Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September update

                        Wildflowers at the Ranch

The last two months have been a whirlwind! So many blessings. So many things to share!

  • $1,000 has come in for the non-profit formation fund. Hooray!!

  • $2,000 has been pledged to cover the remaining cost of the non-profit formation bill.  We are excited to see God provide!!!

  • Two weeks ago, Jay and I signed and dropped of  the engagement letter and a check for the initial start up fees to the lawyer - the ball is rolling!!

  • We were blessed with yet another very generous donation of a Home Depot gift card as well as a couple brand new flat screen TV's and DVD players! Thank you!!

  • And we've had the privilege of hosting more incredible people here at the Ranch. 

 Our hearts have been deeply touched by the couples that have been here recently.  We have had both new and returning guests lately. There are different needs with each person who comes out. We try to find out ahead of time what our guests are looking for so we can serve them in the best way possible. Some folks just want rest.  Other people want to visit. Then there are the folks who need someone to listen.  Sometimes we hear things that break our hearts and grip our souls. We are incredibly blessed to hear the amazing things that God is doing though the ministries of people who come here.

I want to tell you about one of these couples in particular.  I've changed their names and purposely am not revealing the location of their ministry to protect them....you'll understand why as you read.

 The couple, who I will call Greg and Sarah, are some of the most humble, gentle people I have ever met. They also emit a strength and realness about them. Greg and Sarah are missionaries to an Asian country and have been guests at the Ranch several times over the past few years. They use the Ranch as a base for raising support and ministering to people in this area.

  Their ministry is just staggering. Here are some facts about what they do.

  • Over 30 years ago they helped start a Bible School which trains people to be pastors. During that time their school has taught 1,600 students who have started over 600 churches. The students receive their teaching free of charge because any cost to them would be prohibitive due to the poverty level. 

  • They helped start a tailoring and embroidery school for women which is offered free of charge as well. They also give sewing machines to the neediest women. Sarah told me with great feeling the story of widow who is now able to support her family of five due to the skills she has learned and the gift of a sewing machine.

  • For almost 2 decades Greg has preached the gospel on the radio in the native language.

  • They hold seminars twice a year for widows and children.  They give out free school supplies, bibles and clothing. They also feed everyone free of charge. This past seminar they fed 2,704 people, gave out 1,000 Bibles, and supplied clothing for 1,262 people.

  • They also hold a  pastor's seminar.  At the most recent seminar they were able to give bicycles to 25 of the pastors. They were excited to tell us about the headlights on the bikes - These bikes are the only transportation that these pastors have and having a headlight allows them get places after dark.

Greg and Sarah shared much more of their story with us during this visit to the Ranch.  Greg and Sarah minister mostly to the poorest of the poor. They were born native and into wealthy families. Sarah told us how the people they care for don't understand why they would care.  Most of the time people from influential families in their country never even look at the poor, much less minister to them. Sarah said it is such a powerful way to show Jesus' love because of this. Women come up to her, grab her hands, kiss them and want to know why they care.  Socially, Greg and Sarah don't have to care, but they love because of Jesus. 

There is much persecution of Christians in the country where they minister.   Greg told us of a pastor friend who recently was attacked while traveling on a train. He was beaten and nearly killed because he was a minister of the gospel.  Greg and Sarah have to be incredibly careful. Greg told us that he has been under a standing death threat for many years by the powers that be. Every time they return to that country they are risking their lives for the sake of their love of Jesus and the people there. They do take every precaution and have canceled trips due to safety issues.  Sarah and Greg told us that when they became followers of Jesus they vowed that should there come a time when they are faced with death for the sake of Jesus, that they will accept death for the sake of the love of Jesus.  

Sarah's eyes filled with tears as she told us about their son. We knew part of the story but not all of it. Around 5 years ago Greg and Sarah's son John jumped into a river to save a drowning child. He managed to rescue the child but drowned himself as a result. He left a young widow and a devastated family.  We could see the pain in Sarah's eyes. They told us that they found a letter in his belongings. This was a letter John had written to Jesus telling Him how much John loved Him. The letter ended telling Jesus that if John was asked to give his life for Jesus, he would.  While their son was not martyred, his parents told of what a joy and comfort that letter was to them. My eyes were filled with tears standing before these gentle souls who have given so much for their Jesus.  Jay and I left their cabin feeling deeply moved. We had to duck into a vacant cabin so I could let out the tears...I wasn't going to make it down to the house! Jay was affected as well, we were just so moved by their love of their Savior. It wasn't fake, it wasn't put on, it just was. 

 I told Jay how much I wanted to help them... then I remembered. Through Living Springs Ranch we are helping. Maybe we couldn't give money personally. Maybe we couldn't keep them safe all the time. But they have stayed here dozens of times over the years. Every time they used this facility, they saved the money they would have spent on a hotel.  On top of that every time they were here they could feel safe, cared for and loved. What a little thing I often take for granted- simply feeling safe.

