Every so often, I take some time to read our "archival" records of the Ranch. The great people who founded Dakota Boys Ranch did so in 1952, which is before I was even born! The older Ranch Voice editions and newsletters and board minutes give real texture to the evolution of the Ranch. From host homes, to the Butt Ranch at Tolley, ND, to a nationally recognized, multi-campus treatment center and school...it has always been about following our mission. And the thrift stores and fundraising allow us to keep our independence, and to keep Christ at our center.
Sometimes when I read the documents, comments, and thoughts from the past, a message will hit me like a ton of bricks. Like this message from a 1973 Ranch Voice edition. Dr. Leslie F. Weber, who was then Executive Director of Social Ministry and World Relief for the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, spoke at the dedication of our Therapeutic Activity Center, which had just been completed. Dr. Weber said, "Don't grow wear of well-doing."
"Don't grow weary of well-doing." Such a simple statement, so hard to live by.
The world gets heavy. The kids who come to the Ranch are hurt and angry and they lash out. Those around them have stomped out their faith in God. They don't want more "help." They've been "helped" enough as far as they are concerned.
Yet, through the grace of God, we do not grow weary. We see the beauty of the small wins and wait patiently for the big ones. We cherish and respect the support we receive from others that allows us to continue. We keep on keeping on. We hold each other up when we can't hold ourselves up.
That is what we are here to do..."To help at-risk kids and their families succeed in the name of Christ." And, when we see that mission fulfilled in even one child, we are energized for the next and the next. We continue the "well-doing," and we never grow weary of seeing the beauty of a child becoming their best self.
Thank you for your prayers.
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
P.S. To support eh healing ministry of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, donate now at dakotranch.org/donate.