For our children, Big Oak Ranch is a chance to find a loving, stable home.
Most of our children have never known stability. Most were never given unconditional love. Many of their lives were marked with tragedy. They have suffered some of the worst that life has to offer.
Everything changed when they came to Big Oak Ranch.
Here they find a loving family.
Here they find a chance, a true home where they can experience love, safety and belonging. Here, they find hope for the future. They find a family, led by a godly couple who serve as Mom & Dad and as many as
They get an exceptional private education. They develop a sense of responsibility and accountability, to themselves and to their families. They find the guidance and examples they need to grow into godly men and women.
And their transformations are miraculous.
“You may stray from God, but God doesn’t stray from you… My children see that I love the Lord and I’ve been able to pass that on to them… This place was a game-changer for me.”
– Donald Bushey, former resident
of Big Oak Boys’ Ranch in conversation
with current houseparents, Corey and
If God loves me...
“If God loves me so much, why did He let my mother die?” When we hear that question we hear the hurt, confusion, and depth in our children’s hearts. We hear them asking for answers, but even more, we hear them crying out for help.
At Big Oak Ranch, the circumstances our children have endured remind us of the broken and fallen world in which we live. Our children, like many of us, did not choose the circumstances that unfolded in their lives. We do, however, in spite of our circumstances, have the opportunity to choose the way to healing and life. This is because we serve a God who is both loving and good. A God who is unwilling to give up on His creation and has offered real hope through His son Jesus. Even in the face of pain and uncertainty.
So what is the answer to Isaiah’s question? Unfortunately, there’s not an easy answer. There is, however, truth which leads to healing. You see, Jesus never said life would be perfect or without pain. In fact, He told us to expect difficulties in this life. “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). We all know this to be true. We also know that from our perspective, our trouble and tragedies look meaningless, senseless and chaotic. But God knows how to take tragedies and bring good out of them. The Bible teaches that God often uses suffering to strengthen our character and our faith. Through it, He speaks to us, reminding His creation of His love. Romans 5:3-5 says, “…suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” So often our desire is for God to take away hardship but God’s desire is to use it to give us a glimpse of Himself – a glimpse that leaves us, and those around us, in awe. His work through the darkest and most painful moments of our lives draws us to Himself and creates an opportunity to share the source of our hope with others.
God created you for relationship with Himself and He gives us all the free will to receive that relationship. We are all sinful, but even through our sin and rebellion towards Him, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). His mercy delays judgement, because He “is patient towards you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). And He tells us in John 3:16 that whoever believes receives eternal life.
Human love tends to be conditional and fickle but God’s agape love is constant, unconditional, unshakeable and perfect. God’s love is strong and powerful, not a weak love that can change. It is an everlasting love which is not affected by our circumstances. It is unwavering. Even when things seem to be going wrong we can be confident that God still loves us. Nothing can drive a wedge between us and God’s love. The Apostle Paul was so sure that nothing could separate him from divine love that he listed seventeen things which cannot separate a believer from the love of Christ. Seventeen circumstances that so often bring forth questions, Paul says not one can separate us from the Savior’s love (Romans 8:35-39).
Have you accepted the love of God through his Son Jesus? The Bible says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). If you need healing…If you need a fresh start…You need a relationship with the Creator of the universe. He is the answer to all of our questions. Seek Him and see.
If you have never confessed your need for the Savior, you can do it now by praying something like this:
Lord Jesus, I need you. I know I have sinned. Forgive me for going my own way. I want you to be the Lord and Savior of my life. I believe that You experienced the punishment that should have been mine by dying on the cross for my sins. I believe You rose from the dead so I could have the hope of living forever with You instead of spending eternity separated from You. I want to live my life for you and with you. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Turning control of your life over to Jesus is only the first step in an exciting relationship with God. You’ll want to know Him more and learn His plan for your life. To do this, make time to read the Bible and talk with God about what you’re reading. We encourage you to find people who can help you know Jesus in an even deeper and more intimate way. The best way to do this is to become part of a church that will teach you and guide you in a growing relationship with Jesus. Find someone and let them know what God has done in your life.
Here they find Hope.
For this young man, life before Big Oak Ranch was difficult at best. All of that changed when he moved to Big Oak Ranch.
His houseparents at the Boys’ Ranch invested the daily work in sharing the Good News of Christ. They helped him see that his life could be more than his past circumstances. On one of our annual trips to the beach, he professed his faith in Christ and followed that decision with baptism. It was a joyful time, as you can see in the video here.