"26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people." -Ezekiel 37:26-27
As I was driving through the North Dakota countryside, I noticed a cluster of tumbleweeds roll across the highway, through the center ditch, and up across the other side of the road, where they got stuck on a fence. Seeing the brush rolling and tumbling along at the whims of the prairie winds reminded me of the difficulties some of our Ranch kids face.
Many of our residents come to us having been in dozens of placements before reaching Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. These kids’ lives have been dominated by constant upheaval, uncertainty, and uncontrollable change. They have never had a stable place to stop and rest. Like the tumbleweeds, their stability only lasts until the wind changes. With such a lack of stability and support, is it any wonder why so many of our children struggle to trust? Why engage with staff, therapists, or treatment if your only experience is to be uprooted every time you start to make a little “progress?”
We know our kids thrive with a solid, structured, and stable routine. Routine provides safety and comfort from the unknown. A steady place of rest and peace is a blessing that allows them to relax, to trust, to grow, and to thrive. Rest and peace are a deep need for all of us. It is why so many of God’s promises focus on providing continued support. Whether it is the promise of giving them a land to call their own, to dwell with them all over the earth, to provide for them by giving His life, or to dwell with them forever in their hearts; God promises are always about being a source of strength and stability for His people.
God’s promise of eternal support is reflected in our care for the children we serve. We do everything we can to provide that support and stability at the Ranch. With some diligent care and unwavering compassion, guided by the selfless mercy of God, we give our children and their families the tools they need for success—so their futures will not be like that of the tumbleweeds, tossed around by the wind.
"He remembers his covenant forever,
the promise he made, for a thousand generations" -Psalm 105:8
Lord God, help us to see your presence in our lives. When things feel out of control and we can’t find anything stable to hold onto, lead us to lean on your unwavering love. Likewise, use us as agents of your mercy, that those we serve may find lasting safety and peace in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Rev. Rick Jones, Chaplain/Vice President, Spiritual Life
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
Learn more about Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch at DakotaRanch.org., follow us on Facebook, and/or sign up to receive weekly stories, ponderings, and updates from Joy Ryan, our President/CEO.
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Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is a Christ-centered residential treatment and educational center for children and their families. We help the most troubled, complicated, and amazing kids by providing best-in-class psychiatric therapy and trauma-informed care, where we look kids in the eye, walk with them, and help them become their best selves.