July - December 2019
Risen Ridge ministry shares hope through horses and Jesus
BY SHANNON KELLY/(540) 932-3563
What does one do when you have five children,
a steady career and comfortable home, then
suddenly feels deeply called to step out in faith
and let go of certainty to pursue a calling to
mission? The Beck family decided to listen and
heed the call.
One morning in 2014, as Jen and Chris Beck sat in
church listening to their missionary friends share
the story of their experiences on missions trip in
Texas, the couple was struck with a calling.
The missionaries had been working in Texas with
survivors of trafficking. One component of the
program they witnessed was the healing impact of
horses and survivors working together. Chris and
Jen began weeping at the moving testimony. They
knew then beyond a doubt that God was calling
them to dedicate their lives to serving Him, and those in need, through the ministry of horses and nature.
Turning a vision into reality is a long process, and Jen and Chris are continually learning about patience and faith along the way. But, even in the face of overwhelming odds, the Becks learned that nothing can stand in the way of God’s plan.
“Everything comes from God’s provision,” Chris said. “We do not have the capacity in any way to make it happen. We walk in faith day to day with His provision alone.”
And God did provide.
Their house was sold, and Chris left his job of 20 years to pursue this ministry full-time, but the Becks still did not have the farm they needed. After fervent prayer and sharing their story on social media, a family near Fishersville contacted the Becks. They had heard about the mission, and wanted to allow use of their farm to help carry out God’s purpose. The tranquility and beauty of nature surrounding the farm, combined with Psalm 23, inspired Risen Ridge’s mission statement: “Providing a sanctuary, within God’s creation, to foster new life.”
During the wait for a farm, the Becks began laying other foundations to work toward the mission — and learned a valuable lesson about God’s timing.
“We started with the planning. With the board, with the vision, the mission, values, website, all the foundational pieces. And then we got the farm,” Jen said. “I realized somewhere in that process that if we had had the farm before that, we would have skimmed over all these foundational pieces that are so important.”
Over the years, every need has been met. Donations of tack, time and hard work continued flowing in. The Becks were also led to adopt the first two equines for Risen Ridge: Socks and Maple. Horses can be incredible at facilitating healing with humans, especially when the horses have painful pasts of their own. For this reason, the Becks plan to work with rescue horses in the program.
“It’s about learning to trust again,” Chris said. “If you’ve had trauma in your life, it’s hard to come back into a relationship with people, but God can use a horse to bridge that gap.”
Chris experienced this healing with God and horses in his own life. As a police officer, he experienced his own level of trauma which led to “severe” depression.
“We experience a lot of trauma,” he said. “We see a lot of death and other things, and it causes a lot of long-term effects. I had built up walls to protect my heart.”
When Chris began working with horses, the walls began to come down and he began to heal.
“The horse began to work that out, and bring down those walls, to experience things in a fresh way again. I went through trauma, and God restored me. I can’t wait to give back for what God did for me.”
Chris has a special heart for first responders, and hopes that Risen Ridge will be able to provide the same restoration that he experienced.
Jen, a lifelong horsewoman herself, has a passion for working with families.
“I see so many organizations that help children. There’s such a big need to help children. But then they go home to the parents who have problems, too,” Jen said. “And it’s just a cycle then.”
Jen hopes to involve parents in the program, along with children, to meet each individual where they are and help break these cycles through the love of horses and Christ.
The program will not be limited to first responders and families.
“We know that God will bring the people that need to come,” Jen said.
While the objective of the program is to share the love of Jesus with its participants, Risen Ridge is nondenominational. Rather than serving man-made denominations and religious institutions, the goal is to serve God and His purpose.
Jen said that Christ “doesn’t recognize denominations.”
“There are people from all walks and denominations that have joined us,” Chris added. “It has to be rooted in the Word of God, in prayer, and led by the Holy Spirit. Without those three things, you don’t have a ministry. God didn’t want us to be influenced by man, but by Him.”
The Becks look forward to partnering with other ministry organizations in the area, where they can help and strengthen each other as they reach out to help others.
Risen Ridge will officially launch its program in the spring of 2020. After years of behind-the-scenes preparation, the ministry will take off to touch more people.
“We have a lot of God-sized visions, but God can deliver,” Chris said. “He can deliver all those things.”
Risen Ridge ministry will hold an informational session on Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. at Common Ground, 15 Angela Ct., Fishersville.
Anyone interested in becoming involved with the ministry is invited to join. Prospective volunteers may also contact the Becks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit risenridge.org.
Be sure to join us on the 20th to learn more about Risen Ridge Ministry!
Wednesday, November 20th
7-8PM at Common Ground in Fishersville
EAST COAST RANCH MINISTRY
CLINIC & FELLOWSHIP
On September 27th, 2019, eight supporters of Risen Ridge Ministry, including the Board of Directors, headed to Shepherd Youth Ranch in Creedmoor, NC, for a two-day horse ministry clinic. There were more than 60 participants representing horse ministries from as far away as California and Canada! The clinic was rich in information that covered all aspects of horse ministry from the horses to the guests to the facility to the business side of things and everything in between. There are so many different "flavors" of horse ministries and the need is great for all of them. We were beyond blessed by the connections we made and the information we learned! One aspect that really struck us all is the Kingdom perspective that all of these ministries operate from. The information is not coveted or kept to themselves. It all comes from our Heavenly Father and therefore, belongs to all of us who are seeking to serve Him. Everyone is willing and eager to share what works for them, pitfalls they have encountered along the way, and is seeking to bring healing to hurting people through the love of Jesus. Our team was blessed and can't wait to begin to create programming for Risen Ridge Ministry that utilizes the information we learned.
