Who We Are
Lorissa Ziemer

Lorissa Ziemer

Refuge Coordinator
Session Instructor

Circle Pines, MN

The story of how I ended up at the Ranch has the hand of God all over it. I heard about the Ranch just after I graduated college. Looking back now, that seemed very odd because, as a kid, I was horse-crazy and obsessed with every book that had a horse on the cover.

I had just finished an internship with street kids in Uganda and was praying about joining a mission’s organization as I have felt a call to missions over my life since a young age. However, the timing felt off. I started thinking about my love for horses and the idea of using them in ministry in the lives of children. I had always thought that ministry and “hobbies” (horses) were to stay separate… that my passion for Jesus could not work together with my passion and love for horses. But God soon began to break that misconception apart and show me that our passions, or, as I thought at the time, “hobbies,” can be used together in ministry to bring healing to others and glory to God.

As God was showing me this, I shared this with a friend and she brought up Crystal Peaks. She had written a paper on horse therapy and used one of Kim’s books as a reference years before. She hadn’t thought of the Ranch since. I know that it was God who brought it to her mind. We investigated the Crystal Peaks’ website and saw there was an internship. I felt a strong pull to apply and believed if I were to get accepted, it was where God wanted me.

When I got accepted, I had never felt so strongly the direction and leading of God in my life to a certain place. It was barely a month’s time between finding out about the Ranch and going to the Ranch for the internship. During my internship, God did so much work in my life and in the lives of others. It was a privilege to be a part of.

A bit after my internship ended, I continued to feel God pulling me to this place and God opened the door for me to come back on staff. I am so thankful for every moment I have at the Ranch. The kids, the horses, and the people I work with make every day an absolute joy. I feel so blessed to be a small part of the huge way God is working in so many lives, hearts, and minds here.

What is the funniest thing a kid has ever said to you at the Ranch?

One of the funniest conversations I had with a kid at the Ranch centered around centipedes. This boy went in depth telling me all about one particular kind of centipede that is very large. I asked what you should do if one comes onto you. He looked at me very serious and concerned for anyone it might happen to and said, “All you can do is stand still and scream!”

What do you love most about Central Oregon?

I love the mountains, waterfalls, and all the amazing hiking you can do. And, of course, I love the juniper trees. Coming from Minnesota, I had never smelled the strong aroma a juniper tree gives off, especially after a rain. I now want to fill my house with them. 

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love reading, hiking, and playing games. Everyone in my family is such a game nut. Every time someone has a birthday or it’s Christmas time, everyone always gets a game. As a result, we have soooo many cupboards stuffed with games. My favorites are Ticket to Ride, Hand and Foot, and Risk.

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