News From The Ranch – March 2006

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Heading to Africa, New Music, and plans for a new place for spiritual renewal: Clover Ranch.

Eric Elder Family 2004

If you’d like a simple prayer reminder while we’re gone, you can click the picture of our family above and print it out. Tuck it in a book or your Bible or put it up on your fridge and please pray for us especially between March 17th – April 5th.


We’re just back from Africa and have put together a video and slideshow…you can take a look at this link:  Planting Hope In Swaziland

Dear Friends,

We’re just a week away from leaving on our missions trip to Africa!

Thanks to your prayers and support, we’ve reached our fundraising goal so that my wife Lana and I — along with our two oldest children, Karis and Lucas — are all able to go on this trip together.

We’ll be leaving on Friday, March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day here in the U.S.) and will meet over 100 others from around the U.S. in Johannesburg, South Africa. We’ll then travel by bus to Swaziland to plant hundreds of individual vegetable gardens along with the local families in Swaziland.

Thermometer at 100%Over 250 people have donated to our trip to make this possible, and we truly appreciate your help, through your prayers and gifts. They remind me of the Bible verse:

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

I appreciate that so many of you are sending your hearts along with us to Africa. We’ll be there for almost 3 weeks, returning on April 5th.

We’d appreciate your continued prayers for the PEOPLE we will be ministering to:

  • that the gardens we plant would give them long life
  • and that the words we speak would give them eternal life.

You can find out more about our trip at the Heart for Africa website (recently renamed from Dream for Africa as the dream is becoming a reality).

I’ve also included some important announcements below about some great new music on The Ranch website, as well as our recent purchase of a farmhouse to convert into a “real” ranch as a place for spiritual renewal. Thanks again for your prayers and support!

“Sweet Dreams” and “Life”

Sweet Dreams, by Marilyn ByrnesI’ve added several collections of new music to The Ranch over the past few months. They range from the soft and luxurious sounds of 100% pure piano performed by Marilyn Byrnes on her new Sweet Dreams CD, to the driving rhythms of a CD called Life from a band in Texas with a heart for missions called Mission TenForty.

Through special arrangement with these artists, you can listen to their entire CD’s anytime for free streamed from The Ranch website. You’ll also find links to their own websites if you’d like to find out more about them or their music.

Sweet Dreams is the perfect music to give you just that: sweet dreams! Songs include classics like “Brahms’ Lullaby” and “Moonlight Sonata, to contemporary versions of movie themes like “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes” from Cinderella, “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas and the theme song from Somewhere in Time.

Life features the full-on sound of the Mission TenForty band and the heart-felt lyrics of Aaron Williams in ten new worship songs. The sound of their music alone was enough to catch my interest, but the words drew me in even further. I’ve added these songs to The Ranch website in hopes that they will inspire you in your own personal worship time and also encourage you to reach out to the world with the message of Christ.

Exodus Study Continues

Join us for our new online Bible study, Exodus: Lessons In Freedom, which focuses on how to get free, stay free and set others free.

You can continue to watch as we study through the book of Exodus. We’re currently half-way through this year-long study, having just finished Lesson 25 out of 50.

I also write a short devotional version of this study for those who aren’t able to watch the full half-hour webcast. To receive these weekly devotoinals, make sure you’re signed up for our Webcast Reminders.

To watch the half-hour videos each week, just visit the Exodus study home page.

Clover Ranch

Clover RanchIn answer to many years of praying for a “real” ranch, our ministry has just completed the purchase of the farmhouse where I grew up here in Central Illinois.

Having grown up in the country, I’ve always appreciated the way wide-open spaces can create a sense of rest and renewal. I’d love to share that experience with others.

It’s going to take some time and effort to develop this project, but I wanted to let you know how your prayers are being answered! We’re calling it “Clover Ranch,” because of the abundance of clovers on the property — in particular the number of 4-leaf clovers I’ve sought and found there over the years. My prayer is that others who visit will do some seeking and finding on their own, not of clovers, but of God!

I’ll be sharing more in the coming months about this project and some of the ways you can be involved with it. In the mean time, we’re hoping to have a Prayer/Dedication service on the property on Saturday, May 13th. If you’d like to join us in Chenoa, Illinois for this special time of prayer, let me know and I’ll send you details when they’re ready.

Please Pray With Us


  • Thank You for providing all the funds needed for our trip to Africa — and for those whose hearts are going with us through their prayers and gifts,
  • Thank You for the talented musicians who have created music to lift our souls and encourage us in our faith,
  • And thank You for working out the details so we could purchase Clover Ranch as a place for spiritual renewal.


  • We now pray that You would keep our family safe, both at home and on our trip as we travel to Swaziland, and for the people that we will be ministering to, that the gardens we plant would give them a long life and that the words we speak would give them eternal life.
  • We pray that You would help us to convert Clover Ranch into a place that can bring spiritual renewal to those who visit there in the future.
  • And we pray that You would continue to help people find their way to The Ranch website so they can find their way to You.

We pray this all in Jesus’ name, Amen.


Eric Elder

P.S. You can also request a copy of the “Sweet Dreams” piano CD for a donation of any size to our ministry ($15 suggested). Just visit The Ranch Giftshop.

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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