Where to begin…

There’s not a lot that I can say that hasn’t already been said about 2020. It was challenging in almost every way. From the physical challenges, to the emotional challenges, to the political challenges, to the logistical challenges, there seemed to be challenges at every turn. Normally, we operate from the standpoint of helping children face their challenges, but in 2020 we were in the unique position of having the kids watch us face ours.

What started as a “two-week quarantine” quickly became 8 months of limiting trips and disinfecting everything. While the essential trips for doctor’s appointments and other “less than fun” activities continued, the trips to town for fun, adventure and relaxation came to an abrupt halt. Before too long, the emotional challenges began. Birthdays at The Ranch and weekend trips home being cancelled, and holidays missed started to take a toll on everyone. And there didn’t seem to be an end in sight at any point.

Democracy during an election year

To make things even more challenging, last year also happened to be an election year. On top of the fundraising dip that tends to occur during election years, the tone of this election was also problematic. While I tend to keep my opinions mostly to myself on such matters, the political divisiveness, vitriol, and effects of identity politics made teaching the kids about our democratic process all but impossible.

Blessings & Faith

Instead of focusing on all that was problematic, we instead chose to focus on our blessings.

Despite all of the challenges – or maybe due to the challenges facing families thrown into homeschooling – 2020 was a significant year at The Ranches in terms of the number of families that we were able to help. Our small class size and non-remote learning environment allowed us to offer educational support to a large number of families and the structure necessary to deal with all that was going on in the world. These factors allowed us to offer a greater level of predictability and consistency for the kids in our care. And, despite the politics that served to divide and set neighbor against neighbor, we take comfort in knowing that the God who commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves is still in control; still expecting us to reach across whatever aisle is present to love those neighbors on the other side of political issues as well.

Faith is easy in the good years, but essential in the challenging years. In 2020, our faith was essential to our ability to honor our blessings and learn from our challenges. We are hopeful that 2021 will bring a few less challenges, but equal reminders of our blessings and faith in God, his plan, and our fellow man.

Read the full Winter Corral 2021 – Click Here…

Heath Kull – President

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