RISEN RIDGE ROUNDUP REPORT
The first annual Risen Ridge Roundup was a wonderful success! We really didn't know what to expect because this was our first big event and the ministry is still so new. Imagine our joy when the Ridgeview gym filled with nearly 140 friends old and new, family, and local business owners. We enjoyed delicious desserts and listened to story after story of how God works through horses to help restore hope and bring healing. God touched people's hearts that evening!
God's favor is surely on Risen Ridge Ministry...between the one-time gifts, the monthly support, and the pledges,
was raised! To God be the glory!!!!!
8/6-10/19 Sooner BBQ in Stuarts Draft partnered with Risen Ridge Ministry to hold a fundraiser for our new pony, Maple. All week long customers could put money in the feed bucket that was on display and on Saturday when they placed their order if they wanted to "Fill the Feed Bucket", 15% of the profit from those sales went to Maple as well. The goal was to raise her adoption fee. I am humbled to say that the goal was not only meet but exceeded!!!! Huge, big, giant thanks to Sooner BBQ and their continuous support and excitement for Risen Ridge Ministry! We live in such an amazing community and I'm so thankful that people are beginning to see this awesome ministry growing.
Early August 2019 God is on the move so fast right now that it seems I can hardly keep up with the blessings that are coming our way. It's really amazing! So here goes a quick list. This list is seriously from the last 7 days!!!
*The tack room floor in the barn was a bit on the saggy side. Two knowledgable volunteers not only offered to demo the old floor and rebuild a new floor but also supplied the new flooring as well! The project is almost complete and it is going to be amazing!
*Just this past week I asked about getting a hutch-type piece of furniture for the tack room. Someone responded with a great piece and they want to donate it!
*We have been hoping to get a banner to display at places like Sooner, when they do a fundraiser for us, or when we go to events where we would set up an informational booth. Well, we have a very connected friend who was able to ask the owner of Converge Local if he would give us a good deal on getting a banner printed. He not only gave us TWO banners, but he DONATED them to Risen Ridge Ministry!!!
*We had a "neighborhood" cookout at the horse farm and before the evening was through, one of the neighboring farmers offered to DONATE round bales all winter long! Whenever we need one, we just need to give him a call!
*We are going to be holding our first big event (details coming soon, I promise!) and our well-connected friend, once again asked another local printing company called, McClung Companies, if they would give us a discount on printing invitations. Guess what??? They have offered to print all 150 of them FOR FREE!!!!!
July 2019 A dear friend of ours, who is a lifelong horsewoman, volunteers at a local horse rescue called, Hope's Legacy Equine Rescue. During her time there she had noticed a few horses that she thought would be a good fit for Risen Ridge Ministry. On July 6th, we went to visit Courtney at Hope's Legacy while she did her volunteer work and meet some of the horses she liked for RRM. We had been praying about the second horse for RRM. Our desire was for one of two types, either a large, stocky horse, maybe even a draft or draft cross, and the other was for a large pony. Something small enough that it wouldn't be intimidating but large enough for small adults to ride. As soon as we saw Maple we knew that she fit the bill for our large pony. On July 17th we went back to evaluate her further and determined that she would, indeed, be a great fit. On July 27th, Maple came home to live with Socks as Risen Ridge Ministry's second four-legged ministry partner! You can read more about Maple on her page.
7/10/19 Risen Ridge Ministry received a letter from the IRS that we are officially a recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization!!!! Yay God!!!
On a very chilly evening in early November, we had a cookout/campfire/potluck dinner for the faithful crew that has been with us all year. It was amazing and we will most definitely be doing similar events more often because this crew can cook!!!!! We set up the food in the barn, ate around a campfire in the arena, roasted marshmallows for s'mores, and played games. It was really nice to get together without an agenda, to just enjoy the fellowship and be thankful for the many hands, hearts, and prayers that have been at work for Risen Ridge this year !
When Chris and Jen went to Hope's Legacy for the first time in early July, they met Dezi. As they were finishing the tour of the facility with their friend, Chris felt God leading him to an out-of-the-way barn area that they hadn't seen yet. When they saw her, they both became very emotional. At that point, she was only 6 weeks into her rehabilitation and still had a long way to go. You see, on May 31st, Dezi was found locked in a stall with no food or water. She was near death. Even the vet was uncertain if she would survive rehabilitation. As soon as Chris saw her, he knew in his heart that she was meant to come to Risen Ridge. Jen knew that Dezi's background and true demeanor were hidden within that skeletal body and likely wouldn't be known until she was further along in her recovery. Their friend, Courtney, who volunteers with Hope's Legacy and has been their contact with them, became Dezi's person. She kept the director in the loop as to Risen Ridge's interest and they waited for her to regain her physical strength so she could be evaluated. On October 27th, Chris and Jen wanted to go visit Dezi. She had begun to be evaluated under saddle and Courtney was riding her that day. Everyone was very pleased with her! So pleased, in fact, that they allowed 5-year-old Fizzy to ride Dezi. Chris, Jen, and the Risen Ridge board of directors were in agreement, Dezi was meant to become Risen Ridge's 3rd four-legged ministry partner. After almost losing her to an unknown pending trial adoption, God worked it out and Dezi came home on November 4th.
Hope's Legacy Equine Rescue is expertly skilled in rehabilitating horses. This miraculous transformation only took 5 months. You can read all of Dezi's story as well as see more pictures of her on her page.