Rancho de Christo
This morning we were able to go for a quick tour of a minsitry affiliated to the one we work and live at. It is a rehab for men built in the last few years. What a wonderful work they are doing. So many lives changed. Brought out of the pit of addiction and worthlessness into real life and knowing their value in the eyes of God.
There is a smal woodworking shop on site where they are building gorgeous wooden toys to sell. I may have to do some Christmas shopping there.
We gave 3 students ,from the Bible Institute at the mission/ orphanage
where we live, a ride to the ranch. They volunteer their weekends to work at the rehab. What an immaculately clean and well kept place it is. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and even the dirt is raked and manicured. The facility is modest but adequate and what stood out to me was the presence of God in the place. Such a beautiful example of lives being restored.
Checking out the pigs.
One of the men that volunteers there on weekends, and who is currently a part of a very intensive 2 year Bible School training program, was once one of the addicted who lived at the ranch. I haven't heard his whole story but the pieces I have heard are unbelievable. He grew up in California fluent in both spanish and english. His arms and hands are covered in tattoos , many appear to be the homemade variety and he speaks with a very distinctive dialect. He referrs to it as "ghetto english". I find it pleasantly amusing and maybe even refreshing. A strong man of God, tattoed to the hilt, with a spanish ghetto accent and a history of gang violence, prison and drugs to run chills down any "good Christians" spine. I love that God is in the business of restoring lives, preserving men and woman in the worst circumstances for his purposes. This young man breaks every legalistic mould people have made of what a Christian "should " look and sound like. I love that....because Jesus broke every mould that the pharisees made as well. What God looks at ,and what makes his life an amazing testimony, is his heart.
His heart is completely surrendered to his savior and his life is dedicated to sharing the hope and freedom he has found in Christ.
There are so many stories like this young mans. Many of the students at the Bible Institute are former drug addicts, pushers and gang members. The student that we are sponsoring has a similar history of violence and drugs. He has shared some of his past with us and Gods hand in his life is incredible. These are people that we would lock away and see as worthless, but God ,in his power, has freed them from their demons and given them new life. I stand in awe of how God works and how He consistently raises up the lowly things of this world to bring down the proud.