So as we are entering day 4, we have decided to try and post more than just one big blog. I think maybe our fine young men have started to figure out our rewarding point system. The point system goes from dinner to dinner and the boys are able to earn or loose points according to their behavior and/or participation. At the end of the day they can use these points to buy things from the store…so back to my original comment about them figuring us out. We had some issues last night at the dinner table but this was quickly intervened on and an hour later it was like it never happened.
From dinner we went down by the lake and had some powerful/emotional time with Patrick. Sitting on log benches looking out over the beautiful water, Patrick stood in front of the cross; which was perfect for his testimony. I have never heard the boys so silent as they listened to the powerful work that God has done in Patrick’s life. This really showed the boys that Patrick trusts them with his dark times and good times and my prayer is that the boys are starting to trust us leaders in the same way. “It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me.” Daniel 4:2
On the first night Patrick told the boys about the famous “Dogman” who lives in the woods near Cran-Hill Ranch. Some of the boys wanted to go for a night hike to find this infamous “Dogman”. Mr. Jesse (Leader) was a little too scared to go searching for this “Dogman” so I agreed to stay in the house with a couple other boys to keep him safe. Thinking I was just going to be guarding Jesse was shortsighted on my part as what really happened was we were able to have some great quality time with some of the boys while playing cards. Even though all of us really enjoyed it, I was so excited to see Laden “in his element” and have a blast with just playing a card game. It is just so amazing to me every time we discover just one of those “little things” we can use to help peel back those tough layers. To end the Dogman story, it was very apparent that the person who was acting the toughest was the one that was the most scared…we won’t say any names though (Patrick).
So here we are today which has been a great start to the day. We started out with some great breakfast and then straight to the horse stable. The boys were introduced to a new thing at the stable which is called “Round Pen”. You can also see a video posted on www.followtheranch.org. Miss Amber used this horse training exercise to also share some real life thoughts we could take away about God always being in the center and never leaving us no matter who or what tries to distract us. This was a great illustration for God always waiting for us to trust Him. I am amazed at a lot of things so far but these horses have a special power with these boys and are a vessel God is using to open them up and show them how to care for things.
This entire experience is not only working on these boys but it is helping me so much in my life. These boys are so special and I just want to poor more and more love out to them. With all the good this is also very mentally draining for us staff…please pray for our staff’s patience and that God will continue to use us as vessel to reach these wonderful young men.
Off to lunch!!!
Lee – Youth Leader