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News & Stories2021-10-16T18:11:14+00:00

News & Stories

Texas Girls & Boys Ranch strives to empower children by bringing them hope. The news and stories being shared are true testaments from staff that confirm the dedication that drives daily life at the ranch.

Stories

Read about the transformative experiences below from real foster parents and success stories. We love sharing the stories from over the years in hopes to inspire you to take the next step and get involved.

“I like the ability to influence the choices a child can make in their life to be positive.”
– Bufus, Caregiver (+7 months)

The Power of Prayer

The children are always looking to houseparents to be the example. I won’t lie, knowing that keeps me humble. We pray with each of our kids every night at bedtime.

Andrew was a new boy in our cottage. After tucking him in, I asked Andrew if he’d like to pray. Andrew said, “No, but you can.” I prayed and we said our good nights. The next night, I expected much of the same. However, after I finished praying, Andrew stopped me and said, “I’m too scared to pray by myself. Will you show me how to pray?” So I started praying. Andrew repeated every word of my prayer.

The next night, after I was done praying, I started leading a prayer for Andrew to repeat. Andrew stopped me and said, “You showed me how to pray already, I want to do it by myself now.”

Taylor has been with us for 5 years. He came to Texas Girls & Boys Ranch a very angry little boy. His parents had given up their rights and Taylor struggled with how to handle the abandonment he felt. Houseparents and counselors worked with Taylor to help him heal from the hurt. There were some dark days.

About a year ago, Taylor seemed to have a different outlook on life. All of the sudden, 14 year old Taylor is helping the little ones at TGBR. He’s mentoring them, helping them to heal from their own hurt. He’s helpful to his houseparents and an absolute joy to be around.

Taylor has also been more involved in church and youth group. He even led a sermon just a couple of weeks ago. Taylor also decided to join the youth group on a mission trip to Guatemala. While in Guatemala, he helped at an orphanage. He was happy to help because he can relate to the children there. Taylor has been through unimaginable circumstances in his short life, but he refuses to let that be an excuse. Instead, Taylor is taking his experiences and helping others.

Stories like Taylor’s only exist because of you! Thank you for providing a home for Taylor at Texas Girls & Boys Ranch. Thank you for helping to change his life.

When I was a little girl, my brother, sister and I would “play church” on Sunday afternoons. We’d get out the hymnal and my brother would prepare a sermon (usually involving how sisters weren’t supposed to pick on their brothers). If we were lucky, mom had some grape juice and crackers we could take “communion” with. We would play like this for hours and looking back it’s one of my favorite memories.

Our children at the Ranch have a very different take on playtime. Where I remember a thousand games involving pretend and imagination, our children’s playtime involves only things in reality such as a basketball game or fishing with Mr. Russ. You rarely see a lot of imagination in the children’s games today. “Make Believe” is an amazing gift God gives to children.  Unfortunately, children traumatized by abuse often have difficulty using their imaginations.  Their reality of a cruel and evil world robs them of this precious gift.   I didn’t have to wonder as a child where my next meal was coming from or whether my mom would come home that night, but our kiddos have experienced that countless times before coming to the Ranch. The more they worried the more adult they became and imagination just disappeared.

However, our kiddos are resilient and they are now in a safe, loving environment where they no longer have to worry. They can be kids again! A few weeks ago, on a Sunday afternoon, three of our boys came running into the kitchen asking for some grape juice and crackers. I helped them find some and watched from a distance as they listened to the sermon, took “communion,” and sang their hymnals with conviction. “Jesus loves me, THIS I KNOW!…” Our boys were using their imaginations, they’re able to be children again and they’re able to listen and take in the Word of God and know His love.

Matthew and Kylie knew two things well: food and Ms. Brenda.  If you got them talking about Ms. Brenda’s cooking, they could go on all day. When Matthew and Kylie came to the Ranch two years ago, both ate so much on their first day at the Ranch that they made themselves sick. This happens with many of our children. Most have gone periods of time when they did not know when they would have their next meal.

Ms. Brenda had seen this behavior before, so that night after dinner she showed the children the food in the pantry, freezer, and refrigerator. She also showed them the weekly menu plan. Some nights she even let Matthew and Kylie help with the meal so they would not only know, but see, where their next meal was coming from.

It took some time, but eventually Matthew and Kylie came to understand that they would always have a plate of “Ms. Brenda’s fine cookin’” at Texas Girls & Boys Ranch.

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Sadie came to Texas Girls & Boys Ranch last fall. At ten years old, she was only 42 pounds, wearing size six clothing. Sadie came with only the dirty clothes on her back and the effects of long-term lice.

Sadie has two younger sisters, Lisa and Jessica.  Sadie’s sole concern has always been her sisters’ well-being. Sadie would offer her chicken, her fries, anything on her plate to Lisa and Jessica.

You make it possible for Sadie and her sisters eat three full meals every day. Sadie was used to having to go without for her sisters.  At just ten years old, Sadie was showing the love of Christ to her sisters, sacrificing everything she had for Lisa and Jessica.

Sadie and her sisters have been at the Ranch for over 6 months. Sadie no longer has to go without for her sisters’ gain. Sadie’s peace of mind is because of brothers and sisters in Christ like you…

“Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after the fatherless… in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”( James 1:27)

Tucking the kids in for bed is one of my favorite times of the day. No matter how hectic the day has been, it seems to slow down at bedtime and I get to enjoy each of my kids, one at a time. In a house of eight, that’s amazing.

I have a different bedtime routine with each child. With some, we just spend time talking about the day, worries they have, prayers that need answers. Others, we play a little bedtime game of the tickle monster. With Riley, I would sing the song my mom sang to me. Every night, Riley and I would pray for him and his family and then I’d sing:

I love you so much,
I love you so much,
I can’t even tell you how much I love you,
You’re special to me,
You’re special to me,
I’m so very glad that you’re part of my life.
I love you, I love you, I love you
I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you so much (then we’d give a big hug), I love you so much (hug time again)
I’m so very glad that you’re part of my life.
 

One day, about a year after Riley arrived at the Ranch, his prayers were answered and he was adopted. On his last night, I’ll confess I was having a hard time letting go of this sweet little boy. However, I went into his room we talked a little about his exciting future with his new family and then I started to sing. I did alright until I got to the line, “I’m so very glad that you’re part of my life,” and I just lost it.

Riley didn’t hesitate. While I tried to pull myself together, he jumped right in and sang:

I love you, I love you, I love you
I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you so much (one last hug), I love you so much (he squeezed so tight)

And we sang together:

“I’m so very glad that you’re part of my life.”

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During a recent group activity, Ms. Faye asked the youth to share an example of kindness. The children eagerly offered several examples like “helping someone with homework,” and “holding the door for an elderly person.” Fifteen year old Jason was quiet during most of this exchange.

When Miss Faye asked him directly to share an example of kindness, he replied, “Mr. John gave me a second chance when I didn’t deserve one. I’m not sure where I would be if it weren’t for his kindness.”

We are so excited about having Jason with us. Grace, love, forgiveness…and second chances are what we do best. You allow us to give second chances when you support Texas Girls & Boys Ranch.

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