Ranch Life

By Katherine Teague


On July 19, Family Talk Radio will be re-airing “The Boy,” a broadcast featuring Troy Meeder, originally aired in 2011. Through it Troy shares a message of hope and encountering God in the midst of heartache and destruction.

Come journey with Troy as he takes us to the tsunami devastated coastline of Sri Lanka. Here, he meets a quiet young Sri Lankan boy who will forever change his life. Amidst tragedy, Tonaj, “The Boy,” imparts to all a powerful story of friendship. We hope you’ll tune in with us and be encouraged.

For information on where you can hear the broadcast in your area, click here. You can also stream or download the program at the Family Talk website. To be directed to the online broadcast, click here. Please note: the broadcast will not appear online until July 19, 2013.


By Katherine Teague

A chilly wind lightly drifted in from the west, but there was not a cloud in the sky. The beams of the rising sun warmed us as we stood huddled in a circle.  Tightly embraced by peers on either side, I smiled inwardly and gave thanks to God for the opportunity to be a part of this moment.  It was not just any day at the ranch, but one carved out with significant purpose and vast value—it was our annual Pray Day. Prayer-1

As we anticipate the opening of our Session Program each year, our staff spends much time preparing for and praying over the coming season. We firmly believe that Christ must be central to all that we do. Thus coming before His throne daily, pouring out our hearts in supplication and thanksgiving regarding our work at the ranch, is an honor our staff delights in.  What a joy to invite Jesus into all that we do…

…and during that day intentionally set aside in late March of every year, that’s exactly what we do.  Our staff unites and bows before our Heavenly Father, calling upon Him to lead us in every small and large facet of the ranch.  We spend an entire day walking the whole property of Crystal Peaks, praying over each horse, each paddock, every building and arena.  Praying as small groups, individually and corporately; we lift each staff member before the Lord, as well as each specific branch of this ministry.

And we pray for YOU!

As we approach this year’s Pray Day scheduled on March 28, we invite you to join us from wherever you are, to be in prayer over the coming season.  Ultimately, we pray that the Holy Spirit’s presence would be active in—and the hope of Christ known by—every living soul who comes to the ranch. And we give praise that when two or more are gathered in His name…He comes.

“For where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I among them.” –Matthew 18:20

Even though our designated Pray Day is March 28, we implore you to shoulder with us in continued prayer throughout the season.  It is our unwavering goal that the hope and redemption of our Lord Jesus would be clearly shared with all.

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By Katherine Teague


Men—all members of the Pacific Northwest National Guard Unit—slowly led their families up the long gravel driveway to Crystal Peaks. Their reserved facial expressions readily told that they assumed this day was just another compulsory unit gathering.  But as they entered the main yard of the ranch, their detached expectations were met with a grand welcome that far exceeding what anyone anticipated for the day.  Taken aback as they looked around, many of those who’d stoically advanced up our drive just moments before, were now asking, “This is all for us?”

In December, Crystal Peaks had the great honor of hosting a “Military Day” for the families of those who serve in the National Guard Unit located in the Bend area. At the ranch, we hold great respect for the men and women who serve our country. We are blessed to live in a place where our freedom is earned and protected.  We are also keenly aware that it comes at the sacrifice of not only the soldiers, but their families as well.  Many of our extended ranch family also recognize this reality.

Prior to the event, we opened the invitation for others to join us in supporting our troops and their loved ones. After making an announcement at a Ranch Fellowship, our staff was absolutely astonished at the response of so many who were eager to help.  In fact, because of the overwhelming generosity of those who wished to lend what they could, Crystal Peaks bore little of the financial load to put on the whole affair. There were countless donations of food, games, gifts and monetary aid.  On the day of the event, our barn was flooded with our own extended ranch family—all enthusiastically awaiting the arrival of those they came to honor, meet and serve.

What a welcome it was! A fire blazed warmly in the barn, Christmas decorations adorned every available surface, stuffed animals and presents were placed lovingly under the tree—each donated to bless the families who would come to spend this day with us.  Traditional Christmas music filled the barn and a cookie decorating station compelled many to work together in creating a delicious treat. Bright and cheery, this merriment intertwined as introductions were made and fellowship ensued between families both new and old to the ranch.








The grounds outside were busy with activity too. Christmas lights garnishing each structure, inviting guests to look around.  Laughter radiated from those gathered around the bon fire, warming hands, telling stories and roasting marshmallows.  Troy brought Eclipse out and kids and adults alike admired his tall Friesian mare’s beauty.  Then Troy offered, for those who wished, a chance to ride—and what a delight that was.  Only a select few have been granted permission to ride his personal horse.

Some rode.  Others greeted, with caring strokes, horses brought out from the paddock.  There was a special introduction to Hero—our bay gelding who’d endured his own war of sorts before coming to the ranch.  The families loved him! And in our smaller arena, thanks to the initiative of a ranch friend, there was a roping station where soldiers and their families had fun trying their hand at a new skill.


The day was a chorus of Christmas lights, cookies, cake, hot chocolate, a bon fire, cheerful music, horses, laughter, and joyful fellowship—each in full measure to warm the soul.  Watching the undeniable enjoyment of his unit and their families, the 24-year-veteran military coordinator for this event told one of our staff, “This is the best thing we’ve ever done.”  That blessed our hearts . . . nearly as much as simply getting to know these folks did.

Jeff Gorham, our facilities manager, lead the organization and planning of this event.  In talking the day over, he spoke one fact that really made an impression: “It is one thing for Crystal Peaks to offer our facility and staff to host a gathering for this unit; but it’s another thing to see the community of Crystal Peaks surround, embrace and welcome these families to the ranch.”

It’s true, it was the combined efforts and love of all involved that day which made it such a warm success.  And, unexpected fruit has come from the extension of such community.  The military families who’d just come for what they thought would be the typical obligatory party, now have a new place they can also call home.  And we have the extended pleasure of greeting many of these families as they come out for sessions and Ranch Fellowships.

We knew we wanted to honor the brave men and women and their families who serve our country so sacrificially. We hoped that it would be a fun day for all.  But the involvement of our community and the richness of the time we spent together with this National Guard Unit far exceeded all our expectations.  We give thanks to the Lord for His goodness to all that day.

We hope you enjoy a few pictures that captured some of the special moments shared with families on that day.




Photos by Tessa Rose Photography