Thursday, September 4, 2008

So blessed......

Forgive us for the delay between our last blog and now. It has been an exciting and busy time here at the ranch as we finish up our first "official" season open. Without question, the best word to describe this summer is "BLESSED".

On August 13, we welcomed Paul & Susan Baliles with children Fred & Isabel; Don Wendland with son,Nathan; Marcin Rodzko; Frank and Sherrie Scalero with children Noah, Jackson, Natalie, and Ellie. They came to work on our Welcome Center for the ranch. As I try to describe the efficiency of this group, I think the only way I can describe it is to refer to those home makeover/remodeling shows where it shows the crew in fast motion. This is the NORMAL speed for this crew (Marcin was actually faster yet)!! They were amazing! It was not only the work completed that blessed us so much, but equally special were the memories made with them as we worked and played together. To each of you, thank you so much. You boosted our spirits immeasurably.

We continue to be humbled and amazed as our great God raises up His people to meet our needs and even many of our desires for this special place. On August 22, Shannon and I (Susan) with our daughter, Lena, made the trip to Alamar Acres near Princeville, Illinois to pick up 320 bales of donated hay from Alan & Mary Ann Knobloch and to meet, for the first time, two beautiful Clydesdale mares to be donated to the ranch. WOW!! The following day, Alan & Mary Ann delivered Ruby (2-yr. old) and Hadassah (1-yr. old) to HIS Ranch. They are already ministering to us and to others visiting the ranch. As a girl who grew up on a farm and took the animals for granted, I continue to be amazed at how God uses His creation in amazing ways to bring calm and peace to troubled lives. To the Knobloch's, THANK YOU....through you, we have been amazingly blessed.

It was with mixed emotions that we decided to close our doors for lessons on Labor Day weekend. Our students have been quick learners and amazing young people. It sometimes seems strange to call them "students". Maybe "teachers" would be more accurate because we also learn so much from them. Our summer help is now back in school and we miss them dearly. We especially miss Javon Steffen as she was such a rock here through a, sometimes, very hectic summer. We are trying to connive ways to get her back here as soon as possible!

Though we miss our "teachers", we know also that times of rest and restoration are necessary. If Christ took time away from His ministry, then the need for this time away is even more significant for us. Kim Meeder has told us, "You cannot give what you do not have. If you do not take time away to be filled, you will have nothing to give." We do hope to stay open longer in the years to come as our staff grows. There is still much to be done here, even without the lessons occurring. There are quite a number of projects still in the works to make the facility more efficient for our program.

By the way, if you would like to book a presentation for our winter "tour" at your church or organization, now would be a great time to call or email us.