Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

Midwest Bounty Round Up​ 2019

The Vision

In March of 2018, I was experiencing some uneasiness in my personal life. My husband was working more and more trapped into a business that demanded so much of his time. I was exhausted trying to get the many needs of the ranch done and not feeling like I had a “willing” partner to help me especially in the area of doing sessions. Marriage struggles, overworked, exhausted, swaying further away from Jesus time.

Pleading with my Jesus one morning, I asked for direction. I knew I needed my man to hear from the Lord again, desiring HIM, and finding time to rest in HIM as well as physical rest. How?

In talking with a similar ministry friend from Hope Rides, Vollie and I began to talk about a more focused time to help ministries in just the area where I was feeling empty. By talking and sharing ideas back and forth, I share specifically the need for men to step up in their faith, lead their homes, and be solely into God’s word daily. Backing it all up in rest. I had the thought of Troy Meeder from CPYR be that man to speak to the ministries. But how, where, when?

Setting the Stage

In the next month, Vollie and I mentioned the idea to many of the Minnesota ministries asking who wants to help and Spur this idea into a spring of 2019 event. HMMM, silence…but the Lord spoke clearly to two ministries. His Haven Acres and Haven Acres joined in. We had our SPUR team willing to seek the Lord in providing a much-needed tool for folks serving in ministries or non-profits. The 4 pillars for the event: Servantship, Prayer, Unity, Rest =SPUR

Spur team in the chapel at Ironwood Springs

“And let us consider how we may SPUR one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24

The event name and verse theme came to light! Midwest Bounty Round-Up focusing on all the states in central USA.

“From one man he created al the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. “ Acts 17:26 

We met at Vollies the first month all planning on having the event at her ranch. In the summer months, we didn’t talk much other than some basic ideas but not gathering again until late September at Vollie’s home. Vollie was feeling like the strain, the number of people, and time of year that her ranch would not be a good place. As soon as we all agreed and started typing in other ideas on our computers looking for the right outlet nothing was coming up roses. Our hope was to provide a RELAXED atmosphere since REST was the main theme. By the end of the meeting, we had no place. YIKES! We needed to get fliers and info to ranches soon and not having a place was not a great way to end the day! But, I trusted this is what the Lord wanted and would provide.

Jesus Showed the Way

On my drive home, I really was having a hard time. Where? Oh man WHERE? Lord help us find the perfect place! I began thinking of camps since our son works at one in our area. YEAH…they have horses, great meeting spots, bedding, food, yeah…let’s try them. I called. The gal in charge was not in. RATS. Ok, try others to make sure we have options. I got home and googled Christian camps. I began to think our area would not be good as it is too far north for most of the people we are trying to get to come. South would be good. Or close to the cities. Then I came upon a camp I have never heard of before. Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch in Stewartville. Where is Stewartville? I mapquest the location…ROCHESTER area…it was south, a good sign. “Oh Jesus is this it?”, I said to myself. On to the website, I found an amazing log lodge. Meeting places. HORSES. INDOOR arena. Food. Chapel even! OH MY GOODNESS! I texted everyone on the Spur team. As I was waiting for the response I called them. I talked to a sweet gal in charge of booking and the date was open!!!! YES!!! Jesus, you answered the desperate plea of my heart! And indeed it was PERFECT as only our Jesus would have it!

Getting the Lay of the Land

In early November the Spur team headed to the location to get the lay of the land. Once we arrived we all were pretty gitty! It really was perfect! We met in front of a warm fireplace and catching up on details. I met the founder Bob who has an amazing story! I highly recommend reading it on their website. Truly a godly man who through tragedy is doing the work of the Lord! The tour just brought more gasps from each of us. The rooms are fabulous! LOG BEDS, real mattress, HUGE rooms, adjoining rooms, with amenities. The meeting rooms overlooked the river giving wonderful views. Heading to the areana we met up with a camel. Oh what fun! In every way this place will provide rest for the ministries and provide opportunity for fellowhip and prayer. We got super excited as we said our good-byes!

