God called me to the Ranch and Central Oregon from Virginia a year after I graduated from college. I was working part-time and doing my best to patiently wait for Him to reveal His plan for my life. I possessed a desire to use the gifts God had given to me, but I didn’t know how or where. I’d heard of Crystal Peaks when I was a teenager and somehow it came to the forefront of my mind. Clearly God brought it back to mind and made it evident that it was time to act. I was accepted as an intern for 2014 and came to the Pacific Northwest with little-to-no horse experience, though I had been working with kids for years through summer camps and church.
Since my first season as a volunteer, I have learned so much about horses and the intelligence, not to mention personality, God has given to them. I’ve grown emotionally and spiritually. I’ve also learned how to better engage kids, and people in general, which actually makes me excited. I have enjoyed being able to look behind me and see how I have grown with each passing season. This has sparked an eagerness within my spirit to continue to be a part of the Ranch and to learn what God has for me while I am here. I want to continue to grow, learning how to better impart friendship, fun, love, and healing.
What do you love about Central Oregon?
It’s beauty. I never would have thought that “beauty” would be a fitting adjective for the high desert, but it truly is. It is more of a rugged beauty, capped off by the magnificent Cascade Mountains. And though I do miss all the green grass and deciduous trees from Southwest Virginia, the proximity of the mountains and all the waterfalls, lakes, and natural wonders like Smith Rock help cause me to love my home here.
What do you like to do in your free time?
My biggest hobbies are reading and writing. I read constantly. Once I began reading as a kid, I willingly became addicted. I don’t think there has ever been a time when I haven’t been reading some kind of book – the longer the better, usually. My favorite genre is fantasy fiction, which includes series like The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. “Nerd” is a title I proudly bear. My enjoyment of these kinds of books grew so much, that when I was seventeen I wanted to share that love with everyone. Therefore I began writing my own fantasy books. I don’t know if I will ever actually get them written, but I do hope that I will be able to see them written and put down in print…someday. I also hope, if they do get published, that they won’t simply be “good reads,” but books that speak truth and impact people’s lives through the power of fiction.
I also enjoy being outside. Smith Rock is my favorite place in Central Oregon so far, but almost any hiking, climbing, volleyball-playing, white water rafting, and other similar activities capture my interest.
What is one of the craziest or most fun things you have done on the Ranch?
I met and got engaged to my wife while at the Ranch.