News From The Ranch – May 2008

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Our move to Peru, IL, Missions Trip to the Dominican Republic, Clover Ranch update, and emails from the series in Acts.

Makari, Lucas, Lana and Karis will be heading to the Dominican Republic in July to help a new congregation build a church where they can meet and grow.

Makari, Lucas, Lana and Karis will be heading to the Dominican Republic in July to help a new congregation build a church where they can meet and grow.

Dear Friends,

I’d like to take a short break from our look at the book of Acts to give you an update of news from The Ranch. It’s a chance for me to share with you some of the cool things God is doing in our personal lives and ministry, and also let you know how you can be involved in what we’re doing. Starting with a personal story…

We’ve Moved!

(Picture: Moving boxes at our new house still waiting to be unpacked.)

(Picture: Moving boxes at our new house still waiting to be unpacked.)

Just before Christmas last year, we moved back to Lana’s hometown of Peru, Illinois. When her parents moved out of their big house (they had nine kids) into a smaller house a few minutes away, her family asked if we’d want to move into their bigger house. It would give us more room for our growing family (we have six kids) and would get us closer to her family to spend more time with them and help take care of her parents.

After much prayer, we felt we should move and I felt strongly that God wanted us to move “by the end of the year.” As the year went on, I didn’t see how we could undertake such a big move with so little time left till the end, so I asked God for some kind of confirming word from the Bible if He really wanted us to move that quickly. I racked my brain trying to think of any verses that talked about doing something by the end of the year, but none came to mind.

So I went to read another verse in the Bible I had been thinking about that week from 2nd Timothy 3:15. It says, “Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way” (from The Message). I was thinking about how powerful the Word of God is, and how God can breath life into any of the words whenever He wants to speak to us, if we’re willing to listen.

I kept on reading through 2nd Timothy when all of the sudden the words seemed to jump off the page. I read: “Try hard to come to me before winter.” Winter here in the U.S. was on December 22nd, less than ten days from the end of the year! I felt like God was speaking directly to me calling to me from Peru and saying, “I mean it! Try hard to come to Me before winter!” So we began to pack and clean in earnest, and by December 21st had finally gotten our beds moved over. We’re still not fully unpacked, but it’s been great to be here and we’ve already felt God’s hand in our move in so many ways. The Word of God really is “God-breathed”!

Missions Trip To The Dominican Republic

Lana and our three oldest kids are heading to the Dominican Republic in July to help to build a church for a new congregation there, giving them a place to meet and grow. They’re excited about this opportunity to help and have been praying, planning and working towards this for the past 6 months.

They’ve worked and raised over half of the money they need to go on this trip ($1,000 each including supplies to build the church). But with just a couple of months left to go, a donation of any size would really help them reach their goal. Know that your gifts will be greatly appreciated and put to good use. I’m thrilled that they’ll be able to serve together as a family in this way, and will be glad for your prayers for me as I’m home with the three younger kids! Just click here to send a donation by mail or online by PayPal or credit card. Please mention that your gift is for the “DR Mission Trip”.

Clover Ranch Update

(Picture: A pair of 4-leaf clovers I found this week while working at Clover Ranch)

(Picture: A pair of 4-leaf clovers I found this week while working at Clover Ranch)

We made tremendous progress last year on getting our Clover Ranch retreat property ready for guests, but still have a ways to go. If you’d like to help us this summer, we’ll be doing a number of jobs, from finishing the rewiring of the house, to drywalling, painting and landscaping.

We’re still in need of donations for each of these projects, and in particular could use a good, reliable riding lawn mower to cut the almost 2 acres of grass. If you know of someone who has a good mower, or could donate towards the $3,500 cost of a new one, please let us know. Even while the house is under renovation we’ve been able to make use of it for prayer and ministry, so thanks for all your help and prayers to get it this far.

Back To Acts

Back at The Ranch website, I’m in the midst of writing a weekly devotional series called “Acts: Lessons In Faith.” The weekly messages go out to 1,200 subscribers to The Ranch newsletter, and another 18,000 subscribers of a partner ministry called This Day’s Thought.

I’ve enjoyed writing it, and even got to preach the first six messages at our church during February and March while we search for a new senior pastor.

I thought you might like to read a few comments from readers from around the world.

Betty from the UK writes: “Praise be to Jesus, the message u sent me strengthened my faith.”

Chris from the UK writes: “Thanks as ever – time and time again your thoughts for the day hit home. God speed, Chris”

Phil from Colorado writes: “I got your article called “Faith Waits.” It was exceptional and I am asking permission to reprint it and use it, with your permission and showing that it is yours, in our ministry.”

Ley from the UK writes: “What I have had from The Ranch has been a tremendous inspiration from God Himself. Many thanks for all your hard work in this ministry.”

David from Oregon writes: “Your “Acts: Lessons In Faith” message was fantastic. Of course, I loved the quote from The Incredibles. The next time I watch it with our two youngest kids, I’ll still be thinking about what you wrote.”

Many others have written in to express their appreciation for this series. If you’ve missed part of it, or want to reread any of the short devotionals or full length versions, just click here.

Our Personal Needs

Many of you know that this is our full-time ministry and we rely fully on gifts from people like you for all we do, including our personal expenditures like moving to a new home. We need so little to reach so many, but we need that little so much! As the summer approaches and income to many ministries including ours, takes a dip, we could really use some extra financial support. We certainly understand if you are unable to give. For those that can contribute a little extra this month or substantially, please know that we would certainly appreciate your generosity. So if you’ve been blessed by what we’re doing, or if you’d like to help us keep it going and expand it so others can be blessed by it, please click the link below to send us a one-time or monthly donation of any size.

If you’d like a gift in appreciation of your donation (which we’d be glad to send you), you can click the second link to request any of our several books and CD’s that we’ve produced though this ministry and you’ll be able to choose a donation amount and we’ll send you a gift as a thank you for your donation.

To make donations to Clover Ranch, the Dominican Republic Missions Trip, or just our personal support, click here.

Please Pray With Us

Father,

  • Thank You for the move to Peru going well,
  • Thank You for so many being encouraged in their faith through the weekly messages,
  • And thank You for the opportunity to reach many others through missions trips and projects like Clover Ranch.

Father,

  • We now pray that You would use each of these projects to draw people closer to You,
  • That You would provide funding for this ministry to keep going forward and expanding,
  • And for more people find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love,
Eric Elder

The Ranch Fellowship is a non-profit 501(c)(3) religious organization whose purpose is to share the message of Jesus Christ throughout the world. Click here to read more about our ministry.

To give a gift to The Ranch and to yourself, please visit The Ranch Giftshop.
To make a donation without ordering, just click Make A Donation.

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