I had the pleasure and honor of interviewing Troy Meeder co-founder of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch for a story to be published in my Heartbeats column, in the September issue of Trail Blazer Magazine. Crystal Peaks is a faith based organization located on a tiny ranch near Bend Oregon where discarded but rescued horses help to give troubled youths a new start on life.
Founded in 1995 by Kim and Troy Meeder, there have been tens of thousands of young lives touched and changed by the gentle ministry. With the help of rescued horses, kind hearts of volunteers and God's love the youths who visit the ranch experience one on one sessions at no charge. The only commitment is that they want to be there.
Over 5,000 visitors a year come for healing. That number includes all family members and that's important for one of the pillars at Crystal Peaks is strengthening the family. Sessions vary from one time visits to children being involved with the ranch for years, and everything in between. Seventy percent come more than once. Most of the youths come often, come for years, as often as they can be fit into the program. The staff is allowed to set up forty percent of their sessions for youths they want to mentor, who need the time, the continued guidance.
When Kim published her first book, "Hope Rising," and Kim and Troy had their first interview with founder of Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson's show, Family Talk in 2004, people far and wide began contacting them, explaining that they've always wanted to do something like Crystal Peaks to help horses and children. Knowing that God was leading the way, in 2006 they held their first Empowerment clinic, a 4 day clinic teaching what they had learned about starting and running a faith based healing center. Kim and Troy assumed that clinic would be a onetime thing. Shocked by the demand they have held 2 clinics a year ever since and over 2,000 people have attended.
The Empowerment clinics help folks create Similar Ministries of their own to help young folks find firm footing. There are currently 156 Similar Ministries throughout the United States & internationally, including Australia, Canada, England, Honduras, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Romania & Slovakia. Crystal Peaks continues to receive applications from new locations each month.
To learn more about Crystal Peaks, or to inquire about starting a healing place visit their website http://www.crystalpeaksyouthranch.org/ .
Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry