ONE OF THE BEST THINGS MY PARENTS EVER DID

BY MOLLY ANN SCHUNNEMAN

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For me as a kid...

One of the best things my parents ever did for me as a kid was send me to Rainbow Bible Ranch! It was there, at the age of 9 when I accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. Although I didn't walk with Him for the following 10 years, the time I had at camp laid a foundation for me for the years to come. <3

Building long-time friendships, learning God's word, and getting the opportunity for a "city kid" to learn about hard work and grit are just some of the things I'm so thankful for. Not to mention being around the Larry Robin Reinhold family who are incredible, faithful people who showed me a great example of God's picture of family and togetherness! 

23 years later I sing some of the songs I remember from camp to my sweet Stella. I wish she could stay my baby forever, but I get excited to see what God will do for her heart when she attends camp in a few years! 

Camps do cost money, but I know THIS camp is an investment that can have an incredible return! Spots do fill up, so if it doesn't work this year to send your kiddos, start planning and saving for next year!

Rainbow Bible Ranch
THE REINHOLD RANCH - OUTREACH & MINISTRY LONG BEFORE RAINBOW BIBLE RANCH
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By Dan Damon April 2018

Our church youth group had some hayrides out at the Reinhold ranch, twenty miles north of town. We used to count three and a half horizons as we bounced up the graveled road on our way to the Lone Tree Ranch. The drivers topped the hills at fifty miles per hour in the middle of these narrow roads because no one was ever coming. We took that and many other things on faith in those days.

When we got to the ranch, Tige Reinhold was waiting with a tractor hitched to the hay wagon and we piled out of the cars and onto the wagon. Tige was almost as big as the cattle he raised. Things got rowdy as we rolled over the dark prairie. I fell off the hay wagon a few times. Actually, we pushed each other off many times. We would run alongside the wagon and hop back up into the soft, scratchy hay.

Maybe I was getting a little tired, but once I just stayed on the ground and watched the hay wagon roll away. No one noticed my absence. When I was ready, I started to walk toward the wagon, but the full harvest moon was starting to light the South Dakota prairie. The beauty of the scene stopped me in my tracks. As I gazed at the moon and struggled in the dark without a trail, I had the strong thought that my life would involve many struggles, but if I followed the light I would get where I needed to go. I felt like God was talking to me while I was alone at night on the prairie. I know it doesn’t sound like much when I tell it years later, but it felt big at the time, and I remember it vividly to this day. I followed the moon, and returned in time to the hayride. No one was worried about me, and I spoke to no one about my experience.

Dan Damon is a minister and song writer living in California.

Rainbow Bible Ranch
COUNTRY CHRISTMAS

By Colleen Brunner CATTLE BUSINESS WEEKLY DECEMBER 20, 2017

“The sights, the sounds, the aromas,” said Rainbow Bible Ranch Director Larry Reinhold, as he welcomed nearly 160 people into a tiny barn where a living nativity was played out. Squint a bit and imagine, and you will be transported back to that first Christmas. You will envision the night when Jesus the Savior was born among animals, wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a crude manger filled with hay.

The event was held on Friday, December 8 at Lonetree Ranch. This was the 24th year that Rainbow Bible Ranch has held the living nativity in the old barn built by Reinhold’s grandfather.

“How pleased Grandpa Emanuel Reinhold would be to see the barn that he built over 90 years ago filled with animals and people celebrating the Birthday in the barn,” said Reinhold.

The evening was a blustery, windy night and the Cowboy Wisemen, portrayed by Danny and Caleb Reinhold and their friends Jesse Anderson and Tanner Elefson, were unable to light a fire while they rested during their search for the star. But each carload of people, who traveled from afar to see the Birthday in the Barn, saw the young men off to the side as they made their way to Lonetree Ranch.

“Cowboy wisemen is kind of an oxymoron,” said Reinhold of these young men. But he laughed and said he was thankful they were there.

The general crowd was directed to the main hall, where Laura Adrian played Christmas music. The characters portraying the nativity gathered in the barn to prepare. The animals were led in, one by one. Edgar the sheep and a small American Babydoll lamb, as well as a goat, a pony, a horse, and chickens. Belle, the family dog was there and even a young calf born late in the fall surrounded the nativity; just as it was on that first Christmas night.

The baby was Owen Anderson, son of Taylor and Abby Anderson of Gillette, Wyo. Abby was a camper at Rainbow years ago and said it was a privilege for her son to portray this special role. Caleb Clark, a former RBR wrangler and his girlfriend Angela Grace portrayed the roles of Joseph and Mary. Angels were the daughters of Tyson and Shiloh Hewitt, Adessa, Jalee, and Allie, as well as Julia Reinhold. Abby and Kahler Finn, Kirsten and Rachel Reinhold, and Josh Hunt were shepherds.

