The farmer and his sidekick left the prairie last week and are 936 miles West and South of the farm and all of it’s flatland. The change in God’s great creation has been breathtaking. We’ve seen snow, desert, mountains, rocks and petrified trees. Even though Arizona is known for its hot low elevation desert covered with cacti and bushes, more than half of the state lies at an elevation of at least 4,000 feet above sea level. Arizona possesses the largest stand of evergreen ponderosa pine trees in the world. The two of us are incredibly grateful to take this journey and see some of the beauty available in our own United States of America.
Of course this journey isn’t just about sight seeing, as we came to this part of the world to serve once again as SOWERS (Servants On Wheels Ever Ready) at an adult handicapped ranch in Camp Verde, AZ. This beautiful spot is called Rainbow Acres. The story behind the dream of this ranch and the man the Lord used to make it happen, will inspire everyone’s faith. Ralph Showers in 1973 had a dream for a ranch home for handicapped adults. He was a pastor who had struggled greatly with dyslexia and other problems. But he knew how big God is. After they acquired the property an accident occured in moving a building to the property that left Ralph with no hands, as both hands had to be amputated after his electocution. Many would have given up at this point but Ralph still believed that God can do the impossible and use a willing vessel.
The adults here are called Ranchers and they all have responsibilities that they have chosen. The greenhouses here are loaded with the lushest looking lettuce and they are starting many other plants. By the way, the lettuce is delicious as I just had some for lunch. They have horses, sheep, goats and a small shetland. Many of the ranchers work in these areas on the campus and some have jobs off of campus. Everyday there are classes to attend of their choosing and they make some beautiful weavings and other articles for sale.
What makes this a beautiful spot is not the scenery (although that is interesting) it is the smiles and hugs and the love from the ranchers and the staff. It is the love of the Lord in this place and the fullness of His vision and provision. It is the delight of the ranchers to be able to be together again after the covid restrictions. It is the pride they have in their work and their accomplishments. Some are incredible artists, musically inclined with a choir that participates in area events, truely accomplished weavers, and so much more. Oh the talents and giftings the Lord has placed on His delightful children. Ralph Showers did not allow his handicaps keep him from accomplishing the task the Lord had for him nor do these ranchers. God calls people that are mentally challenged, physically handicapped, totally unfit for His purpose in our eyes and He equips them perfectly. The next time I feel unqualified (like today) would someone just slap some sense into me so that I could see God does not call the equiped, He equips the called.