Happy New Year!

As a young Christian over 40 years ago I was impressed with God’s generosity when I read Luke 6:38- “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”  And the one measuring and measuring back to us is God Himself.

Last year at this time God gave back with great measure through an anonymous donor who made an amazing gift to Blazing Hope through Network For Good that we received in January of this year.  It was a wonderful surprise. That oh so special $10,000 dollar gift helped us in a big way toward the first few months of this year. God is ever faithful.  As you read this letter you will see how your generosity  could make an even bigger difference in light of this years needs.

Please know that your gifts are impacting the hearts of children and teens.  Some of our ranch kids have been lonely kids without friends. One teen shared with me how she had considered suicide a few months before coming here. She went on to tell me that she felt invisible and that no one really cared about her. Now her two best friends are Christian girls she met here at Blazing Hope.

Kids are finding a safe and rewarding refuge here where they are accepted without being judged. .  Many of our kids meet each other here, then develop wonderful relationships outside the ranch becoming best friends who spend time at each other’s homes, going places together, enjoying overnights, etc.

Some of those kids once felt friendless like the above teen.  Others have felt like outcasts in their schools. Even in what has been a cold and windy last few weeks kids still come to serve and ride. Blazing Hope is a refuge. I praise God for the Christian families that come here that are reaching out to those who have yet to experience Christ’s saving love by having these ranch kids into their homes. This summer a few of our teens attended a Christian camp for a week because one or our lovely Christian teens reached out to them.

When our new Middleton ranch opens we will be able to do even more.  A full sized arena will draw more kids and give us outreach opportunities we do not have now.  Middleton’s house has a large basement with a large meeting room where we plan to add a ping-pong table, Foosball  and air hockey.  My 640 square foot house cannot provide this. We want the ranch to be a gathering place.  We will have a guest room waiting for you when you come to visit.

Your prayers and gifts are even more important right now. My little house and the one acre where we minister and serve the kids is owned by friends of mine that are going through a heart-wrenching divorce.  As is often the case their financial situation has gone downhill.  What this means to Blazing Hope is that our ministry here could end at anytime due the divorce and bankruptcy that appears imminent.  A few potentials have been presented to us by our landlords.  One is that I would need to move to our Middleton property while we are still allowed to use the horse facility for our ministry.  Another is that the spouse who is awarded this place would put it up for sale.

Please pray for this as it is important to us to continue to minister to the kids and their families who come here.  Our Middleton ranch is 18 miles from here, so in the future we hope to purchase a used van to transport the kids from this area to the new ranch so that we can continue to minister to them.

Our Middleton property was donated by an outstanding Christian family from our area. We had hoped to have it up and running last summer, but were unable to do so due to the water well going dry. No water no Middleton ministry. For the last few months God has been faithfully providing through your financial gifts toward the 13,000 dollars needed to replace the well.

These gifts have made it possible for us to drill the well. The good news is at about 150 feet we have lots of clean water.  The initial drilling was completed two weeks ago at a cost of $6,703.00. What a joy it was to be able to write that check.  All of the water lines were dug, also. What remains is adding the pump, water pipes, pressure tank, and electricity which will cost another $5,000 dollars.  Because of two meaningful matching grant gifts from two of our most generous givers we had the money to pay for the initial drilling of the well.  Thank you for giving to match those matching grant gifts.  We need about $1,500 dollars more to have enough to complete the well. Our well drilling company is ready to install the pump, the pressure tank, etc.

Your gifts, especially at the end of this year will make it possible for us to complete this and to pay for our needs for fencing ($5,000.00) our 7 acre pasture (so that we can move our horses there), as well as providing for buying alfalfa hay for the rest of winter ($3,500.00) and catching up on our  veterinarian-vaccination bills ($750.00).  What you give also determines what I receive for my living expenses.

In light of what we are going through you can see how important it is to move our ministry to the Middleton and to be ready at a moment’s notice. Our goal is to continue the ministry here in Nampa as long as possible.  Even though the weather is colder we still had 70 visits just over 2 weeks ago. We are a pace to again have almost 4,500 visits during 2012.

It is our hope and prayer that you will make an end of the year gift. Some of you are regular monthly givers which mean so much to our ministry.  Like most Christian not-for- profit organizations we need both small and large gifts to carry out our ministry.  Our prayer is always that you will do as the Lord leads you.   I would like to personally ask you to give.  You can give online through: www1.networkforgood.org/ or you can mail your gifts to 5520 Stamm Lane, Nampa, Idaho 83687. Thank you.

Gratefully and Sincerely Yours,

Michael Oris Howard-Executive Director

PS: We want to honor and recommend Dennis Phipps and DPWD (www.dennisphippswelldrilling.com/) for drilling our well at a discount and for Lewis Dean and Daystar Excavation (www.daystarexcavation.net) for donating the digging of our water-line ditches. We recommend these two fine Christian men and their companies.

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