God has spoken to me through horses since I was a little girl. He has used them as an essential part of building my faith. When trouble would come in my life, I would run to my faithful horse, no matter if it was -20⁰ outside. I also have loved working with children of various ages for years, so when I heard about Crystal Peaks, I was immediately drawn to its cause which combines two of my passions: horses and helping children. My mom gave me one of Kim Meeder’s books telling stories of the Ranch when I was 12 years old and I was hooked. From there, God kept Crystal Peaks in the back of my mind and led me to this beautiful place through ways which only He could orchestrate.
I have the privilege of seeing God use horses as a tool of healing in young people’s lives. My job allows me to have a front-row view of God using horses and a one-on-one mentor relationship to work out love, trust, fun, silliness, sadness, frustration, kindness and gentleness in children whom otherwise want to close themselves off to the world. I am honored to see Jesus transform lives before my eyes, my life being just one of them. I also very much enjoy building relationships with the families and volunteers that come to the Ranch and am privileged to work with such wonderful, Jesus-loving people as my co-workers. Very few other places have I seen the Body of Christ so alive and well than here at Crystal Peaks.
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire’” (Hebrews 12:28-29).
What is your most embarrassing moment at CPYR?
The most embarrassing moment at the Ranch took place on my birthday. Crystal Peaks’ tradition stands that one must be dunked in the water trough when they turn a year older. My dunking was such that a fellow co-worker said was his greatest dunking success of all. I was informed that morning that a picture needed to be taken of my dunking, so I was told that I would be thrown in during the third session. By the time the third session rolled around, I had already forgotten all about it. I was conveniently standing with one foot on the cement slab that the trough was on and both hands holding onto its edge. I was so involved in the conversation I was having with my session kiddo that I didn’t notice the small crowd forming behind me as my co-worker grabbed one of my ankles and flipped me head first into the trough! A little bit of mercy I received is that the photo was never captured of my most embarrassing moment.
What is one life lesson you learned from working with a kid in a session?
It was my first session with this particular teenager. When I was introducing her to some of the horses, she asked to see Hero because she heard the story of how he came to the Ranch. She was quiet and somber as she approached him, making sure he saw her with his remaining eye. I watched as she stared in wonder at this animal that had endured so much pain and lived. After a short time of silence, I asked her why she liked him so much. She quietly and slowly explained that she was amazed that he had been hurt so badly by people and yet could trust them still. God used this moment to teach me to stand and wonder at His marvelous ability to heal the most impossible wounds.
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
I love exploring new places! I’m very afraid of heights and asked God to heal me of some of that. I didn’t realize that asking Him that would mean having to climb to some pretty high places. I love Oregon’s diverse landscapes and taking road trips to try and see all of it.