Leadership Retreats: November and December Recap
We have been busy the last couple of months at The Ranch hosting successful leadership retreats for youth at-risk ages 13 to 18.
It is incredible to witness life transformation happening on these eventful weekends as youth open up about giants they are facing in their life such as gang violence, troubled homes and lives that have been negatively impacted due to drugs and abuse.
Speaking of giants, our new Program Director, Matt Waring, spoke to the youth in attendance about readiness versus preparedness and how to prepare for challenges in life. He pointed out something very interesting regarding the five stones that David took up to face Goliath. The reason David had five stones with him was not that he thought he would miss Goliath on the first throw. Rather it was because Goliath had four brothers. David was prepared and if Goliath’s four brothers were to attack him after he killed Goliath, he would have had a stone to strike and kill each of them. Being prepared does not mean we doubt God. Being prepared means we use the skills God has gifted us with to equip for the battles we face in life.
The leadership retreats were full of other educational experiences as well including learning how to bake pumpkin pies from scratch, participating in a writing workshop by local author Kimberly Stewart, creating handmade wooden coasters in the woodworking shop utilizing a wood burner, testing out our new archery equipment and hiking through the nature trails in the woods.
Youth also enjoyed Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts at the retreats and it was wonderful to share the love of Christ with them before the Holiday season as many of the youth we serve often have to deal with troubled home lives during this Christmas season.
Thanksgiving Fundraiser Recap
Thank you to all of you who volunteered or attended our annual Thanksgiving Fundraiser at the Iowa Machine Shed in Urbandale. Over 800 pounds of turkey was consumed, 112 people volunteered their time to help serve the meal and 1,380 individuals came to dine with us! The event raised a new record of $25,715.89.
We want to sincerely thank you for your ongoing partnership with The Ranch and for all of your gifts to us this year through prayer, donations and contributions of time and talent.
From all of us at Wildwood Hills Ranch, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!