News from the Ranch


Celebrating Shining Moments

It has indeed been a challenging few years for The Ranch. Together we are recovering from loses to very important family and friends. But, it is a new season in many ways. We are now recognized as an At-Risk Group Home for children who have been trafficked or are at risk of being trafficked. This requires much more training for staff members, and it places us at the center of the immense tragedy that is occurring in Florida.

In the midst of the changes children are still being served. We have experienced some amazing stories.  Two teen brothers adopted. It is a miracle for these two young men. What a gift!  Another young man aged out of care. He was taken in by staff members, a community partner gave him and job, and recently he received the keys to his own car. He continues to pursue his high school diploma. 

I was sitting in the conference room a few days ago, when MA came through the door. It had been several months since I had seen him. He looked like he had grown a foot. Tall, slender well-dressed he stood with a huge smile. He told us he was graduating in December, and just wanted to come by and thank us and let us know. The veery next day a young lady came into the conference room. She was bubbly and smiled broadly. You don’t know who I am do you. He blazing red hair through me off, but soon I realized TD. She remembered a group session on appropriate relationships. She recanted the Hebrew words that were highlighted in the video during the session. TD’s dream was to be a doctor and she is in her 2nd year of college in pursuit of that dream.

We invite you to join us in making a difference in the lives of our children. We simply cannot do what we do without partners like you. You can follow the link below to support The Ranch, sponsor a child for Christmas, sponsor a cottage outing for Christmas break, or sponsor a campus-wide activity for Christmas.

Christmas Celebration – For the first time since 2019, we will be hosting a Christmas Celebration on December 8 at 6:30. We invite you to join the kids, staff and friends of The Ranch for a fun night.

Ascending to Your Dreams


Klimbing for Kids – Ascending to Your Dreams

Well we did it! We took the challenge to climb the highest point in Africa to raise awareness and funds for children who will age out of care without a high school 

diploma or a marketable job skill. Every 3 seconds a child ages out of an orphanage, group home or foster care. Often they find themselves without any viable support.

In the days just before we started our ascent to Mount Kilimanjaro, I began to reflect on the young men and women that I was climbing to represent. They ar

e the 14–17-year-olds who are aging nearing the point of aging out of orphanages, group homes and the foster care system without a high school diploma or a job skill.
This is catastrophic when you realize every three seconds a child ages out of care. I reflected on how my decision to climb, preparation, planning and then execution of the climb would illustrate a model for achieving their dreams. I often hear the youth represented above share their dreams, lofty dreams. But, these dreams will require them to make a decision, develop and execute a plan; but just as important they will need the help of mentors and supporters. Ascending to Your Dreams shares my journey from the decision to climb, with insights from my companion Alice.
Click the photo for an excerpt from the book!

Orphan Sunday November 13


November 13 is Orphan Sunday. It is a day to not only reflect on the international crisis of 153 Million Orphans worldwide, which would be the 9th largest nation on the planet by population. But it also a day to assess what our commitment to the orphans of the world should be for the next season. Here are some things to consider:

Stewardship means livingwith an understanding that all that we have belongs to God and that He has assigned us responsibility as caretakers of His wealth. Stewardship is the management of God-given resources in this life for which we will give account for in the next.

“Awareness and activation are often triggered by the discovery of the great difference between one’s own life-style and someone else’s.”  This is the perspective Paul advocated in 1 Timothy 6:17-19:

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Sacrifice is giving away something that costs us. Generosity gives out of abundance, but sacrifice gives when it hurts. In Luke 19, Zaccheus demonstrates generosity, but the widow who gave her last two cents, two chapters later, demonstrates sacrifice. Sacrifice requires the engagement of one’s self – soul, body and spirit. It requires one to take a stand, put one’s self on the line, to sacrifice precious self beyond our comfort zone. It requires more than just good intentions or fuzzy feelings. It is time that our words and deeds to become congruent – time to sacrifice one’s self, not just your words. It is time to stop [just] feeling and start doing.

