Driving to my first session, nerves fluttered in my stomach as I wondered how I would mentor a child. I prayed that God would fill me with his Holy Spirit and give me the words to say. Immediately, all anxiety I had felt about being a session leader disappeared as I knew God is in control! I realized He has a plan for each and every person at the Ranch, whether they be participants, volunteers, sponsors, or donors.
Before I heard about Freedom Reigns Ranch, I was reading my Bible and under conviction prayed, “Lord, I pray that my faith will be a faith of action!” It wasn’t long after when God began to answer my prayer with the opportunity to volunteer at the raWant to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon. nch! When I first began training and volunteering, I didn’t think I was qualified to lead sessions, due to the fact that I was sixteen years old and had had almost no previous horse experience. Therefore, my comfort zone was stretched to say the least, beginning as a session leader. I didn’t feel capable. “Lord,” I prayed, “I’m only sixteen years old, and I don’t know what I’m doing – how in the world am I supposed to mentor a child through horsemanship?”
I am so glad God gave me this opportunity! Each child’s experience is different; many participants strongly feel and respond to the love, value and safety they feel at the ranch. God can pour so much love into our hearts for the kids here -- I find myself thinking and praying for them all throughout the weeks. I’m learning so much as well; to rely on God to teach through me, to show Christ’s love to other people through listening and talking, and to observe many incredible parallels between horsemanship and discipleship. (continued below photo)
Through these experiences, one theme that I notice in my observations is that God’s opportunities for his workers exceed human standards! Where I may seem an unlikely candidate to volunteer at Freedom Reigns Ranch, the Apostle Paul’s words encourage me: “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its parts form one body, so it is with Christ. … But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (I Corinthians 12:12, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV)