Dear Family and Friends,
It seems that in the blink of an eye summer has come and gone. I am sure you are all settling back into the new routine of fall and so it is at the Ranch, a new season about to begin.
But before I go into the new season I think it would honor our GREAT GOD to look back over the summer and the mighty work He did at STR. Where to begin…for one, it was the rainiest summer we have ever experienced since the conception of STR. By the end of Week 1 of camp there was so much mud the camp managers had to lay pallets out for the kids to walk from the pavilion to the parking lot. The funny thing is the kids did NOT walk on the pallets, they continued to walk in the mud. I sat in wonder and delight at the kids’ reactions as each day brought more rain and more mud. The children’s delight escalated as they got muddier and muddier. The day camp staff continued to smile and carry on the events of the day as if it were a balmy 80 degrees with sunshine. Only God!!
So, after the mud week came the frog week and the frogs kept coming…my favorite memory of the frogs is the little boy who emptied his Camelbak water bottle to use as a habitat for the frogs he caught; he was so excited! There is nothing that compares to looking at life through the eyes of a child. It is no wonder Jesus said “Let the little children come”, they truly bring perspective and light to each given moment. It was a challenge to keep the kids on task at activities because of the multitude of frogs, and I do mean multitudes, but their counselors cheerfully kept the kids hoppin’ (haha couldn’t resist).
The last weeks of camp held their own and God provided the volunteers, the weather, and the fortitude to fight the battle for the souls of these children. Above all the fun, laughter and activities that take place at Strong Tower there is one single reason we show up on that property and it is to proclaim the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus. I watched and listened, week after week, at our faithful volunteers’ laser focus on that single most important mission. Each of the 400+ children who showed up on the property was counseled individually, the gospel was shared one on one and each of the children were prayed over by either a counselor or Wrangler.
What an honor and privilege to serve the God of the universe, the maker of ALL things. It is overwhelming to contemplate this: He chose me because He wanted to—not because I deserve it. I am so thankful to be able to watch Him transform hearts before my very eyes as He uses His faithful servants at STR. Time and time again I am left in tears and wonderment at the hope He continues to pour out and the mercies He continues to give mankind. It was a fruitful summer but the harvest is plentiful and there is still work to be done. We have a busy fall ahead of us with Horsemanship Clinics, GATES, and SPURS. We have trail rides lined up almost every Saturday and property rentals so prayer is appreciated.
And as always, I cannot express in words the gratitude and love I feel when I think of you. I thank you for your continual support of the mission God has called me to at STR. I am delighted to report exciting news in my personal life. My daughter, Madelyn, has just gotten engaged and will be married in June of 2016. My husband and I are rejoicing in this news and welcome our new son with open arms. Madelyn and Alex share a heart for missions and I know that attending camp here at STR and serving here was extremely instrumental in my daughter’s desire to serve God in this way. Alex was able to serve two weeks of camp this summer and loved it. My oldest son Christian will be graduating from Mizzou in May of 2016 and my youngest son Brenden is a junior in high school. My husband, Mark, is my pillar and I am thankful for his continual support of my service at STR. God has protected and guided our family over the years and I owe it all to Him. Thank you all again for your love and support, it means more than you will ever know.