Solidarity is taking action to identify ourselves with those in need. That is hard when we come from abundance in the USA. However, solidarity develops a “we consciousness” that transcends one’s “I-ness.” The writer of Hebrews sums it up this way: “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (Hebrews 13:3) Here the writer of Hebrews encourages us to choose intentional identification (i.e., solidarity, sympathy) with those less fortunate than ourselves. We step into the world of the orphan and the caregivers. We can then become at home with the world of involvement, and our working together is contributing to a larger whole.  We sympathize who have benn abused, abandoned, and exploited by imagining what we would feel if we were in their place: It is by changing places in “fact” (imagination) with the sufferer, that we come either to conceive or to be affected by what he/she feels. Sympathy is fellow-feeling (solidarity), which includes sharing the other’s joy as well as sorrow.  “Sympathy helps us enlarge our lives and transcend the limitations of our own experience.”  The Christian whose life is only surrounded by a middle-class congregation will lose touch with the feelings of the orphan. It becomes difficult if not impossible to be moral under such circumstances.

Check Out Your Priorities

The initial action step in coming alongside the Nation of Orphans is to understand your priorities.  The believer must be committed to honestly and completely examine where their priorities are.  An assessment of where we spend our time, ability, money and other resources is a vital step.

Expand Your Horizons

Stretching beyond what one would think they are able to do. Consider making more of your resources, time, ability, and treasure by developing plans that provide reasonable limits and boundaries for your life and family. What can you do to make a difference?

Take Inventory of  What One Has

Take inventory of what one has to give. A simple principle under girds this strategy item.  One cannot give what one does not have. God has placed in each of us unique desires, personal histories, and dreams. We should invest our gifts according to these leadings. God has placed us in relationship with people doing ministry, people we know, love and believe in. Ask the Father where we fit into His plan for these ministries.

Prayerfully Research the Possibilities

What can one do for the orphan within your community and church. There are many hurting children without proper parenting or mentoring. The most valuable thing I can give this group is my time.  The Heart of Florida Youth Ranch has programs for volunteers and mentor.  Give of your time and treasure. And, find out what is going on in the world. 

Become a world conscious Christian. Consider the 153 million orphans noted above. Consider that 99% of these will never be adopted. That 60% of boys may turn to crime and 70% of girls to prostitution. These are overwhelming statistics; yet with these staggering facts in mind, we come to I John 3:17: “Whoever has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, and closes his heart against him – how does the love of God abide in him?”  How do world conscious Christians live in a world with such startling inequities? We give!!

Make a Substantial and Sustainable Commitment

The commitment called for must be both substantial (sacrificial) and sustainable.  Give the child in your neighborhood, give to the Heart of Florida Youth Ranch and give to Haven of Hope International.

Remember, Follow-up and Evaluate

Remembering to keep in contact with individuals and ministries you are supporting. Following up your commitments with prayer and encouragement. And, evaluating the strategy will keep the plan relevant in a real time world.  Emergency situations may arise from any of the ministries supported that need immediate relief.  Constantly seeking creative ways to strengthen the partnerships both in local, regional, and international ministry should be explored. Arranging others to participate in prayer, advocacy, fundraising, setting up a missions dinner in your home, and mission trips might be some of the activities considered. The evaluation will never be on dollars spent or hours worked over against secular models of success. The assessment should only be made against are lives being changed.