There was a hush as people crowded into the small barn and first saw the nativity. Silence fell for long moments, and then Larry Reinhold began to share the Christmas story. He told how the mother of Jesus and Joseph traveled so far for the census, and that the babe was born in a barn, among the animals.

The scene was so real. The words Reinhold shared so poignant, that most just stood in awe of being able to relive this wonderful event. Finally, Pastor Derek Anderson led the group in several Christmas carols and then Reinhold invited the little ones to come closer.

“Get right up here,” he said. “Do you want to get on Pumpkin (the pony)?” he asked. “Come close and see the baby.”

People lingered for long moments, taking it all in and then began to disperse, heading back to the main hall where refreshments were laid out. Laura and her sister Sarah on the flute played tune after tune. People were greeted outside the barn by the Cowboy Wisemen as they walked through the starlit night toward the hall.

Friends and neighbors, as well as complete strangers, gathered in the warmth of the hall to sit and eat and visit. Finally, small groups returned to their cars and drove away. 

Next year it will happen again. A different cast of nativity characters will take their places in Emanuel’s barn and tell the world’s greatest story.

 

Colleen Brunner is a freelance writer based in Newell, S.D. contact her at collenkbrunner@gmail.com

 

 

 

Rainbow Bible Ranch
WHAT DOES RBR MEAN TO YOU AS A FORMER STAFF MEMBER

November 28, 2017 – By Guest Writer - Ketura Veal

"Come away, find out Who I AM, and know My voice." Rainbow Bible Ranch: a place of distance from the world, a time where time seemed to stop and eternity began. A "bar" that was raised very high, but attainable. 
Personal testimony: 
I grew up in a pastor's home. I knew ALL about doing. Serving as a teachers helper at the age of 7, leading youth when I was a youth, working with the elderly, leading hymns during songs service, the list was endless. 
I needed to learn about "Being" in Christ. I learned this being a camper. But the biggest lesson came the summer I was kitchen staff. The Lord taught me a hard lesson and I haven't forgotten it. I certainly wanted to be "doing" the role of camp counselor. That certainly looked liked a more noteworthy position than kitchen staff. I thought for sure I was equipped, I knew ALL about ministry or so I thought. They didn't need kitchen staff, I NEEDED to "be" kitchen staff. I needed to come away from it all, so as to fall in love with my Savior. And fall in love, I DID! He became everything to me. I didn't serve because it made me look good but because my love for Him flowed over. Yes, the very early mornings, sometimes ungrateful mouths, and flopped meals from a 15 year old. These taught me that leadership means "being" in Christ which is serving in humility. I really don't think I would be where I am today if I hadn't learned that. I am so grateful to Larry and Robin who listened to the Lord as they placed me in that perfect place, aka "kitchen staff."

Rainbow Bible Ranch
DROUGHT 2017 - HARD AND STRESSFUL, BUT NOTHING NEW

By Colleen Brunner
CATTLE BUSINESS WEEKLY

“It’s hard, it’s stressful, but it’s nothing new,” says David Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist, working out of the Rapid City, S.D. office. “You have to have a plan.”

Many farmers and ranchers in the tri-state area of northwest South Dakota, southeastern Montana and northeastern Wyoming have been struggling into their second year of a severe drought situation. But Ollila says that if they make a plan on what they are going to do if the drought continues and then stick with it, they can find a way out on the other side.

(Many) farmers and ranchers in this area know what to do in a drought situation, Ollila believes. But they have to be willing to follow the plan they lay out. SDSU Extension service helps with creating that plan with information as well as nitrate testing on forages, and livestock water suitability testing to determine whether the water will cause problems such as copper deficiency which causes polio.  

Ollila said the Cottonwood Range Research station at Philip, S.D. which records rainfall levels, has shown that since 2000 there have been 12 years where the rainfall in the three months of April, May and June was less than half the average for those important months.

“We are used to being in drought,” says Ollila. “There are two things that have caught people up though including the ‘new normal’ we got used to with abundant moisture from 2013 to 2015.” He said one is the fact that, with abundant rainfall in 2013 to 2015, producers became used to a The other is that the cost of operating went up, causing the producers to run more head to make the same amount of money.

Gary Deering, President of the South Dakota Stockgrowers, says he and his family have been fortunate in being able to hold on to most of their herd, and not have to resort to outside jobs to maintain the ranch. He lives and works with parents, Pat and Frankie, his wife Jessica, and three boys. But it hasn’t been easy, and they are making substantial changes to their operation, including buying hay, shipping some of their cattle to feedlots east river sooner than normal, and applying for specific programs such as the Emergency Conservation Program.

“This program is helping us dig a well and get a pipeline out to our pastures that have no water,” says Deering. “This will get water where we need it, and also help our grazing distribution.” Deering says they have also received some financial assistance through FSA due to their D3 drought designation to help with purchasing hay and send cows out to other areas.

“Someone told me several years ago, and I have found it to hold true,” says Deering, “That the sooner you start your drought plan and culling process, the fewer that will have to be culled in the end. So I have been keeping this in mind the last couple of years, even though, not unlike any other rancher, selling cows is one of the hardest decisions to make.”

