her time at the Ranch!...Madison, we are proud of you and are SO excited for what is up ahead in your life. Surely, the Lord has done and will do GREAT things in you!

Spring Work Day,

Join us Saturday, May 14 from 9am-4pm for CEM's Spring Work Day! We'll work together to beautify the property and prepare it for summer. There will be a variety of skilled and non-skilled projects for groups and individuals. Have questions or need to let us know your coming? Contact Megan through email or phone -; 530-268-0877.

Rescue Run 5k

Join us THIS Saturday for our 3rd Annual Rescue Run 5k! Register online until Friday evening. Event day registration will open at 8:30 and the race will begin at 9:30. Have questions? Email or call us at 530-268-0877. We can't wait to have you join us as we run to "Rescue Youth from Ruin"!


Easter Sunrise Service

We are looking forward to our Easter sunrise service and hope you'll join us! Weather permitting, service will be held outside in the Angels' Meadow amphitheater beginning at 6:30 am. After service, we'll gather in the lodge for a potluck brunch. Have questions? Please call our office @ 530-268-0877.


Quarter Finals and Spiritual Emphasis Week

Students are busy in school today and tomorrow as they take quarter finals! Many of our students come to the Ranch behind in school and on their way to academic failure. However, because of our incredible student-to-teacher ratio and small group study hall sessions most of our students begin to excel in school, many for the first time in their academic careers. It is always great to see our students achieve success in school! Please pray that our students' view of themselves would improve as they succeed in the classroom.

Next week, we will take a break from high school courses for Spiritual Emphasis Week. The mornings will be spent with student-led group devotions, worship, and guest speakers. We are excited for the incredible line up of guests that will share with our students, interns, and staff. We'll wrap the week up with a 10-hour prayer vigil on Friday! Please pray for hearts to receive all that the Lord is offering through Spiritual Emphasis Week.

Open Internship Positions

We have an urgent need for male interns. Please spread the word! Because of our current and upcoming unfulfilled internship positions, we are limited in accepting male students. If you, or someone you know, might be interested in joining the CEM intern team, please visit the INTERNSHIPS tab on our website for more information and to submit your inquiry form.

Girls' Igloo

Please keep our girls in your prayers this weekend! The annual Girls' Igloo Trip is Friday - Monday. We're expecting the Lord to do good things in each of their hearts as they work together to manage the winter elements.

Boatman Reception

Please join us in welcoming our new Executive Director, Chuck, and his wife, Barbara, to the CEM family on Saturday, February 27 2 3:00 pm in the CEM lodge. Please RSVP by Feb. 22 to

Today's Count

Every once in a while, it is fun to sit back and count here at the Ranch. Here is what we count today:
1.  New Executive Director arriving this week
2.  Girls who completed their high school graduation requirements earlier this month
3.  Cows grazing in our pasture
4.  Incredible high school teachers
5.  Meal tables to gather around each day
6.  Acoustic guitars in the living room 
7.  Male and 7 female students working hard to make positive changes
8.  Staff spouses who support and serve the Ranch in immeasurable ways
9.  Wild turkeys who have made our property their home
10. Amazing interns who are sacrificing and fighting for God's best in our students' lives

Guys' Igloo

Guys' Igloo 2016 is this weekend! Leaving Friday morning and returning Monday afternoon, our guys will spend 3 nights in the Sierra Mountains, near Castle Peak. If weather and snow conditions co-operate, they'll spend 1 or 2 of those nights in igloos that the group builds themselves! Please pray for all of the students, interns, and staff leaders that will be in the snowy mountains this weekend!

Semester Finals

Semester Finals are well underway! Once today's tests are completed, two of our students, Alyssa and Elana, will have completed the California high school graduation requirements. Alyssa plans to continue her time here as a student until at least graduation in June. Elana will be prayed out this Sunday and plans to begin studies at Sierra College at the end of this month. Way to go girls! We are proud of both of you!

New Executive Director Hired

The CEM Board of Directors is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Charles Boatman to the position of Executive Director. A past member of our CEM Board of Directors, Chuck comes to CEM in continuation of a rich career encompassing pastoral posi­tions and work in foreign missions as well as administrative and academic positions. As past president of San Jose Bible College (now William Jes­sup University), long-time professor at Hope International University, and founding principal of Liberia Chris­tian College, Chuck brings significant mission-guided administrative and organizational development experi­ence to CEM in our continued mission of “Tending Lives and Training Lead­ers.”

We would appreciate your prayers for wisdom and provision as Chuck and his wife Barbara begin the pro­cess of transitioning and moving their household to Grass Valley in time for him to assume his duties as Executive Director in mid-January. We are excited for this new phase for CEM and wait expectantly for God’s plans.

Jim Barsotti
Chairman, CEM Board of Directors

Year End Giving

Every year we are greatly encouraged by the generous year-end gifts we receive. Those gifts translate directly to lives being changed. As you consider your year-end giving this year, please keep CEM in mind.

Open Internship Positions


We currently have unfilled positions for male interns in 2016. If you, or someone you know, are interested in joining the CEM intern team, please visit the INTERNSHIPS tab on our website for more information and to submit your inquiry form.

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!

Executive Director Position - FILLED!

We are excited to share that we will soon be welcoming Chuck Boatman on staff as our new Executive Director! Thank you all for your prayers through the search process. Please continue to pray for CEM through this time of transition.

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.