This month started off with a bang, or whatever sound you imagine when someone hits the ground while falling off of a horse… After a little over a month of working on the ground with Nyssa, I felt like she was ready to be ridden, and so I got on her for the first time. She accepted me like she’d done it a million times when I first got on, and took 5 calm steps before she felt too off-balance and decided she needed me off of her…
If you review the video several times (as I have, occasionally frame-by-frame because it's even funnier in slow motion), you can see that she’s actually started to settle down about the time I’ve completely lost my own balance. It wasn’t the LEAST painful fall I’ve had, but other than a couple bruises from the horn and a need for some self chiropractic care for my hips, I was fine, and never happier to have decided to set my phone up to record the event.
The next time I got on her, it went a lot better. We took it a couple steps at a time and even though she felt off-balance again under my weight, she stayed calm and we piled praises on her for doing so well. M and I are both SUPER excited about that and her future as a Ranch horse. She’s very smart and catches on pretty quickly to whatever we ask of her.
The second week in November I got to take a little break from the Ranch to go and visit my fiancé and then go to a women’s conference! It was nice to get some rest, and I’m so thankful to Lu and N for feeding my baby kitten while I was gone, and for a friend who picked me up to the bus station to go to the conference!
One of the recurring themes in my life seems to be brokenness as I often feel broken in many different ways which also makes me feel like I’m not good enough or that I can’t serve as well as I could if I were whole. Sure enough, the focus of the conference was on brokenness and how we shouldn’t be afraid to keep living even as we’re broken and that we can still serve and love and be loved no matter how broken our hearts may be.
At the end of the conference, one of the women shared (half-jokingly) about how everything there had been specifically for her and how she was glad we’d been there for “her” healing time. We laughed, but I couldn’t help but to have felt the same way, as it seemed like everything that was said, sung, and done spoke directly to me. God is really cool like that.
There was plenty of time for laughter and fun at the conference as well!
This month, we also started up with girls and boys horse/Bible studies. We decided to launch into incorporating the horses into ministry by combining the girls Bible study with horse lessons. Then, as there has been an ongoing need for a boys Bible study (that doesn’t involve soccer since not all the boys in the community play and some are too young to join the teams), we also started a boys Bible study doing the same thing.
It has been AWESOME! I take a group of kids in the barn and teach them something about horses and then Jon teaches Scripture that goes along with that lesson. We spent the first three weeks in I Corinthians 12, talking about how we all have different spiritual gifts that are all equally important, how there are different parts of the body, and how we need to take care of the body of Christ. So, in the barn we talked about the different brushes (they all have different purposes but are all equally important), the parts of the horse, and basic horse care (we need to take care of the other members of the body of Christ) which involved listening to the Zoeva’s heart and stomach sounds as well as taking her temperature.
After that, we had a review day during which the kids were able to win prizes for memorizing the Bible verse (Lo cierto es que hay muchos miembros, pero el cuerpo es uno solo. 1 Corintios 12:20… Where’s my prize?!?), and for winning the games. We had a relay race to find the correct brush, a Healthy/Unhealthy challenge (if the horse has green stuff and blood coming from her nose, is she healthy or unhealthy?), and they had to tape the names of the parts of the body onto the horse.
J leads the boys in worship.
The boys loved brushing Zoeva!
Zoeva gets a full-body beauty treatment from the girls Bible study!
I think she wins the most tolerant horse of the year award!
Race back to the pole, but did you grab the right brush?
Needless to say, this month has been AMAZING, and ended with two Thanksgiving meals, one at the Ranch which was INCREDIBLE and one at the church with the other missionaries which was a lot of crazy fun! I’m so excited for everything that December has in store for me!
This little one was a bit intimidated by all the older girls,
so she brushed Sheeba with N. Dogs need some loving with brushes, too!
- For my fiance and I as we continue to learn to love and respect each other more, and as we struggle with the long distance and as we prepare to do all of our wedding planning in two weeks in December.
- For the sales events we've been invited to, that they would be a blessing to the students.
- For the boys and girls Bible studies, that the kids would come with soft hearts and minds open to receive the gospel and that J and I would have wisdom while teaching these precious ones about horses and God.
- For the continued training of Nyssa and for the connection we made during the conference to be fruitful so we can get some more good Ranch horses.
- For peace and comfort for me as I head into the Christmas season away from my family and normal traditions.
- For the funds to come in to finish the staff house so I can move in!
Last year I planted some strawberry seeds from some store-bought strawberries,
and now I've got a strawberry developing! They love the cooler mountain weather!
If you are interested in supporting me financially, you may do so online or by check.
Online: Visit www.ro4y.com and click the “Donate” button on the sidebar to give through PayPal. Make sure you include my name and your email address so the funds can be directed to me.
By check: Make checks payable to “RO4Y” and include a note with my name and your email address, then send the checks to: Rancho Oasis for Youth, P.O. Box 1853, Mason City, IA 50401.
To give specifically to the completion of the staff house, make a note on your check or when giving online!