From In the Draft...
Good morning Stuarts Draft! It’s Thursday and time for a new ITD Person Of The Week. Actually, again this week, it’s a couple. I’d like to introduce you to Jen & Chris Beck. Jen and I have become acquainted through this page over the last few years, you know ... not in person, we message each other. But, I knew a few things about her. I knew that I liked her personality and sense of humor. I knew where she lived. I knew that the family was active in their church, Greenmonte Christian Fellowship. I didn’t know much about her husband Chris - like my hubby, he’s not especially interested in social media. Well, a couple of weeks ago I got a message from Jen. I’m just going to share the main part of that message with y’all, because unfortunately, I’m running behind this week and she obviously says it better than I can anyway 😊.
“For the past few years, my family and I have felt called to start a horse ministry in our area. We would love to sit down and share it with you in person or if you’d rather check it out online, we have a website www.risenridge.org. We just filed for our official nonprofit status, we have a board of directors, and about 15 people who meet monthly to decide how we move forward.” She went on to say that they were starting to share the vision with their friends and neighbors to see if anyone might know of a location for them. She shared this flyer that explains the vision, what a horse ministry is, what Risen Ridge is doing now and what their needs are.
Sure sounded interesting to me and you know that I don’t want to miss anything, so I made arrangements to go talk to the Becks. First, I’ll just tell you what I learned about the Becks. They lived in Albemarle County until 13 years ago. Chris was a Albemarle County police officer and Jen worked on a horse farm in Barboursville. Jen later became a stay at home mom, and along the way, finished earning her degree and became a nurse. So, 13 years ago they were looking for a new home, and you know how expensive Albemarle County real estate is - a friend suggested they look in the Fishersville/Stuarts Draft areas. The Becks told me they had been to Fishersville looking around and came across Rt 608 over to Stuarts Draft. They said that they were sitting at the traffic light by Rite Aid and they just looked at each other and said “This is it”. This was where they wanted to live. I guess they only had 1 child when they moved into the Draft. Now there are 5 Beck children. Yes, FIVE😊. Ages 1, 4, 11, 12, & 14. That’s a handful! 2 of the children are homeschooled. Chris has coached softball and Tee Ball. As I mentioned earlier, the family is active in their church. See, I’m tired just thinking about this, but they are handling all of this and planning a horse ministry 😊
In May of 2017, Chris and Jen traveled to Oregon to attend a informational clinic offered by a well known horse ministry (Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch). The Beck’s vision is to provide a ministry and safe place for anyone who has suffered any type of trauma (veterans, EMTs, victims of abuse or human trafficking, etc.) and to allow God to work through the horses. Riding is an excellent way of overcoming fears and gaining confidence. Being able to control a big animal like that (& their environment) can be a very powerful experience for a child - or even, an adult. And it’s not necessarily just riding, people who aren’t comfortable riding a horse would be welcome to just work with them (grooming, etc). As Jen said, horses have a way of breaking down walls. Risen Ridge would also like to offer other therapeutic farm type activities, like gardening...maybe even milking a cow😊. They envision offering retreats in addition to regular visits. Jen Beck told me “We love God, God loves us and we want to share that❤️. Chris said that this community and their church have been so hugely supportive of them, they want to serve and give back.
The flyer and website will give you a lot more info about Risen Ridge. If you would like to be involved or can offer them any assistance in finding a location, contact the Becks through the website or at the numbers on the flyer that I’m going to share separately. Oh, and there’s a Facebook page too. I’ll share that so you can “like” it - I don’t want you to miss anything either😊. Any Augusta County property would be good, but wouldn’t it be cool to have a horse ministry right here in the Draft?
If you see the Beck family around, please stop and introduce yourself! Have a great day!