Deering says he appreciates the Stockgrowers and also the Beef Council which oversees the beef checkoff program to help promote beef and fund research. He said that he is proud of how cattlemen, listening to each other, find ways to work together.

Deering says the biggest challenge to a drought is the unknown, the not knowing if this is the year it breaks or if it will go on.

“Multiple years can be scary,” he says. “We have seen many droughts in western South Dakota, and no different than this one. We could come out of it by receiving abundant moisture this spring, or it could hang on and be a three-year drought.”  

“Another year would be a devastating blow to our region, however, having the ability to adapt to the ever-changing conditions, will once again get us through this challenge, and into greener pastures.

Another Meade County rancher, Larry Reinhold who runs Lone Tree Ranch and Rainbow Bible Ranch east of Sturgis says things have not been good since they were hit hard with Storm Atlas.

“Our area has been in the grip of drought for better than two years now,” says Reinhold. This has put a tremendous strain on feed supplies, ponds, and reservoirs. The big dam they use for camp water activities is mostly dry and this “pushes the staff,” according to the owner.

The family lost all the fish in the big dam, including walleye up to 24” long. “You don’t get a fishery like that back overnight.”

They tried to keep young trees watered and lost a number of landscape trees. And they are plagued by prairie dogs which thrive on the short grass areas.

“We continue to trust the Lord and have seen people from outside the area step up to meet the needs,” says Reinhold. “We are going to try and keep our basic cowherd and we must maintain our saddle horses for the camp.” Reinhold says it is difficult to watch the “slow death” that drought brings.

Kevin and Collette Kirsch ranch in southwest North Dakota in Billings County, 20 miles north of Dickinson. They too have had to make changes and think about their long-term outlook.

“We had a severe hail storm in 2016 at harvest time and did not make a lot of hay in that year,” says Kirsch. Killing frosts up to June in 2017 and a hot and dry June and July, made the hay situation sparse, causing them to hay wherever they could, including crop acres.

“Government programs help somewhat financially,” says Kirsch, “But having the production is always a better return.” Kirsch, who has been a board member of the local CHS Grain Coop since 1993, says he has learned the struggles and benefits of knowing how crops are marketed, as well as opportune times to purchase inputs such as seed, fertilizer, and chemicals. 

The couple’s calf operation is run solely by them, with sporadic help from grown children or hired help. They have a cow/calf operation with about 125 cows which they have reduced to 100 head. 

“I am downsizing in three years by canceling all leased acres and partnership cattle,” says Kirsch. “We may continue with owned acres and cattle ‘till 2024 or quit before then.” The farm they bought in 1973 when he was just 19 years old, where he and his wife have raised three daughters and a son, will probably not stay in the family. 

“We have a strong Christian faith and believe that God sees us through all times, good or bad,” says Kirsch. “We trust in Him to provide.”

Ollila, as both a producer himself and as part of the SDSU Extension team, encourages farmers and ranchers to be smart. He says that if they make a plan, stick with that plan and look for any other ways they can make it through, that the end of the drought is in sight. It may be a while yet, but it will end.

 

Colleen Brunner is a freelance writer based in Newell, S.D. contact her at collenkbrunner@gmail.com

Cattle Business Weekly

Rainbow Bible Ranch
WHAT DOES RBR MEAN TO A FORMER STAFF MEMBER

November 28, 2017 – By #Guest Writer - Chelsea Hulstein

Rainbow to me was always like a second family. I never felt out of place but like I belonged to a great family of believers. Working there it was easy to live out my faith and once I left and grew up I found it harder and harder. I always wondered what I was designed for because I never had a big struggle or devastating moment that pushed me to my knees. 

 

That changed the most when my husband and I decided to start a family. It was not as easy as I thought and we went thru many years of infertility. Those years I was brought to my knees and had to let go of my pride and let God take over. It was hard and it’s still hard sometime. I began devotionals and began writing down all the verses that spoke to me directly and hung them around my house. As things started falling into place they still weren’t easy and we ended up doing 2 rounds of IVF with miracle after miracle, doctors all the could say is we don’t know how this happened. But I know exactly how it happened, Gods hand was there. I am not sure if I would have known where to turn or what to do next if my family and Rainbow hadn’t taught me about the one true God! I am thankful every day! I always say to everyone that this was our journey to bring us closer to God and he’s not finished yet. This past March we witnessed another miracle and loss all at the same time. We were expecting our third child but I lost the baby at 7 weeks. Now we have a little angel baby in heaven. That devastated me and was hard on our family but so many Christ followers who heard my story said, don’t worry God had something big planned and I agree 🙂 our family isn’t finished yet and I can’t wait to see where God takes us. Thank you Larry Robin Reinhold for instilling in us the importance of trusting our God and getting closer to him.

Rainbow Bible Ranch