We’re just two weeks into the summer and already blown away and encouraged by how restorative this time has been for so many of our ranchers. We had a young leader share about how he has to wake up at 5:30 every morning to take care of his siblings and help get them ready for school. He was so relieved to be able to get a break from taking care of his brothers and sisters and just “be a kid” for the week.
We are so grateful to have a 400-acre sanctuary where the youth we serve can play and laugh and get to know other students that have shared similar experiences while catching a breath from their tumultuous home lives. Our outstanding summer team leaders have really stepped up to the plate in caring for our students and putting their heart and soul into getting to know each rancher, helping them to feel valued and heard.
One of our team leaders shared about how she was braiding a girl in her cabin’s hair (we’ll call her Lucy for confidentiality sake) and Lucy started opening up about how much she loved having her hair done but never does since she lives with her dad who doesn’t know how to braid and her mom abandoned their family at an early age. Lucy shared about how other girls in school always have their hair more put together and she always felt insecure about how hers looked and was so excited to have her hair braided every day by her team leader. It’s seemingly small things like braiding hair and listening to our youth share their stories that create long term relationships which is what leads to true transformation and breakthrough.
Our primary goal in our relationships with our students is to build trust with them since so many of them have experienced broken trust from adults in their lives. This process can be difficult at times due to the trauma of past experiences and hardships but it is SO worth it. We use a method called TBRI (Trust-Based Relational Intervention) to create relationships with our students by meeting their physical needs, listening to them, caring for their hurts, and empowering them to be leaders. Check out this video about TBRI to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWScSJKjn1A.
Thanks for tuning in and keeping up with the happenings at The Ranch! Stay tuned for next week’s wrap up!
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”
1 Corinthians 1:3-5
Reminder: 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.