Director's View: The Year in Review
As we draw to the close of another year, there’s much to remember and celebrate. We thank God for His good gifts: meeting needs, guiding organizational accomplishments, and pouring His grace into this community. Here are a few highlights from the Ranch ministry in 2021:
As the year began, we celebrated a tremendous outpouring of extra financial support that arrived in the form of many year-end gifts and material donations. These gifts came in large and small amounts and allowed us to move forward with developing plans for the duplex remodel while simultaneously tackling many other critical projects throughout the year.
The generosity continued, as we received a large gift through a long-time Ranch supporter’s will. The Ranch guys and girls completed excellent trips to the forest to build igloos, character, and teamwork.
As a break from the grind of the school year, students and interns went to Royal Gorge for a day of cross-country skiing.
Reporters from WORLD Magazine came to the Ranch to feature us as a finalist in their annual Hope Awards. This publicity resulted in financial blessings, new connections, and student and intern applications.
We hosted our annual Rescue Run, and it was a great joy to experience broader community life after the winter Covid wave.
The maintenance team remodeled a bathroom, built a new laundry room, and added a steeply discounted Honda Pilot to our vehicle fleet. As the cherry on top of April, thanks to a generous donor, the Ranch Family went to K1 Speed and raced go-karts!
A crew of skilled volunteers, our maintenance team, and the young men in the program repainted the guys’ dorms and entirely remodeled the interior of one whole building. During this project, a 16’ utility trailer was donated in response to the request on our needs list and was put to work within an hour of receiving it. At the end of the month we celebrated many victories and accomplishments of the young people here, including high school graduation and another baptism.
The facilities at Angels’ Meadow were used for much significant ministry, including a men’s retreat from a local church, a week-long camp for 80 young people run by Christian Youth In Action, and our annual Ranch Family Camp.
Many new connections were made through church visits, a community event for teens, a local fundraiser at MOD Pizza, and publicity through Air1 and K-Love radio programs. And, just in time for record heat waves, evaporative coolers were installed in each dorm room.
Publicity opportunities continued as ABC10 News sent a van to the Ranch to feature the Agony Ride in a morning news segment. Despite wildfire smoke and road closures, cyclists completed the 39th Agony Ride. At time of publication, riders have raised $237,777, which eclipses the previous second-highest total ($222K), and money continues to come in.
After the Nevada County Building Department gave final approval and stamped the duplex remodel plans, we did a ground-breaking ceremony highlighting the many ways the Lord went before us. This project had been on the to-do list for over a decade, and due to the tremendous support given at the turn of the year, as well as a host of skilled craftsmen lined up to help, it is now under way.
Our students and interns each took on the challenge of completing our high ropes course and enjoyed a day trip to the coast.
The Ranch was hopping with activity all month as the team prepared the property, facilities, plans, and programs for the 50th Anniversary Celebration. As part of this, the maintenance team rebuilt the lodge patio area by the main parking lot. About 300 people came to the celebration, including many former Ranch family members, pioneers, and local supporters. People from every single year of the Ranch’s existence were present. The fellowship was sweet and many impactful stories were shared.
A 2011 Honda Odyssey was donated, and the vehicle fleet, which was a matter of prayer in 2020, is now a strength. Staff member Jensen Near presented internship opportunities at two colleges in VA, and we welcomed baby Caroline Palmer into the Ranch family.
So much was accomplished that it’s difficult to keep track of all of it. Each project completed blesses this family and helps us accomplish our mission. The best part of all--hearts healing and growing--can’t even be included on a list like this. Each day this year, young people at the Ranch achieved victories through courageously choosing truth and love.
God has given us many good gifts this year. As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, may we all be filled with the joy that comes from the greatest gift ever given: Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!
“Thanks be to God, who always leads us in victory through Christ.” 2 Cor. 2:14.
Nate Boyd, Executive Director