2020 Annual Report

Heart of Florida Youth Ranch

Annual Report



Did Anyone Notice Anything Different About This Year! I ask that question at a recent speaking engagement to a generous laughter. It has been a very challenging year for our ministry, our community, our nation and our world. Everything seemed to be headed as planned and relatively routine. And then you couldn’t find toilet paper, businesses closed or worked from home, churches went online, agencies we worked with worked remotely and schools closed. No one could have predicted this! Suddenly, we had 38 residents (most are special needs or behind in subjects) whose education depended on us. I have never been so proud of a group of staff. Workloads shifted, rooms and our auditorium were repurposed, computers, supplies and other materials were purchased to make workstations, staff were reassigned, additional bandwidth was acquired to meet the sudden need of online schooling. From March until school ended in early June, we did our best to tutor and facilitate online learning. We saw  success as a few students fared well catching up and working their way out of restricted alternative settings. However, for most it was very difficult to maintain attention. We adjusted schedules to keep kids moving from one-time block to the next with plenty of activities. It was a team effort and you should be proud of our staff. Every park, beach, public recreational area, movie theatre was closed. Churches moved online. The campus was closed to visitors, mentors and all outside groups. What do you do with 38 children when there is nowhere to go? Again our cottage parents and support staff were resilient and creative coming up with campus activities including athletic/exercise challenges, ball games, outdoor movies, end of school dance for middle and high schoolers. It was challenging but a very successful summer. On August 5, just as things appeared to be getting back to normal as kids were out school shopping; Jo Ann was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer. It had spread to her liver, lymph nodes in her chest and bones in her spine, chest and hips. Our lives shifted dramatically. I needed to focus on Jo Ann’s care, I will be forever grateful for the administrative team that stepped up to keep things moving forward. We have a great team. Jo Ann has shown remarkable resilience as we continue to walk this journey. Thank you for your love and prayers. We cannot thank you enough. Inspections & Audits Lead Agencies and Department of Children and Family inspections and audits were affected as well. Rather than have agency personnel visit the campus to inspect files and the physical plant for compliance, these became virtual as well. Another load was placed on staff, as they had to gather assigned material, prepare packets and then scan these materials to agencies. Physical plant compliance was virtual with video conferencing the inspection. Finally, in September DCF came a for an in-person physical plant audit. It is notable that HOFYR received the highest score possible with 100% compliance. We are so very proud of the efforts of our administrative, case management and direct care staff for their commitment to excellence in all things.   Unbridled Hope Horsemanship UHH accommodated our ever changing schedules to provide residents with basic horsemanship all the while developing confidence and empathy within the residents. The year was not without challenges, our residents were also modeled how to process loss as Chappy passed away peacefully, and then Pixie succumb to a medical condition. The kids were amazing in caring for the ailing Chappy, and then standing guard over Pixie until disposal workers could arrive. UHH continues to be accredited by  Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship.   Physical Plant As we continue to adjust to the needs of our ministry, a large activity room was divided into three rooms. Two therapy offices and a group room. This has been needed for some time. It will allow our therapist ininterrupted meeting rooms and work rooms. Preparations were made for several storms that threatened the area this season, but there was little damage. Physical Plant and other Improvements:

  1. The auditorium floor was sanded, sealed and painted.
  2. Temporarily repurposed the auditorium for COVID School.
  3. A/C upgrade for Maddies Cupboard (Food Warehouse)
  4. Installed new Honors Garden with Flag Pole and dedicated the area to Retired 1st Sergeant Lindford Hayes.
  5. Upgraded Internet, video, and training Equipment.
  6. Periodically tested generators.
  7. Installed Ring Doorbell Camera to monitor people entering administration building. This enhanced or security.


  • Lindford Hayes and Stormy Helton continue to do an amazing job in training, scheduling and supporting our direct care staff.
  • Sean Stephens returned to the ministry as Lead Case Manager.

Promotion and Donations:

  • Strong local exposure through various news outlets and media.
  • A few key speaking engagements prior to COVID to bring awareness to HOFYR’s mission
  • YMCA Partnership renewed for 2016-17
  • Marion County Speedway
  • Easy Street
  • Kirby Farms
  • Davis Express (Tyson Chicken)
  • Borden’s Milk
  • Publix (Doing Christmas dinner & bought gifts)
  • TG Lee Milk
  • Horse Feed (Sparr Building, Tractor Supply)
  • Several churches bring in supplies monthly
  • R & L Trucking Partnership


  • Need work groups for various projects;
    • Playground Equipment Painted
    • Repair/Rebuild Horse Shelter
  • One Cottage van (12-15 Passenger)
  • A tractor large enough to bush-hog fields
  • New Twin Size Mattresses
  • Wholesale source for fruits and vegetables.
  • Repair and Replace doors for Administration Building ($2,000 each)

  Financial Report: Fiscal Year Ending August 31, 2020   Income: Donations:                               $   385,867.25 Contract Services                    $2,172,885.04 Other Income                          $       3,145.33 Total Income                           $2,561,897.62   Expenditures: Employee: Sal, Taxes, Ben.     $1,663,520.88 Program Expenses                  $    594,179.30 Total Expenses                        $2,890,498.89 Net Income/Loss                                 $   394,197.44 Record Financial Year! RESIDENT REPORT Total Residents Served                       84 Reunifications with family                  21 Adoptive Placements                          13 Disruptions                                           9 Average Census                                  35 Record Census                                    40   Total Discharges                                 43 Successful Discharges                         34   80% Successful Discharges in one of the most challenging years to date.  

