Arabian/Welsh Cobb Cross
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
(2 Corinthians 3:17, NASB)
We learned of a small mare born into a kind and loving home. The day of her birth was the fourth of July. To honor the value of this special day, she was named “Liberty Belle.” Her owner and caretaker, “Beth,” shared how the dazzling silver filly thrived and grew into a spectacular little horse. Liberty Belle and her younger half-brother were bred to be Arabian/ Welsh Cob crosses. With the small yet powerful stature of a tall pony combined with the endurance and inquisitive mind of an Arab, these two horses could be a perfect match for the children who come to our ministry.
Beth trained Liberty Belle by taking her on many adventurous trail rides in the mountains and on the seashore. Now, ten years later, Beth reached out to Crystal Peaks with a desire to share her beloved horse with the Ranch.
Over the phone, our new friend disclosed how her aging parents, after spending most of their lives as missionaries in Africa, had come to live with her. By shouldering the weight of a full time job combined with the enormous responsibility of caring for her infirmed parents, Beth no longer had the freedom to ride her horses. Even the simplicity of their daily care had become a burden. With a heavy heart, she shared, “I just don’t have enough time to give them the attention they deserve.”
In response, Sarah and Kim drove the three and a half hour journey over the Cascade Mountain Range to the valley so they could meet Beth and the two special horses she was offering. After greeting them warmly, Beth led them to the pasture to meet her beloved ponies. Soon, she had Liberty Belle out and circling on the lead line. Liberty Belle’s silver mane and tail danced against her white coat like shimmering liquid metal. The little mare’s precise responses gave clear witness of how Beth had done a thorough and loving job in training her. Though slightly rusty from untouched time in pasture, the team was confident that with a little fine-tuning, she would become a favorite children’s horse.
Sarah and Kim recognized the two horses as an absolute gift. Filled with gratitude, they moved forward to adopt them into our program.
When the evaluation was complete and the team was heading back to the truck for the long journey home, Beth approached them with a final request.
“Wait. Before you go . . .” her hands were clasped together in hope, “Could you come and pray for my parents?”
“Absolutely! We’d be honored,” was their simultaneous reply.
As we followed Beth into her home, a tangible Presence could be sensed. Each step led us into deeper awe. Realization poured over us as we could literally feel the thick presence and pleasure of God. Slowly, we walked down a hall and around the corner into a small room with a hospital bed and minimal furniture. Before us rested both of Beth’s parents. They were sweetly holding each other’s hand. Her blessed mama was bedridden from a stroke that left her partially paralyzed. She was also suffering from a broken pelvis. Upon seeing us enter the room, her eyes sparkled with joy and she gave us an endearing half-smile. Unable to speak, she weakly reached her hand out toward us. Her father sat beside his beloved bride in the wheelchair. Surrounding them throughout the room were a lifetime of pictures from their missionary work in Africa. Although neither spoke, the deep love and joy in their eyes loudly declared God’s glory. Kim knelt before Beth’s dad and thanked him for his faithful life of service to Jesus. He momentarily turned his devoted gaze from the bride of his youth—the woman he adored—and looked at Kim.
With a soft smile, he simply said, “It was a joy . . . all of it . . . it was my joy.”
We felt as if we were in the presence of heaven’s royalty, two of its most renowned warriors and humble heroes.
Kneeling to the floor, we prayed for them. While speaking to our King on their behalf, we were aware of an unusual increase of light streaming through the sheets hastily hung as curtains over the windows. Our Lord’s profound favor was literally pouring from Heaven and into the room. It was such a powerful, inspiring encounter. In a way that is hard to describe—we sensed that God’s favor was moving through the gift of these two little horses—and we were about to experience a deep legacy of faithful obedience through them.
Indeed, Liberty Belle has become a favorite among the children at the ranch. All the years of love and prayer that Beth poured into the mare from her birth are bearing much fruit.
In her own beautiful and energetic way, Liberty Belle is learning to offer the love once poured into her—back into the children who spend time with her. In turn, these children are learning to walk in the legacy Jesus offers to each of us—His legacy of liberty.
Like Liberty Belle, through trust in Jesus Christ, we can choose to share a legacy of freedom and love with others. Just like the little mare that now calls Crystal Peaks her home, our calling is so much bigger than we are. We each have a unique history of how God has poured His love into us—and now have the responsibility and honor to pour that same love right back out on those around us.
Today—will you trust Jesus—and choose to walk in His legacy of liberty and love?
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