News From The Ranch – February 1999

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Letters from visitors to The Ranch.

Letters to The Ranch

From My Heart

Every week I receive letters from people who struggle with some aspect of their faith.

We exchange emails about some very personal subjects, often about things that they have never shared with anyone else.

As I pray for them and share God’s promises from the Bible, I get to watch their thoughts and hearts transform before my eyes.

Because of your prayers and support for our ministry, I wanted to give you a small sampling of the 150 or so letters I’ve received in the past six months. Because of the confidential nature of the letters, I have taken care not to include too many details that might reveal the writer’s identity, but enough to show the transforming power of God. I hope these touch your heart like they’ve touched mine.


A man from Canada wrote and asked for urgent prayer because of a difficult time he was going through in his life. I called him on the phone and we talked and prayed for about an hour. He was so filled with the peace of God by the end of our conversation that he was quite overcome by the unusual sensation. He wrote a week later to say,

“Thank you again for calling me the other day. It has been best week of my life in over two years since my separation. I have never felt such a peace of mind. Also I have been sober from adultery. What a wonderful feeling of God’s Holy Spirit. Thanks.”

A man from South Africa wrote after watching one of my Internet broadcasts called, “Having Trouble Believing?” He said,

“I would like to thank you for being obedient to our Lord and Saviour in having such a powerful message on such a versatile and accessible medium as the Internet. Your message has come at such a crucial time for me. I now know that God will reveal all He has planned for me in His Time. I feel that I need to study my Bible more and pray much more than I currently do. God bless you and the important role you play in encouraging others to either get to know God or to renew and strengthen their walk with God.

“Your site has an appeal that I think transcends many barriers people associate with some traditional Christian sites. The appeal of your site for me is that you speak to the whole person and at the same time place God in perspective in a non-threatening way. I’ll be sharing your web address with fellow Christians every opportunity I get.”

A woman from here in the States wrote to me after spending some time on “the trails” at The Ranch. These are virtual trails I’ve set up so people can take time to read scriptures about specific topics and let God speak to their hearts. Afterwards, she wrote,

“I just wanted to write you and let you know how much I enjoy the trails at The Ranch. I met Jesus ten years ago, but struggled all ten years because of the way I grew up – much abuse in every way. I don’t know why I never fully trusted Christ before, but the other night I was surfing around and came to the trails. I first wanted to write you and your wife for help, or explain what a failure of a Christian I was, but GOD stopped me and said, “Talk to me.” I did. I poured my heart out to him instead of to another human person who could only point me to him. I have been set free from fear and much more. Thank you for the trails. I know God used it to do what has occurred. Thank you. Free in him…”

A woman from Canada, with whom I’ve corresponded for some time regarding spiritual matters, wrote:

“Eric, I want to get to know Christ even better. I am not sure how to go about doing this, but I’m trying. Before I sign off, I wanted to let you know that only recently did I discover your other website “The Ranch.” What I appreciate about the site is that I feel that the messages are truly shared with me! Please keep up the good work because your ministry certainly helped open my eyes even wider to God’s message.”

Another man from here in the States asked if I would be his accountability partner regarding a specific sin in his life. For three months I wrote to him each week to check on his progress. By the end of three months he wrote,

“I wanted to thank you for all of the help that you have given me this year. 1998 has been a year of tremendous struggle and phenomenal growth for me spiritually. I feel that I have learned what the concept of “freedom in Christ” means to its fullest extent. I thank God for putting you on my path in order to help me out. I pray that you and your ministry will continue to grow and prosper: ‘Father God, thank you for Eric and his Internet ministry. Thank you because through Eric, You are there when I most need You. Please continue to bless Eric and his family so that they may continue the all-important task of bringing your Word to the people who most need it. Thank you Father in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.’”

A few weeks ago I received a brief note titled, “Help!” After exchanging a few notes of introduction, the man confessed to me something he’s never told anyone in his life:

“Wow, this is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’ve told God, who is probably the most important one to tell, but you are the first person ever. Pressing the send button is going to be a big step!!”

After we exchanged several more prayers and words of encouragement he wrote, “I cannot believe how amazing it is how bringing this whole deal out into the open has been. Your e-mail address was sitting on my computer, written on a scrap piece of paper – an old receipt I think – for over three weeks. Pressing that send button was one of the best things I ever did.

“To know you are praying is…well…

I’m not alone in this anymore. Hopefully I won’t be in it all at soon. I suppose what I appreciate from you, Eric, is a friend who can say, ‘I know it’s hard, keep going.’ I feel the strength of yours and Lana’s prayers. Just to know that this issue is being specifically prayed for. Sometimes I don’t know what to pray. That’s when the words that you’ve written in prayer minister to me, as I know that God answers the prayers of his saints asked in the name of His Son. You are helping me no end.”

To balance these gracious comments, I do, on rare occasions, get letters like this one:

“I have just seen your website, and I am truly disgusted by the level of stupidity being peddled here.”

After venting his anger and denouncing Christianity, he signed off with these words:

“A happy, intelligent and well balanced GAY ATHEIST. P.S. – There is NO GOD – trust me, I’m always right.”

We Need You

It’s no understatement to say this wouldn’t be possible without you. Your prayers and support have sustained us and freed us to do this work and see fruit like this every week.

The fact is we still need you! We especially need people who will consider making regular monthly donations to this ministry. Perhaps you would want to mention our work to your church or missions committee to see if they would be interested in supporting this outreach. In addition, we’ve been using a borrowed computer for the main web site and will soon need to purchase our own (about $6,000). If God moves on your heart in one of these ways, please let us know soon.

Please Pray With Us

Thank you Lord,

  • for touching people around the world through this technology,
  • for bearing fruit in the lives of those who write for help,
  • and for sustaining this work each month.

And Lord, we now ask:

  • for continued support to go forward,
  • for the fruit to increase as this ministry increases,
  • and for more people to find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to you.

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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