Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
I thought I had my life planned out. Little did I know that the day I set foot on Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch my life would completely change. I gave up all my plans for the future, met the love of my life, and moved to the very place I told myself growing up I would never live: the high desert of Oregon!
Let me back up and tell you how this came to be. I was the second generation born in Alaska and grew up on a ranch in Northern Idaho. I love adventures in the wilderness, ranching, photography, and technology. In 2016, as my younger sister Rebekah was telling me about CPYR, I felt an unexplainable desire to become a part of the Ranch. I love working with kids, so I wondered, “Should I get involved with the session program?” Or, maybe because I’d just spent a year managing my family's ranch, “Should I try joining the facilities team?” Given my plans for life, I figured I could only spare a couple of months, which really isn’t much time for this line of work. I didn’t understand why God was placing such a strong desire on my heart for a place I knew very little about and had never been to.
This was the beginning of the most difficult and best year of my life! God closed every door to all my desires and dreams for the future, including CPYR. I came to a point where, in desperation, I drove into the wilderness, up on a mountain, and cried out to God, telling Him, “I’m done chasing my dreams and plans! I just want Your will to be accomplished in my life.” Over the next 2 years, God only revealed a few steps at a time to me, so that I could only see, at most, three months into the future. It was a time of learning to trust God completely with everything in my life.
Shortly thereafter, Rebekah and I came to volunteer at CPYR for a week. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts as marriage was the last thing on my mind when I stepped foot on the Ranch. Yet, as I entered the main yard of the Ranch on that first day, I saw for the first time my bride-to-be, Brinna. It’s a blur going forward as miracle after miracle took place, which brought us closer and closer together. It takes hours to tell the story, so I’ll spare you the details. The long and the short of it is that nine months later, after a long-distance relationship and a move to Bend, I stood on the grass outside the Refuge barn watching my bride in her flowing white wedding gown canter to the end of the aisle on one of the Ranch horses, Eclipse. At the time I had just finished a short-term staff position working in construction on the Refuge barn and I still had no idea what was ahead or what my involvement with CPYR was supposed to look like. Shortly thereafter, a brand new position was offered me as an Audio Engineer at Refuge.
The adventure of letting control of my life go and putting my whole trust in Jesus and walking where He leads has been the most exciting and fulfilling adventure yet! You don’t have to come to the end of your life to make the same decision. You can trust the Creator of all things, who sent His Son to die for your sins, so that you can one day live in His holy presence.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT YOUR JOB?
I love constantly improving systems, learning new things, and working through the details.
ANY INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT YOU?
I’m a jack of all trades: photographer/videographer, construction worker, welder, pyro technician, mechanic…the list goes on. I love traveling and learning new things, managing people and projects, and doing the best I can with what I have.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?
Anything outdoors and adventure related: trail riding, mountain climbing, hiking, landscape photography, kayaking, you name it.