2017 Annual Report

Heart of Florida Youth Ranch

Annual Report


What an Amazing Year! The Year saw many achievements for our campus. We began with a new record of 34 residents.  That was the maximum our license would allow.  Through out the year we upgraded several training and resource delivery systems to benefit our residents and staff. By June we were steadily at our manximum number with calls every week for the need for additional placements. We made afew alterations and were able to upgrade our license from 34 to 38 residents.  Almost immediately those beds were filled. We have maintained that number pretty consistently. We will close the year with just over 80 children served. That again is a record for The Ranch.  When we say “yes” to a hurting child, they are not just our children, they are your children too.” Unbridled Hope Equine Assisted Therapy We are having six classes per week with four residents in each class. Nearly 50 children have been served since classes began. It has been amazing to see the difference as this program has been unveiled. It is somewhat unique and something we can be truly proud of as an agency. The recent horse show was a highlight of my life. I developed a video called “The Best High Five Ever” as a result of one of our resident in that show.  (State of Florida Department of Juvenile Justice paid for 1 child to receive services. This is an area of potential growth) One of our horses “Junebug” was selected to participate in an equestrian therapy training for horses by the University of Florida working with Wild Horsemanship Center. We will get her back this month and by mid-January she will be our lead horse in the program.  As a result of this, we have secured a grant to have a horse trainer through Wild Horsemanship Center to work with our remaining horses on sight for 6 months. Wild Horsemanship Center is also working to donate a horse trained in Equine Assisted Therapy.  This has been amazing to see God open the doors. Outstanding Camper at Teen Youth Camp Out of over 400 campers, one of our residents was named most outstanding camper at the Teen Church of God Florida Youth Camp. What a great moment of healing and encouragement!! Physical Plant A singular highlight of the year was the new roof for cottage #1. Connection Point Church in North Carolina provided man-power and The Church of God State Council raised the money for the roof. DONE!!!  And just time for the significant storms of the summer.  I cannot imagine what Cottage 1 would have looked like, if the roof had not been upgraded. One of the highlights of the difficult hurricane aftermath was walking the campus as light began to filter through the storm clouds and see all of our roofs, especially Cottage 1 intact.  Physical Plant and other Improvements:

  1. Cottage #1 Roof Replaced(Connection Point Church of God, Asheville, NC)
  2. Cottage 2 & 3 Tile Flooring Complete (No Carpet)
  3. Continued Upgraded and remodeled Barn and fencing for equine program.
  4. Donation 2012 Kia Sedona Van (Jenkins Hyundai)
  5. A/C upgrade for Maddies Cupboard (Food Warehouse)
  6. Ice Machine for Admin Kitchen (Larger capacity)
  7. Upgraded Video and Training Equipment.
  8. Purchase of (1) 15,000 Watt Generator for Well Hosue; (1) 5,600 Watt Generator for Administration; (4) 4,000 Watt Generators for cottages, (1) 2,000 Watt Generator for Administration/Maintenance.
  9. New sewer drain fields for Cottages 2 & 4.
  10. Box Gardens


  • “Unbridled Hope” Equine Assisted Therapy Program
  • Transition of Sean Stephens to Program Coordinator as Lindford Hayes has transitioned.

Council on Accreditation Site Visit

  • April 9, 2018

Promotion and Donations:

  • Strong local exposure through various news outlets and media.
  • Revelation series 8 minute documentary continues to air. (Video is available for church or group meetings)
  • Being Right the Right Way (Appreciation, Awareness and Multiple opportunities to present.)
  • YMCA Partnership renewed for 2016-17
  • Marion County Speedway
  • Easy Street
  • Kirby Farms
  • Davis Express (Tyson Chicken)
  • Borden’s Milk
  • Publix (Doing Christmas dinner & bought gifts)
  • TG Lee Milk
  • Horse Feed (Sparr Building, Tractor Supply)
  • Several churches bring in supplies monthly
  • R & L Trucking Partnership


  • Need work groups for fencing and tree debris clean up
  • Fence Repair
  • (1) 15,000 -20,000 Watt Generator for Administration Kitchen (Propane)
  • One Cottage van (12-15 Passenger).
  • (1) Administration Vehicle
  • Wholesale source for fruits and vegetables.
  • Repair and Replace doors for Administration Building ($2,000 each)

