Well, it's been pretty eventful these last few months. From getting over having the flu to getting ready for my first hike as staff it's been fun...at times ie. Flu.
After our first letter went out we had one of our boys run that same week. He was tired of being in trouble and so he thought it would be a good idea to run from the ranch. Needless to say he ended up back at the ranch in more trouble than when he first ran. He left around 4am and made his way over to one of the staff to find a bike. He explained to me later on that he had stopped by my place and decided not to steal from the Rodriguez's then he went over and stole a bike from one of our neighbors...ah the mind of a thief. To make a long story short, he ended up in our 2nd level of isolation and with a whole bunch discipline hours.
Within the weeks that followed we had another young man join our program. Actually, he ended up being my first mentoree. His name is Cory and he is from Illinois. He wasn’t informed that he was entering the program until he and his parents were driving through South Dakota...talk about a wake up call. He's a pretty nice kid for the most part and he's been doing good at keeping his nose clean, which means he doesn't get any discipline hours, so that's good. He does have some issues that he needs to work through but I am confident that he is in the right place. When you feel lead please pray that he would understand his need for Jesus as Lord of his life.
When it rains, it pours. Last month our director, Bob Hostetler, came down with an illness that has put him out of commission for this summer. He had stopped off at a Burger King because he was having severe headaches and ended up in the ER that evening. They found later on with a whole lot of testing that his spinal column was leaking fluid and it was causing his brain to rest rather then float. They recently treated him by inserting blood into his spinal column to help the leakage. I will keep you updated.
As far as our family, here are the updates:
Anna is walking now and is getting around allot easier then before. She enjoys long walks with Mom and a babba every now and then. She is testing us and I believe that Amber and I are passing with flying colors. :) Something funny that she does now is scolding the places that "get her" in trouble. Sometimes when she's by the trash can she will tell it "No, No!" as if instructing it not to get her in trouble. She is defiantly a funny child and we are blessed by her presence.
Amber has been doing very well taking care of our home and our daughter. I give mothers allot of credit for the task they have in front of them each day. She is still cooking a meal for the boys each week and they seem to be enjoying it. We have some pretty picky boys so it's nice to see them give her a chance. It's been great to see her blossom into her own role here. Amber is excited to try out new cooking recipes for our mini family reunion out at our place this next month while the boys are on leave. I will grit my teeth and force myself to try everything she meal she puts out. :)
I'm doing ok. As I have explained in the past, working with the boys has its challenges. I have bruised, sprained and broken bones so far with the amount of rough housing we do. They seem to like the fact that I am around or lower in height with them. I tell them each time they gang up on me that if it's more than 3 then I get to fight a little dirtier, manly rough em up a little more than usual. With rough housing and other activities we can still find that time to get serious with them.
Three weeks ago we had a devotional on forgiveness that really rocked our boys. At the end of the devo we had them think of someone they need to forgive and/or someone they need to ask forgiveness from. There was hardly a dry eye in the building with what work the Lord was doing that evening. Many understood they needed to make things right with their folks and also let go of the un-forgiveness and bitterness that's been eating at them for these past years. One boy explained to me that he hadn’t forgiven the person that killed his father when he was 7. I told him to listen to the Lord and he will give you peace and the wisdom on when to deal with this matter. I had to restrain myself from being like Dr.Phill for these guys. One thing I have learned is that they don’t always need our advice, they often need someone to listen to them and be there when they want to just talk. I went away from that night rejoicing in the fact that the Lord allowed me to whiteness Him at work. I had nothing else to do except praise Him for who He is and how He heals the broken hearted.
Well, that's it for now. We are getting ready for our first hike of the year which is coming up on the 6th of June followed by a counseling weekend with all the boys and their parents being up here at the ranch.
Please pray for the following:
- That our eyes still be fixed on Jesus
- Safety for the boys and us 4 staff that are going on the hike (5 days)
- Safety for our families while we are away
- That we would let go and let God work here at the ranch
- Our Marriages
- Staff unity
- The families that come for our Counseling Weekend (that God would do a mighty miracle in their lives)
- The Hike that we will be on this weekend
Thanks again for all your support. We would love to have visitors during the summer. All you have to do is let us know when you want to come up and we can arrange a stay with us or in our guest housing.
Blessings on you all,
C-rod, A-rod and a-rod
P.S - If you are interested in becoming a prayer partner or financial sponsor just let us know and we can talk to you more about that whole process.