THE REINHOLD RANCH - OUTREACH & MINISTRY LONG BEFORE RAINBOW BIBLE RANCH
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.