  Activity Money for Christmas Break   Financial Report: Fiscal Year Ending August 31, 2017   Income:             Donations:                               $   222,675.02             Contract Services                    $1,491,584.78             Other Income                          $     58,316.73             Total Income                           $1,772,576.53   Expenditures:             Employee: Sal, Taxes, Ben.     $1,130,721.98             Program Expenses                  $  654,674.69             Total Expenses                        $1,785,396.67 Net Income/Loss                                 ($     12,820.14)   RESIDENT REPORT Total Residents Served                       84 Reunifications with family                  42 Adoptive Placements                           7 Step-Down                                            4 Disruptions                                            8 Average Census                                  30   Record Census                                    34   Total Discharges                                 61 Successful Discharges                         53   86% Successful Discharges

9-17 Irma Recovery Update

I wanted to give you an update from the Heart of Florida Youth Ranch. This is our seventh day without power.   I am reminded of a point made by our General Overseer Tim Hill a few years ago.  Some battles you are not intended to win, but only survive. I doubt anyone feels particularly triumphant, but we are more than surviving. I have been so very proud of our staff from top to bottom. Everyone has stepped up being flexible and adapting to the challenges we have faced.  There have been frustrations, but just as many smiles and shining moments. Lack of electricity Long lines and 2 hour waits for gas or diesel to run generators, mechanical breakdowns were overshadowed by the resiliency on our staff and children. Thank you for your immediate response to our need for larger generator. We were able to bring water back to our cottages, administration building, and even our horses.   Churches and individuals stepped up to bring in meals for our residents.  As power was restored in the city, staff made arrangements to get our residents into various activities off-campus. Several assisted  as mentors and support letting resident stay over night. Keep us in your prayers, And, Please continue to remember The Ranch as the financial impact will be significant. Your help has already made a huge difference.

I Remember His Tears

I remember his tears. Ethen is seventeen a year-old boy who has faced over a decade of in “the system,” in over 20 placements.  With tears in his eyes, he steadied himself and starred directly at me.  He said, “You have no idea what it is like to sit in an office with people on the phone trying to find you a place to stay. Wondering if you will have a place tonight. Or, standing in front of a judge who is deciding where you will go. It is the loneliest feeling in the world. I have no one . . .”

(He collapsed with his head on his arms)

For Ethen the hope of a family or adoption has faded and now he faces becoming an adult alone. 

There is a story in the Bible of a Man in the throws of a decision. He has gone to a garden with friends to pray.  His friends are tired and sleeping, and this Man is praying alone. The Man is facing a life and death, heaven or hell decision. He is praying to God the Father, is there a way to avoid the sacrificial suffering and death that He was facing?

In the garden, He is on his knees rocking back and forth, fists clenched, heart broken and in pain.  His hair is plastered to his face, his clothes are soaked with perspiration, groaning in anguished prayer to the point of death. This Man is God. This Man is Jesus. You need to know there was an hour that even Jesus could not stand to be alone.

His options are clear, He can avoid the cross and go to heaven without you. Or, He must literally go to hell for you. On the ground in the garden that night, I believe Jesus looked to the future and saw the gapping abyss of hopelessness for humanity. He saw every child who would face the desperation of being alone.  Jesus’ decision took him to the cross.  One scripture says that He was thinking of future believers during those horrific moments.

Today we celebrate the cross and resurrection.  Jesus’ choice provides for all of us a choice today. Regardless of our pain or our past, because of the Cross; we can have hope. Ethen can choose hope! Every neglected, abandoned and abused child can have hope.  Hope begins with the story of Jesus choosing the cross for us.

Thank you for your allowing us to tell the story to hurting children. We choose hope today!!

The Hurt is this Big

Click for Video

The hurt is this big!! Not long ago I sat with a young lady named Lorie, who was describing her hurt and anger. She described a life of abandonment and abuse that culminated in rape. Tears flowed openly as she shared.  I ask, if she could describe the hurt how big would it be. Would it be this big (size of basketball) . . . or this big (size of beach ball) . . . or this big (stretching to the size of a large boulder as wide as I could reach). 

With tears pooling, Lorie stretched her arms out as wide as she could and said, “This big.”

I said,  “When your hurt is that big, it is all that you can see.  You could have a bright future full of hope and dreams, but if all you can see is this huge ball of hurt and pain, you will never see the future that God has for you. The hurt and pain then becomes the focus of your life and identity.”

