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Stones of Remembrance


As a last activity, we wanted our participants to create something to help them remember all the time they spent learning and growing at our previous property. We instructed each of our participants to pick two rocks. With rocks in hand, we all sat down together and I presented them with paint and paintbrushes. We told them to paint one rock with a picture that would remind them of their time in Sessions. The other rock was to be painted with something personal on it, either their name, a word that stood out to them, or a picture that they liked. That rock would go to our new home so that our participants could leave their mark on it and prepare the way for others.


It was a special time to see each participant carefully craft a rock that represented their time at the Ranch. Some painted beautiful ombre backgrounds with horses silhouetted or inspiring words in fancy calligraphy. The less artistic splashed their rock in bright colors that dripped into swirls or wrote their name in bold strokes. Each rock, no matter how "aesthetically pleasing," carried so much meaning. They spoke of hope being reignited, perseverance in difficulty, friendships built, trust established, and the healing hand of God. As they painted, we laughed and reminisced on the journey each child had taken and their favorite moments from the past weeks.


We were reminded later that creating these objects of remembrance was actually utilized in the Bible. "The 12 stones of remembrance were carried by a man from each tribe and placed in the center at Gilgal upon Joshua's command (Joshua 4:20). Joshua taught the Israelites that the 12 stones were a memorial to the Lord and that every time they looked at the stones, they were to be reminded of God." (Resource: christianity.com)


Sessions are a bountiful time full of fun and sacred spaces of healing. We are so happy that each child got to make their own "remembrance stone" so they can always have a reminder of what the Lord has done so far. One of our Junior Rancher participants recently shared what God has done for her at the end of our last Session of the Spring:


"You guys are truly amazing and I’ll miss it so much. Freedom Reigns has helped me overcome so many challenges, fears, and insecurities. I felt right at home when I walked into the barn for the first time and I found myself missing Freedom Reigns before I even left the ranch on the last session.


I wanna thank all the volunteers and Junior Ranchers for making me feel right at home. Thank you for helping me overcome a lot of my fears. Everyone always greeted me with a warm welcoming smile right as I walked in, and never failed to make my whole week with their fun and positive energy haha! It’s safe to say I wouldn’t be who I am right now without everyone there. Freedom Reigns and I are truly, truly blessed to have the Volunteers and Junior Ranchers here...Thank you again, I am forever grateful for Freedom Reigns.


One session could change a life forever, and that’s what YOU guys did for mine."


- 13 year old Participant


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