Who We Are
Ruth Hartford

Ruth Hartford

HR Coordinator

Portland, OR

I first heard about Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch while listening to Dr. James Dobson talk with Kim about her book Hope Rising. My husband, Ron, and I stopped to listen, heart-to-heart, as Kim described her devastating childhood pain and the redemptive healing only Jesus can bring. I was moved to tears and quite speechless.  In 2007, while traversing in Spain and Portugal, I read Hope Rising. Tears of heartache, joy, and hope overflowed, non-stop! I found myself reflecting on my childhood family and began to see and feel the parallel of pain and the incredible far reaching grace, mercy, and love of Jesus to never let go of His children. Though years passed, my heart remembered.

In 2011, we visited the Ranch with friends. We walked and prayed the humble 9-acres, experiencing sheer delight in meeting the staff and the horses we had come to know and love from afar. A powerful and unique passion surfaced and I began to ponder the ways in which we could help. Walking in the wisdom of trusted advisors, I freely returned this newfound passion for this Jesus-filled ministry and prayed: Your will, not mine, be done, Lord! In 2013, attending the Information Clinic unveiled the operations, nuts and bolts, challenges, and hardships that would assist those interested in starting a similar ministry to “pray, listen, and do.” Once again, the Lord was extending His amazing blessings to others through this tiny transparent ranch - from sea to shining sea...and beyond.

A decade after experiencing Kim’s testimony of HOPE, the Lord made a way for me to volunteer at the Ranch, one day a week. Ron would listen endlessly as I shared all that the Lord was doing in and through the Ranch. Within a few months, Ron asked me to consider retiring, allowing him to shoulder our finances with the Lord. With a life-time of identity strongholds healed, the Lord confirmed it was indeed time to let go of my traditional career and trust that this was His delight and orchestration. I was free to invest fully in this now-100-acre ministry of our hearts!

In July 2017, I accepted an invitation to join the staff family in fulfilling the ongoing mission of the Ranch. It is true that the Lord uses messy and humble life offerings to share the truth of His grace, mercy, and love. My life journey of becoming truth continues as the Spirit of Truth renews my mind, transforms my soul, and leads me, daily. My hope and prayer is to be a walking testimony of the goodness of Jesus by sharing: all that I have been, all that I am, and all that I am becoming. 

While the story of Hero touched me deeply, it was the telling of Little Bear’s attack, rescue, and redemption that hit the mark. As a youth, quite unexpectedly I was diagnosed with a bi-lateral hip disorder, requiring immediate surgeries, long-term hospitalization, and extended wheel chair confinement. On my first visit to the Ranch, I met Little Bear, nose to nose, tears streaming down my face - this was a kindred spirit. 

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love sharing life with my husband, Ron, family and friends, and making new friends!  I enjoy variety, aka the spice of life. So lending a helping hand, do it yourself projects, indoor and outdoor games, movie/game nights, cooking, walking, hiking, biking, fishing, boating, tennis, bowling…in a nutshell: doing life together! 

What is your favorite thing(s) about your job?

I am blessed to actively engage and encourage people of all ages to smile, laugh, pray, listen, meditate, walk in the Way, worship, and share the love of Jesus; to choose to extend grace and forgiveness while actively pursuing full reconciliation; and to always seek order instead of chaos and peace instead of anxiety.  I pray that the offerings Jesus orchestrates in and through me, daily, will be a blessing to others.

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