We live in a world that has rejected God and the world is a dangerous and frightening place.

But God understands your hurt, He knows all about your past and what you are going through right now. 

I continued talking to Lorie, “The ball of hurt and pain may be so big you cannot hold it right now. If you will let us, together we will all work on making it smaller. It will not totally go away, but in a few weeks you will be able to see, God has a plan for you beyond all the hurt of your past.  You may not be able to see it now, but we can see it. You are incredibly strong to have survived all that you have been through.  We believe you can accomplish anything!

We will chip away at it and before long the huge boulder of pain could be the size of a basketball, then even smaller to size of a soft ball, and then as we work together to discover all the plans God has for your life. God’s love, Hope and healing will continue to chip away that huge unmanageable boulder of hurt and anger until it is as small as a pebble. You may never forget it, but it just becomes part of the path that takes you to a great future.  It is part of the road you have traveled, but does not control or define your life.”

We believe God has great plans for for every child that comes to The Heart of Florida Youth Ranch! It is an amazing to see the first sparks of hope flicker in the eyes of a child.  Every day, we are chipping away at the hurt, anger and pain. Thank you for your support and your prayers.

Love Grows Kids

Love Grows Kids!!

It has been clearly proven that a child must have loving relationships in order to grow and develop in every area of life. Children from third world orphanages where there was a lack of human interaction due to sheer numbers of children versus staff, face huge gaps in development, even being physically underdeveloped. We can actually die from rejection and isolation. Children need love to thrive!

In our training they talked a lot about relationships. Your relationship with the children opens up the door for ministry.  We talk about our witness of faith being both with words and actions. This became clear to me one evening, when a cottage parent named Ellis shared this story.

After an active day, the cottage was having a difficult night. The boys were whining and struggling to follow even simple request. Ellis and his wife decided to go ahead and send them to bed so that we could get a fresh start in the morning.

Ellis went to each room to tell the boys good night. When he got to Ethen’s room, he started talking to him about his faith and some of his own life experiences. Ellis said that he felt like what he was saying was not coming from him. Ellis said, “Honestly, this was the first time I had talked about my faith to someone before, but the words just kept coming out. I sensed God’s presence in the room as I shared my testimony with Ethen and his roommate, Larry.  I could see it in their eyes; they were listening and receiving. It was one of the most awesome moments I had ever experienced.  I wanted to have that feeling continually.” 

Moments like this give us a look into the power of “withness.”  Withness speaks of relationship. The cottage parent couple was literally living “with,” sharing their life “with,” sharing their family “with,” sharing their faith “with” our boys. As we close out 2015, I want to thank those who allow us at the HOFYR to be “with” our children. Everyday, our caregivers share their lives, their hearts, and their faith with children who have been abused, neglected and abandoned. The Ranch is that kind of place.

Your partnership makes all the difference in their world!!

Happy New Year!

Cascading Messages of Hope

Cascading Messages of Hope

Rarely is it a single traumatic event that shatters the life of the children we serve.  Most often it is a prolonged series of experiences that are overwhelming and unpredictable. These build until the wounds are deep and encompass every area of their young lives. The question was asked recently, what can ignite the spark of hope?  The answer is amazingly simple, yet challenges the caregiver’s deepest resources of love and care. At the end of the day, trusting relationships heal children. 

One can never discount the tremendous power in a simple word of encouragement. Those words from a trusted individual may bring a spark of hope and courage. Yet, it will be the caregiver, mentor, coach, pastor or friend who signs on for the long haul that has the greatest chance of influencing the life of the child. The currency of hope is trust! Trust is built when caregivers are able to provide the child with predictable patterns of consistent care, love and encouragement.

Children often come to us from a life of chaos, disrupted environments, unpredictable behaviors, and loss. Their norm is stressful vigilance. The child is always waiting for the next disruption of their lives, painfully predicting it at any moment. It is at these moments caregivers at The Heart of Florida Youth Ranch step into a child’s life. Our prayer is to let them see the love of God in us. Let us be the hands and voice of the church, speaking and touching with encouragement. Let us love them, until they can trust our love and then look through us to see the ultimate giver of life and love. Our challenge everyday is not to just provide a word or deed of hope; but let us be part of a cascade of messages of hope in everything we say and do. These cascading messages of hope become the building blocks of trust that will allow a child to develop and become all they were created to be!