NOVEMBER 2016 HOMESTEAD HAPPENINGS (RAINBOW REFLECTOR)
2016 Autumn Reflector Homestead Happenings
By Larry B. Reinhold
So let me tell you what is going on in my heart… a line from Rich Mullens’ song, Sometimes by Step; “There was so much work left to do, but so much You’d already done.”
I listen to this song quite often, but when I heard this line the other night; tears welled up in my eyes. It is certainly easy to get caught up in the “to do” list of life, thus allowing worry to overtake gratefulness and thoughtful preparation. And when that happens, we are robbed of the joy in the journey as we miss walking in the “Lord’s way”.
We just completed 37 years of camping ministry. God has allowed me the privilege of being a part of all those years as the Executive Director. One can only realize that Almighty God is the author of the many varied chapters to which the chronicles of Rainbow Bible Ranch include.
Now however, let me tell you about the abundant harvest. Rainbow Bible Ranch experienced another record breaking season in 2016. God brought together a phenomenal staff and together we had the privilege of having 474 campers from 22 different states to the ranch this summer. WOW! It was amazing. We actually had to turn some campers away…and we are not very good at that. Some exciting aspects of those numbers are: We continue to see more and more kids that are second generation, meaning that one or both of their parents attended RBR as kids. After 37 years of ministry, that is so very rewarding. We also were blessed with a safe summer. That many kids, that many miles on horseback, that many hours of playing and we see just mainly the normal bumps and bruises of being a kid. We realize the need for safety and we also realize that we don’t live in a bubble. Thank God for a safe summer.
We saw many decisions to follow Christ. Our theme, THE GREATEST RACE, proved to be challenging and encouraging. Rachel did most of the work on setting up our “Growth Guide” this spring. Robin composed a beautiful and compelling theme song. I appreciated Derek Anderson assisting in the speaking chores each week as well. Each member of the staff has an active role in touching the kids spiritually and mentally.
Our season proved hot and dry, weather wise. Very little hay was put up here as we found ourselves in one of the drier areas of the region. And hot…One Friday afternoon rodeo was conducted in 108 degree heat. Many of our ponds went dry and Reinhold Lake is very low. We may lose our fish this winter to winter kill. However, the fishing this summer proved too great. One boy caught a 7#4oz largemouth bass, and one walleye that was hooked measured over 23 inches long. We did lose some trees that we planted in the last couple of years, because we just couldn’t get enough water on all of them. We will say that we are seeing improvement in the looks of the landscape however, because “we keep trying and God keeps blessing”.
We thoroughly enjoy good food and we love feeding our campers real and healthy food. All the beef and nearly all the pork that was consumed this summer was raised here on the ranch and locally processed. Robin even grinds Lonetree wheat to make the homemade dinner rolls for the Thursday evening banquets. We continue to appreciate the assistance of Paula Jandreau and Tammy Hackens in food preparation, along with several other staff members in various capacities. It is a delight to me to watch the next generation pick up the baton. Danny and Caleb Reinhold prepared the roast beef this summer as often as I did. That is over 75 pounds a week just for Thursday Banquet and Friday supper.
Many ask how our horses are doing following the devastating impact of Atlas three years ago. God is so good. The family and wranglers have done a lot of work to achieve the fantastic remuda that we enjoy today. There is still a lot of riding to do on some of the younger horses, however. I continue to be impressed with my wranglers as they give enjoyable experiences to the many young riders as well as taking good care of the horses in many challenging situations. We enjoyed another Dakota Horse Challenge in June. Hats off to all that completed and competed. Justin Palmer and Scotty Brown, both of Idaho, finished first and second in the finale.
Most of my staff are in the high school and college & career age bracket. They work so hard and then they go into the rigors of school and jobs right after camp. Please pray for them and appreciate them. They do not get rich here, but they gain many valuable experiences that will be with them for a life time.
God blessed us with an amazing summer. Lots and lots of kids from all over the country spent time with us here at the ranch. These special guests received the royal treatment, as they well should. They and their families are very special to us and even more to God. To reach out to their spiritual, mental and physical wellbeing is our mission. And with God’s strength and leading; that mission was successful.
We finished the summer somewhat exhausted, but very pleased with what God accomplished. We are grateful to be a part of His team. The rewards are amazing. The challenge combining the working ranch atmosphere with genuine ministry is worth it, but to say the least can be almost overwhelming. This summer was full steam ahead even though we found ourselves in the midst of an area where we were extremely dry, and the heat that was experienced by our region was difficult.
We found ourselves at the end of the season with more to do and less people to do it. Molly Reinhold returned to school in Oregon. I told Caleb Clark to accept an opportunity that would move him into a more positive position in his career path. And Derek Anderson with his “pastor heart”, I encouraged him to pursue and accept the position of lead pastor of a church in Newell, SD. Needless to say, our work load has increased greatly. And you know what is interesting…God has led us to continue full steam ahead in ministry opportunities. I will be honest. That is testing us. I will also say that we have financial needs that are not being met in order to make that happen…yet.
I do say with confidence that God can, does and will provide. He is faithful and as He leads, we must not cower from moving forward. Uncertainty and worry have no place in getting the work of the Lord done. I am confident that God will do as He claims. Will we?
God will provide and He has chosen His people to be blessed by being obedient to the calling. That is what has kept the ministry of Rainbow Bible Ranch moving forward over the years. Some of that time period proved to be very trying. And praise God, we are still here and will be until God calls us to another place.
God help us, if we ever hinder the progress of His working. Each one of us have the pleasure of serving our Great God and Creator. The Sustainer of our very being will continue to the end. We must accept His will and His calling and then we will recognize the greatest blessing that anyone can attain. And that is to give back of ourselves to the One that has given everything.
We are trusting God for the right people to come along side of us to continue and complete some very important projects. Those projects range from moving an old country church to the Ranch to enable us to conduct Sunday evening services throughout the summer months. Many have indicated an interest in this ministry. We have several buildings that need finishing touches and some that need some remodeling. We have a need in our dining room to address where the floor is heaving upward. We have a need to obtain hay for livestock due to the fact that we fell short of sufficient moisture. We need the service of good contractors and we need to be able to pay them.
We will trust God for His continued provision for the ongoing ministry and we make ourselves available as He leads…Will you join us?