The Gift of Presence
"Presence" is the most powerful gift that can be given in this world today. The opportunities that God gives us to use the natural resources of Strong Tower Ranch are truly a blessing in this time of social media.  It is our joy that phones are put down, social status and texting forgotten when teens, children and adults visit the ranch.  Instead, the senses are turned on with the smell of the fresh, crisp air, the sound of horses nickering, roosters crowing, and wind blowing through the trees.  Eyes take in the expanse of the ever-changing sky which is a pallet of God's workmanship every sunrise and sunset.  When the phones are forgotten and the eyes look up, there is much to embrace in the amazing world God created for us, especially relationships with each other.  

I was privileged to spend time with a little girl who had a very traumatic upbringing and suffered a depth of hurt that no one should experience in this life, much less an 8-year-old.  She had trouble with eye contact, and after weeks of building trust with her I looked her in the eyes and said, "Do you know that the eyes are the window to the soul?"  And instead of looking away she took my face in her hands and looked into my eyes so intensely and deeply that I almost looked away. I asked hesitantly, "What do you see?"  She kept searching as if she would visibly see something in my eyes.  She finally said with confidence, "I see kindness."  Because of the hurt I know this child had endured in her life, seeing "kindness" was a great honor.  

The blessings we receive serving the children who come to STR are far greater than silver and gold.  We may have only brief moments with these little ones, so we take every opportunity to look deeply into their eyes and to tell them they are loved, created for a purpose, and there is hope in the brokenness of the world.  

At this special time of year we remember that Jesus came into this world as a helpless baby.  His plan was to restore, redeem and rescue each one of us, and He will use those who come to Him to share this glorious message of salvation to others.  

Our prayer this Christmas is that YOU give someone the “gift of presence” and look deeply into their eyes and tell them they are loved.   

Lori Brooks
Horsemanship Program Director
​Strong Tower Ranch