I am often asked what my favorite part of our ministry is, and I’m always quick to reply, “The smiles!” New participants can arrive at the ranch nervous, guarded, skeptical, angry, scared or unwilling. Typically within minutes, (or seconds!) of seeing the horses, defenses are dropped and those radiant smiles show up!Last summer we had a new participant come to the ranch with no experience with horses. After introducing myself, I asked if she liked horses. “No!” She said reactively, then, ” I don’t know.” I assured her there would be no pressure from me, but asked if she would like to enter the arena or stay on the outside and watch the other ladies for a bit. She said she would prefer to stay out, but when I had to go into the arena, she asked if she could come with me. Upon entering the arena, she looked over the group of horses tied to the rail, and her eyes locked on a small grey mare named Maya, or more specifically, the long beautiful mane that was Maya’s. “Can I braid her hair?” She asked tentatively. “Of course!” I responded, and brought her a brush, detangler and little rubber bands. Within minutes, she had a beautiful braid, had gotten used to Maya’s movements and size. Half an hour later, she was riding, with the most beautiful smile you have ever seen, and telling everyone in sight, “I love horses!”
Our horses are the key that unlocks hearts and allows us to show Christ’s love to those beautiful, determined ladies. Happiness begins to pour from them and it is not at all unusual for the session to end with a new participant joyfully hugging all our session leaders while exclaiming, ” I usually don’t hug people, but I’ll hug you!”
As founder of Promise 23 Ranch Ministries, I am so thankful that God has led us to such a fun part of healing. While the courageous Engedi ladies are digging deep in therapy, uncovering wounds and hurts and putting in hours, days, weeks, and months of transforming their lives, we get to share our horses with them and bring joy.
1 Timothy verse 6 says, “… but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment…” I love how our Great God has not only provided these ladies with a safe home, medical care, food, addiction and trafficking treatment and more, but He also longs for their happiness, as any true, loving Daddy would.
Friends, it is pure blessing to be walking in God’s will and sharing our horses with those who need them most. The Lord made them special, and He has richly provided us with horses for our enjoyment.
~Jennifer Teigrob, Founder, Promise 23 Ranch Ministries