Somehow, it’s almost Christmas. Here at the Ranch, this means we’ll soon be prepping to go caroling, planning the grand Christmas banquet, and scouring closets and cupboards for good--maybe “suitable” is a better word than “good”-- white elephant gifts.
While Christmas brings many gifts, one of the best gifts is not an actual object: it’s the opportunity to thank God for all He has given us. Every single good gift finds its true origin in Him, and as the greatest gift of all, He gave us Himself. We have much to celebrate indeed.
As we draw to the close of another year, we also pause to celebrate God’s provision for the Ranch Family. A great deal was accomplished this year, and God’s good gifts were evident throughout. Every day our young people achieved victories, choosing healing, truth, and love, and overcoming brokenness one moment at a time. Alongside this, many items from the Master Plan were completed, and organizational growth steadily occurred. Here are a few highlights:
The year began with a large donation on January 1st for the recreation room remodel project, and our maintenance crew and volunteers promptly began the job. A couple of weeks later, the Ranch family completed an excellent trip to the forest to build igloos, character, and teamwork.
The maintenance team finished remodeling all the girls’ dorm interiors, making them more comfortable, pleasant, and modern.
A team of donors from the paving industry led by Agony rider Paul McClain laid fresh road base and asphalt over some Ranch roads. Around the same time the Board of Directors completed a comprehensive review with an attorney of foundational documents and policies, strengthening the ministry.
Over a hundred participants came out for the 6th annual Rescue Run, running or walking the course around the Ranch property and fellowshipping together.
The recreation field was graded at a heavily discounted price. Several different church groups came to work on the property, and the maintenance team updated another housing unit.
At our Spring Celebration Service, we honored our high school graduates as well as the diligent and faithful team of interns. Shortly after, a large RV was donated to provide temporary transitional housing for young people completing the program. At the end of the month we welcomed 100 Family Campers--infants to grandparents- -who came from as near as down the street to as far as Portland, Oregon.
We welcomed several new students and celebrated another completing the program with great commendation. On October 5th, Ranch family members from throughout the decades and throughout the country came to join long-time Ranch leader Jim Parker’s family and friends to grieve his passing and celebrate his life, his love, and his impactful ministry.
The busy and highly talented maintenance team completed remodeling a staff housing unit badly in need of repairs, and then promptly started yet another.
Enough projects were completed and victories won that it’s tough to keep track of them, and the best part of it all--hearts healing and growing--can’t even be included on a list like this. Each item knocked off the Master Plan helps us accomplish our mission. The results are unmistakable: smiles replace angry expressions, peace overcomes fear, and the knowledge of love and acceptance begins to wash away the results of years of rejection and failure. The bottom line: God has given us many good gifts. As we approach 2020, we look forward with great anticipation to see how the Lord will lead and provide.
In our lives, sometimes God’s blessings are very evident. Other times, they are much harder for us to perceive. As we prepare to celebrate Christmas this year, may the Lord’s good gifts be a source of great gratitude in our hearts. Merry Christmas!
Nate Boyd, Executive Director