Just a few minutes ago a vendor that provides services to the ranch stopped by on a business call. He said he “felt” something different about this place and wanted to know what it was all about. The conversation quickly turned from business toward a moment of personal ministry to him. He and his wife adopted a young boy from the foster system who is now a teenager. In the father’s own words, the young man is “out of control.” He went on to say he wished there had been a place like this when his son was younger “before it was too late and he would still listen.” I encouraged him that it wasn’t too late for his son and we would do all we could to help.
After the conversation, I came inside and recommitted myself to engaging the pain and breaking the cycle of abuse in these 6-12 year old children. We intentionally target them at an age when they are willing to listen. While they are often hardened by their neglect, their broken hearts are still pliable. Today’s conversation with this struggling father reminded me of a recent meeting I attended where a high-ranking government official, in charge of Child Protective Services in her state, made a sobering statement. She said that some states (along with other data) forecast the number of prison beds in the future by the number of children in the foster system today.
Her words broke my heart, but her statement and today’s conversation with this dad serve as stark reminders of the urgency in what we do. If we don’t break the cycle of abuse in the kid’s lives through the love of Jesus, they will become the perpetrators of the next generation. Hurting people hurt people unless healing happens. This is the very reason we do what we do. This is why Lonesome Dove Ranch exists. This is why we say that this place is Where Healing Happens.
Every year the cycle is broken in children’s lives. We’ve been doing this long enough (nearly a decade) that we are seeing the long-term fruit. One of our campers that attended our first two camps (who was 11 and 12 at the time) is coming back this year to volunteer. This young lady was so visibly broken by the pain of her abuse that first year of camp; we could have never have imagined that she would return as a staff member. God’s grace and the love of people have molded her into a young woman who wants to invest in kids that are living her story. It has truly come full circle.
Would you consider perpetuating her story? Would you join Haley and I in giving sacrificially to make this summer of camps possible? Our camps are completely free for the children who come, but they are first-class experiences that come with a large financial commitment. Donors like you make each camp possible.
We need a $100,000 miracle between now and June 30th.
- A gift of $25,000 sponsors everything for one entire camp.
- A gift of $5,000 sponsors 1 full day of camp.
- A gift of $1,500 sponsors the birthday party we throw for every kid at one camp. Some of these kids have been in the system so long and passed around to so many homes, they don’t know when their birthday is or how old they are…so we celebrate them with personalized cakes and a blowout party.
- A gift of $500 sponsors one camper for a week.
- A gift of $50 dollars provides birthday gifts for one child.
- A gift of $20 provides a personalized Kids Fire Bible.
- A gift of $10 feeds one child 3-gourmet meals for a day at camp. (And they are real gourmet meals prepared by executive chefs who volunteer their time.)
As you can see, any gift makes a significant difference, regardless of size. Please consider joining us in pursing the broken the way the Father has pursued us. Join us in confronting their pain with the all-encompassing love of Christ.
Thank you in advance for making an eternal difference through a place that has captured the heart of the Father.
For the broken,
Dr. Bryan Jarrett
P.S. If you would like to use traditional mail, make your check out to:
“The Water Tower Network” and send it to PO Box 99 Wylie, Texas 75098.
To give online click the “GIVE” button at the top of the webpage.