Who We Are
Kelsie Woodford

Kelsie Woodford

HR Coordinator

Bend, OR

A common question that we receive here on the ranch is, “What happens afterwards to the kids that come??” The answer ranges from children who just come for one visit to those that are able to be a part of the ranch over a longer period of time. We are able to follow a small percentage of these children throughout their lives. I am one of those few.

I started coming out to Crystal Peaks just before I turned 13 years old. Back then, I was a shy and insecure little girl. My mother brought me hoping that if I had something that was just mine, it might draw me out of my emotional shell. During the next few years, my whole life was torn apart. I had been struggling through past abuse from a close family friend and my father had left our family. I spiraled into a deep depression and constantly struggled with cutting and suicidal thoughts. I had no hope, no reason to live…until the Lord used a little Arabian mare here at the Ranch. It was during my first season that I met her, and she became what I lived for. I knew that if I could make it through the night at home and the day at school, I would be able to come out and see the one that I called ’my horse’.

As I learned to trust her, she was also learning to trust humans after enduring horrible abuse in her previous home. Slowly, I started to feel safe not only with ‘my horse’, but also with the Ranch Staff. I started to feel secure in who I was and I chose to step away from my shyness. I was free to blossom into the child of God that He created me to be. Crystal Peaks saved my physical life, but it was by the Lord, through the Ranch, that I was eternally saved. This is what I desire to give to those who come to Crystal Peaks.

As I watch kids come up the driveway, I often see myself again. I see the pain, hardness and loneliness in their eyes. There are those that look as though they have it all together, but I can see past that. My heart yearns for them to know the same hope, the same security, and the same love that I have found in Christ through this ranch. I desire that they know and receive true freedom in Christ. I was given the gift of life, and it is only Christ who can give this gift. Just like a child who ‘helps’ his father in the woodshop or her mother in the kitchen, I want to be a ’help’ to the Lord. I know I am not the one who is accomplishing the work, and I may sometimes make a mess of things, but he still graciously allows me to be a part of the process.

What do you love about Central Oregon?

The mountains. I always feel at home when I see the mountains for the first time after I’ve been traveling. They are one of my favorite things in Central Oregon. I love when the sun sets behind them. I love hiking up them and I love snowboarding down them. I love just being around them!

What is your favorite coffee drink?

Tall, double, whole milk, 1 pump pumpkin spice latte without whip cream.

What is an interesting fact about you?

I think I’m really funny. Many times I’m the only one who thinks I’m funny. So, I sit here at the ranch and crack myself up. Although others may not be entertained, I always am.

Click on the following links to view "Around the Fire" Newsletter articles written by Kelsie Patka:

Round Up! – Summer 2007

The Wound – Spring 2008

TJ’s Miracle – Spring 2008

Freedom – Summer 2009

Hero & Templeton – Spring 2010

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