Our bunkbeds are filled with students again and our hearts are overflowing with gratefulness that summer has arrived! Week one was INCREDIBLE! We definitely noticed even more excitement from our ranchers than usual which was likely due to how hard this year has been for so many of them… stuck in isolation in unideal home situations. What a joy it is to have them here and to be able to provide a place of reprieve.
One of our team leaders shared about her experience this past week… “I got to see kids who have carried the heavy weight of trauma get to lay that down and embrace the weight of God’s glory in their lives. Fun was had. Lives were changed. Passion was discovered. Jesus changes everything. And this was only the first week of programming!”
We had an incredible line up of speakers this week at our leadership summit including Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, the Des Moines Chief of Police, Dana Wingert, and Michael Hurst. Our students were engaged and eager to ask questions and learn more. The outstanding leadership training we are able to offer to our students is made possible by incredible volunteers and staff members that put their heart and soul into teaching and equipping the next generation of leaders. This is how we are breaking cycles and building leaders. What cycles are we breaking, you might ask? The primary cycle we see broken over the 10 years we work with our students is the “crazy cycle” which is caused by the underlying issue that pain pursues pleasure. If it is hedonistic pleasure and not altruistic it causes more pain, which causes people to pursue more pleasure. Doing this over and over and expecting a different outcome is how Einstein defined insanity. We work hard to replace that cycle with the growth cycle to set our students on a new trajectory.
We are looking forward to the many weeks ahead of endless opportunities to invest in the next generation of leaders! Partner with us in prayer by praying that our students’ hearts would be softened to the gospel and that His power would be made perfect in our weakness – His grace is always sufficient and always provides more than we could ever even imagine (2 Corinthians 12:9). Praise Him!!!
If you live in the DSM area and you’re looking for additional ways to help out, consider donating snacks for our students’ lunches. Drop off bars, fruit snacks, or any other individually wrapped snacks to the Valley Community Center at 4444 Fuller Rd, WDM, IA 50265 now through June 30th. The drop box is located right inside the main entrance.