WHAT HE HAS DONE
Birth of a vision...
In 2014, as we sat in church on a regular Sunday morning, longtime friends of ours, Jimmy and Cindy Thompson, were sharing about their recent mission trip to Texas where they worked with a long-term restoration home for victims of human trafficking. The place they visited used horses to help in the restoration process. As they were sharing, Chris and I both began to cry. The Holy Spirit had awakened something in us that we didn't even recognize yet. We began to support their vision of bringing a similar ministry to Virginia, thinking at the time, that we would possibly manage the horse farm aspect.
AND A NEW DIRECTION IN LIFE
Preparing our hearts...
AND MAKING ROOM FOR HIS PLANS
Around the same time (probably even a bit earlier), the Lord began to prepare Chris for the day when he would retire from his position at the Albemarle County Police Department, the county that surrounds Charlottesville, Virginia. Chris mentioned it to me a couple of times and each time I would have an almost visceral reaction. I felt nauseous at the thought of losing our main source of income with our growing family to support.
Sell your home...
AND SHOW US A NEW WAY TO LIVE
Early 2016 brought us our first big leap of faith. In the middle of what most Americans would consider The American Dream, God spoke again and told us to sell our home. As scary as it was to think of leaving our home of ten years, we were starting to outgrow it and we thought we were just moving to a slightly larger home in another suburban neighborhood.
God had better plans than we could have ever imagined and just in the nick of time, we found a beautiful home to rent on a farm with people who have become our family and have helped God show us a more connected way of life.
Time for change...
THE SECOND BIG LEAP
In the fall of 2016, we were still supporting our friends with their vision to start a long-term restoration home and horse ministry for victims of human trafficking (True Mission). Chris and I decided that we should look into what exactly a horse ministry is. We spent an afternoon googling, learning, and feeling excited about the possibilities. That Sunday, after church, Chris fervently prayed and asked God if a horse ministry is what He is calling us to do. God confirmed that and told Chris he needed to quit his job as soon as possible. When he told me what God shared with him, it was the first time that I had absolutely no hesitation about that decision and we immediately wrote the resignation letter. Chris had just passed the 20-year mark as a police officer with the Albemarle County Police.
Sharing the journey
WE HAVE A NAME...AND A WEBSITE
In December of 2016, as friends, family, and our church family began to hear about the vision God had given us to start a horse ministry, everyone was curious about the journey we had embarked on. What started out as a personal journal quickly became a website with a blog so that we could share the story God is writing with our lives.
Living & Learning
AND LEANING MORE AND MORE ON OUR HEAVENLY FATHER
2017 was a year of learning for the Beck family. We went to Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Bend, OR, for a 4-day clinic on starting a horse ministry, we learned how to tend to hay, our oldest child learned how to operate all manner of farm equipment, we learned about gardening, caring for dairy cows, Chris learned to ride horses, and we were joyfully expecting our fifth child. Most importantly, Chris began an internship with a local ministry called Love INC, and learned about running a ministry from an insiders perspective. We were invited to share our story at our home church and God started to awaken the same vision in some of our friends.
This is God's ministry and to be true to Him, it must be built on three key things:
Rooted in the Word of God
The leading of the Holy Spirit
March of 2018 marked our first, official, Risen Ridge meeting. Through prayer, brainstorming, role-playing, and discussion, He has given us the Mission Statement, the Vision statement, and the values.
As of July 3, 2019, Risen Ridge Ministry is an IRS recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit!!!!!!
We have a location!
In late February 2019, Chris, Jen, and Risen Ridge were featured in an article on a local facebook page. Within 4 hours of the article being published, a woman contacted us about potentially using their farm for the ministry. They have always had a heart for ministry and hoped to use their farm for such a purpose someday.
Read the whole story on the blog.
The Miller family has lived on the property for several years but have never used the horse facilities. They are great but could use a little love to get them ready for the ministry.
With lots of help, we have been working hard!
A site is being leveled for a round pen, the exterior tack room door and door frame are being replaced, the interior tack room door and hayloft door have been spruced up and a chalkboard wall has been added between the doors, fill dirt has been added to the stalls, the arena is tilled and ready to go, a 75' section of 3-board fence has been installed, and electric tape has been added to the top of the perimeter fencing in the front pasture.
Our first ministry horse!
In mid-June 2019, a woman named Joanne called Jen. She had a horse that she thought should be used in ministry to help people heal through Jesus. Specifically, people struggling with PTSD and veterans. She had been praying about donating her boy, Socks, to a ministry for two years! When she heard about Risen Ridge, she knew it was where he needed to be. We went to visit him a few days after our phone call and the call from the Lord was so clear that we picked him up the next day and he became the first ministry horse for Risen Ridge Ministry!
Meet Socks! Socks is a 19-year-old, 15.3 hand, Tennessee Walking Horse. He was loved and owned by Joanne for 15 years! He is extremely peaceful to be around. He truly seems to enjoy being groomed and cuddled. He is also sound and safe for beginners to ride.
A herd of three
In November, Dezi joined the herd. She is a 15h QH who was also adopted from Hope's Legacy Equine Rescue. Her story can be found on her page, here.
WE HAVE A TEAM
Building a foundation...
To read about what is happening now, see What's Happening Today...