The Lord Made it Real

A week and a half before the event, my husband was slipping into deep depression. Work was consuming his every thought and being. He had no joy. He simply… broke. He became undone with all that was undone. This is exactly where Jesus needed him. The story is long, hard, very difficult but it’s Dan’s story. It isn’t for me to tell. We believe the Lord wanted Dan in this very place so he would share and give HOPE to others who face a VERY similar and BIG issue in our society. Jesus gets all the glory in his testimony and knowing the perfect stage may be in this event or sharing at another platform. We don’t know. We just trust when Jesus calls, we will go. As difficult as it is, it’s HIS story and our Lord gets all the glory in it! It just came as such a difficult time. “Our ways are not HIS ways.” “Our thoughts are not HIS thoughts”. I needed to push through and ask the Lord to give me wisdom and live day to day. Dan needed to get before the Lord, but it wasn’t easy.

Here we go

Months of planning, getting info out to ranches and similar ministries, setting up details of sessions, talks, worship, have all come to this day. WOW! It’s here! Yet, I had this “undone” man with me really along for the ride but gripping Jesus tighter than the week before. Praise Jesus!

The Spur team arrived a day earlier, really our day of REST as the next few days we would be serving. We enjoyed helping the team for registration, setting up rooms, and just chatting as we waited for Troy and his friend Max to arrive. Really the first time we could just sit and chat and our husbands to get to know one another. Once the boys arrived we went out for dinner enjoying some special fellowship time and hangin out. AHHH I was feeling at peace.

Laurie with His Haven Acres and Vollie with Hope Rides
Haven Acres Ranch registration crew…these are looks of…WHEW!

Here They Come!

Our cute little name tags made by an old friend from my Stamping’ Up days, Terri Gaines and our red Spur shirts greeted our guest with excitement and laughter! Oh how fun as the trucks rolled in one by one eager to have a weekend away from home and REST IN HIM!

The hubbies help trucks unload
Gather and pray together and for one another
Such a precious time lifting our needs before the Throne and covering the event!

Worship

Photo courtesy of Katherine Mathiasen

CHOW TIME!

The next day…worship and sessions

Vollie and Dan lead Outside the Corral in ministry…thinking outside the box
Jessica a vet teaching vetting the Holistic way
Heading to the arena to try herbs for horses learning about the herbs and applying this idea in sessions…we did a demo…
Read about the herb, offer to the horse to see if they take it

We had a wonderful speaker Todd who is a professional psychologist helping ministries identify trauma and how we can serve the folks who come to our ranch giving many ideas and hands-on activities. We also had a similar ministry gal Kris who gave a live session using horses in the arena and another group getting ideas on Christ-centered sessions with kids. We loved having our own representative Emma from CPYR lead the session. She lives in Minnesota but is available to serve and help all ministries here in the midwest. Her hubby and new baby spent the whole weekend with us.

Ahh REST and A message

Troy gave a message at each worship time and filled us with the understanding with everything we do is for Jesus! The first day Troy met with men only and sharing his heart for men to “cowboy up” in their homes and mission the Lord has given them. Dan had a special calling during this time…as just our Jesus would do in his time of need. The Lord gave Dan a special guy who came to this time with a heavy heart. As Dan came alongside him, listening and allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through him, this young man was in the same situation Dan was facing. With tears and brokenness, two men ministered to one another. Dan later told me this man reminded him of Jesus. Would you recognize the Savior? This man needed a shoulder, an ear, and peace as only Jesus can give and yet Dan thought of him as the Savior coming to his need. We shed some tears over this as we continue to walk the journey the Lord has for us both. JESUS…it’s all about HIM!

Photo courtesy of Katherine Mathiasen

Our Jesus Provided

Yes, an amazing event coming into play at the perfect time with the perfect message. Not just for Dan and I, but for the many who attended and for what the Lord will do for us to carry that on to others in despereate need of “cowboy up”, Eyes on Jesus, and REST.

God is faithful and good and we serve an amazing God!

To God be the glory in all we do!

In HIS Grip,

Lee


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