COUNTING BLESSINGS AND MOVING FORWARD
Today I was contemplating our needs and the needs of others and my thought was, “I have limited means.” And right on the heels of that thought was, “But Larry, you serve a limitless God.” I have pondered that all evening and I believe that I must share it with you.
2017 is wrapping up and for each of us, our story would include difficulties: some small and some seemingly insurmountable. However, Robin and I have discussed and in conversations that I have had with others, we cannot ignore the blessings that have come our way as well. Counting blessings and moving forward in gratitude seems to not only brighten the path ahead but also causes us to step out in faith and in confidence. God has this. And my God is limitless.
We are in the midst of the Thanksgiving Season… the Christmas Celebration… and the beginning of another new year. And I have the privilege of serving on the Almighty’s team, and he is a Limitless God. I cannot help but find myself in a celebration of gratefulness as I proceed into the newness of each new day.
We have been busy at RBR with not just projects, but opportunity. It has certainly been rewarding. As I shared with you in a previous letter, 483 children attended camp last summer. That is a new record. It was also the third year in a row that a new record attendance was recorded at Rainbow Bible Ranch. What a tremendous opportunity to impact over 250 families in a very direct and life changing way. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement along the way.
We have also seen a number of successful events at the ranch and God has opened several new outreach occasions. Recently Robin and I were part of some very special services in the southeastern corner of the state. We continue to seek prospective avenues to get the gospel out and to promote the ministry and reach of the Ranch.
We take very serious the aspects of RBR that many may not realize. For instance, we believe we can encourage youth to practice biblical stewardship in the care of the natural world around us. RBR location allows for not only the discussion of this but also the observation and practice. We believe we can give kids a glimpse of agriculture. Only one and half percent of America’s population is involved in production agriculture. While a child is at Rainbow, they can see where that their food does not originate in the grocery store. We teach firearm safety and show them that a rifle is a tool and should be treated as such. We encourage firsthand experience in the outdoors. They will explore and even experience the starry sky as they sleep outdoors. They will be given a good experience on horseback. Horses have proven to be an amazing tool in reaching people of all ages especially youth.
They will be challenged to live life without excuses and encouraged by staff members that care deeply about their daily walk.
Of course we love sharing Jesus with so many. We know Jesus came to fulfill the hope of eternal life. We know that the forgiveness of our Heavenly Father and the peace that passes all understanding is more than refreshing it is rebirth and renewal. We know that Christ came to give life and that we may enjoy life more abundantly. That is exciting.
We are at a place that we must seek where the Lord wants us to go next and what to do. RBR camp numbers can only increase by a few. We cannot increase much more without compromising the camp experience that is currently enjoyed. So the choice is only to better the experience and add impact ministry elsewhere. That is the desire of conducting Sunday Evening services at the Country Chapel. We have some events on the drawing board that will fit in well with the offseason ministry.
This is where we are requesting your help. We need to finish the year strong financially. Currently we are experience a shortfall. That cannot continue. We are at a standstill on the chapel due to added costs. We must keep staff needs in mind… throughout the year and in the summer season. Rainbow Bible Ranch is people and it takes commitment from good people to be effective. And I ask that you pray fervently for drought relief. It has cost us greatly.
I see several projects on the radar that we should consider pursuing. We have some structural issues in the dining room that need repair. Secondly, the possibility of reverse osmosis system on our new well would make a huge difference on the availability of needed water to run an operation as RBR. Personally, I think that this should be high priority. And thirdly, I believe we need to pursue a heating cooling system in the main hall. We have limited heat that is really tested in cold weather and last summer with the heat, we realized the need for some relief due to the heat. I know that this is camp and that the kids should be willing to rough it. However, I would rather “push on them” in ways that offer more “personal growth” returns than being challenged in a hot and stale atmosphere.
The family and staff recognize the team effort of so many to be as effective as possible. God has called us to do some amazing things at Rainbow Bible Ranch. Let us proceed in faith that God will supply. Help each one of us to put our limited means behind us and make a decision to allow God to use us in limitless ways.
We are starting to receive registrations for next year. Please pray for the kids that will attend. In addition to that, please pray that young people will be sensitive to the leading of God in their life to serve on staff at RBR. Again, good people are vital. We saw that in magnified way this last summer as we had little to no water recreation due to the drought. Yet, the staff worked extremely hard to fill the time with fun activities.
Oh, and that reminds me, we need to be ready. As many of you may remember, we lost all of our fishing opportunities due to drought. We are praying that God will fill up our ponds and reservoirs this spring. Thus we will need to stock them with fish. We must be ready to spend some money on purchasing fish to do so. Let’s trust. Let’s be ready. Let’s take action. Let’s be thankful for what God is going to do.
Let’s be faithful in doing what God has called for us to do in His strength and with His resources and let’s do it with passion.