Dear Friends of and Ranchers of Blazing Hope Youth Family Ranch, March 24, 2011
Welcome to our new website that will radically change in the next few weeks. This is my first blog as the director of Blazing Hope. BHYFR is about loving children and teens with the love that God gives us, so they will know that both their Creator and at least some human beings really do love and believe in them unconditionally. One 13 year old told me last week that Blazing Hope is one of the few places in his life where he can know he will be treated well (nice) and not meanly. We are a refuge in a what can be an ugly world.
This week I was awakened to how many predators there are who are preying on children, especially teenage girls who encounter them on the internet and even at school. It was a wakeup call that has moved my heart to see the need to protect and educate our young people concerning the real dangers that are out there. Our ministry at Blazing Hope reaches beyond the ranches’s fences to where the kids and their families live. Predators of children come as wolves in sheep’s clothing. My wakeup call included a friend turned predator and a total stranger from the internet world leaving wounded hearts and more in their wake. Blazing Hope’s heart broke with them as we listened to their sorrowful pain and offered them hope and help .
One young man we have introduced to the wonder of God’s great horses has brought both hope and help to my own heart as we have bonded in the last few months. Theo is a college freshman who has become a vital part of our ministry while buying his first horse a few weeks ago (Amber is a lovely paint). Whenever I have needed some special help he has been there for me (as is the case of another long term teen leader, Jon). Even more special has been a 19 year old reaching out socially to this old rancher as we share a Mexican dinner or watch a basketball game together. It has been joyous sharing God’s wisdom with these two young men I count as brothers and friends.
Horses are loved here, too, of course. They are a wonderful means to the above ends-God’s special tools. I like what our business card says “Mending Broken Hearts and Horses through Relationships.” We do this without ever charging and never saying no to any child who wants to participate. Ultimately we love the children and teens well for the glory of God. Jesus Christ is our Blazing Hope and we hunger that to be true for every person who sets foot on this amazing little ranch.
Michael Oris Howard, Executive Director.