Miracle Ranch has to be one of the most incredible places on earth. It is a rare source of peace and security in the midst of a broken world. Children show up with deep wounds of abuse and neglect, but as they are immersed in unconditional love, smiles return to their faces and the sparkle returns to their eyes. Children accustomed to rejection are welcomed with open arms. Those who arrive with no direction in life are told that they were created for a purpose. Children who were unable to think beyond the daily necessities are encouraged to dream and make plans for the future. It is a place of healing, transformation, and growth.
Both of my visits to Miracle Ranch have been over Father’s Day. It was so amazing to see a dad like Cesar Uribe in action. He is a tireless advocate for the boy’s academic, physical, and spiritual needs. He told our group that he views things like learning disabilities and developmental delays as opportunities rather than obstacles. He responds to tough behavior issues with gentleness, explaining to us that “When they’re in trouble is when they need you the most”. It is obvious that Cesar sees every child as a precious gift. His eyes shine with pride when he shares their accomplishments and they brim with tears when he describes all the pain that they have had to endure. Cesar is an extraordinary father to the boys and an inspiring example of the unfailing love our Heavenly Father has for everyone on earth.
It is impossible to spend time at the ranch and not fall completely in love with the boys. They are truly a joy to be around, and their resilient spirits never cease to amaze me. I was able to witness many beautiful illustrations of their personalities during the week; like the time Edwin spontaneously decided to make giant butterfly wings out of construction paper. He carefully designed intricate wings, and then taped them on his back. The other kids were pretty impressed so Edwin began taking color requests and making wings for everyone in the room. The room was soon full of beautiful mariposas.
I especially loved the individual conversations I was able to have with kids. Despite the language barrier, I learned that that Abran would like to learn more about fire trucks, Gezner loves horses, and someday Julio would like to visit the moon! It is hard to believe that these children who are so full of joy and curiosity, are the same kids who have been through things no one should ever have to experience. It is obvious that the lessons of human kindness being taught at Miracle Ranch are resonating with the boys because whether they are cheering each other on in a soccer game, or excitedly complimenting someone’s drawing, the love they show each other is deep and genuine.
The time I spent at Miracle Ranch taught me so much. I left with a better understanding of the intense love Christ has for us, a vision of what can be accomplished when you are obedient to God, and a broader definition of the word ‘family’. When I begin to feel overwhelmed by the pain and sadness in the world, I think of Miracle Ranch and am immeasurably encouraged by the fact that there is a place Valle de las Palmas that is overflowing with love and providing us all with a glimpse of Heaven on earth.
--The song in the background of the slide show is one of my favorites and I believe it really illustrates the purpose of Miracle Ranch...so if you watch, be sure to turn the volume up!
As We Gather
5 days ago