Jay and I wanted to share this with all of you. Every one of you who has prayed for Living Springs Ranch, given time, money, donated items and given support- each one of you is part of what happens here.  Because of you we can offer a safe haven and relief to people like Greg and Sarah. This isn't Jay and Tiffany's ministry- It's God's ministry and each of us has a chance to be part of what  He is doing here. 

  God bless you all!

Jay and Tiffany

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

 A moose we saw while on a hike on a trail not far from the ranch

Hi, Friends!!

   Some highlights of the last few months include

  1. Hosting the Suncrest Senders Mission Organization's training weekend for their upcoming mission trip to Korea. We had about 15 people here for a whole weekend!

  2. Tiffany's sisters and brother visiting us. Rebekah, Sarah and Josh enjoyed exploring our corner of Washington while they were here. We shared lots of games, movies laughter and fun together!

  1. Hosting several Pastors and wives here at the ranch. I added up the guests of the ranch and the results show that we've had 52 people here so far this year! This year has seen mostly new guests of the ranch. It has been a treat to get to visit with these folks and hear their stories- that has got to be one of my favorite parts of the ministry here. 

                       The Suncrest Senders worship service
    (I think there was 26 people here for worship that Sunday morning!)

    We are excited to have taken the first steps to becoming a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Some people have been curious to know why incorporating is necessary and how it will benefit us. We thought it might be a good idea to share some of our goals with you.

    There are several reasons why we would like to become a nonprofit organization. Mainly it will enable us to raise money more effectively for continuing and growing the ministry here at Living Springs Ranch. Some things we want to fund raise for include:

    1. Covering day to day maintenance and operating costs.
    2. Building a multi-purpose lodge building so that we can host larger groups and families.
    3. Building new and updating the existing cabins.
    4. Digging a new well and improving the water system.
    5. Offering counseling services and burnout prevention education programs for guests who need it.

    We are trying to raise $3,000 dollars during the months of August and September to be able to complete the incorporation process. Would you consider helping us as we work toward our goal? 
     Thank you all for your love, prayers and support!
     Tiffany and Jay

Thursday, June 14, 2012

                Living Room in the Red Cabin

It's been a frantic last few weeks here at Living Springs Ranch!

Wrapping up the remodel of the Red Cabin, preparing for guests, planning and hosting our first Open House have been the focus of the fury!

One of our contractor friends Putting in the new flooring

Red Cabin with new paint, floors, trim  and some new artwork.

The Red Cabin remodel is mostly done with the exception of detail work (painting trim, decorating ect.) replacing some furniture and updating the bathroom.

               Volunteer Melody and Shirly friend of the Ranch

The much awaited Open House held here on the
9th of this month was a success despite the mud and rain.

                                        Lots of Cars!!


We had about 50 people here!

 Old friends of the Ranch showed up as well as people who have never seen the ministry before. It was fun to be able to chat with people and show them what we do here.

                                      New Carpet!!!

There have been so many blessings lately!
Here are just some of the highlights
  • 2 contractors from our church volunteered their time to put the new floor in the Red Cabin
  • A brand new carpet was donated for the bedroom of the Red Cabin
  • Wildlife themed artwork was donated for the Red Cabin
  • A neighbor volunteered his time and his tractor to grade the driveways for the Open house
  • The Suncrest Senders mission group sent a team of about 10 people to help us clean up the property ( this awesome group worked in the pouring rain to help us out!)
  • Some wonderful ladies volunteered their time to help get ready for June 9th
  • We had someone donate the cake that we served for our Open House
  • During our Open House we were presented with a gift certificate for $400 to Home Depot
  • The Gideons Bible Society gave Living Springs Ranch brand new Bibles for the bedrooms of each of the cabins

  Our neighbor working on the driveway to the cabins

Here is something else that we are excited about-
  • We have had someone offer to pay for us to set up our ministry as a non- profit! Because of this we have been able to meet with our lawyer and we have gotten the ball rolling on this.

  Thank you all so much for your prayers and support!

    Tiffany and Jay

Monday, May 28, 2012

      Hey Friends!

We are having an Open House!

  You are welcome to join us on Saturday,
June 9th 2012 
 between 1:00pm and 5:00pm

 Come visit with us, see what projects we are working on, pick up a new informational flier and check out the newly refurbished cabins!

We are looking forward to it and hope many of you can make it!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

                  Planting Flowers in the front of our house

What an exciting past few weeks!

A little over a week ago, Jay and I received a call from some dear folks who offered to buy a brand new queen mattress set for the red Cabin! A week ago Monday they came out and delivered their generous gift...what an amazing blessing. Due to their kindness our guests will now have a much more comfortable place to sleep.

This same couple also surprised us with a generous gift certificate to Home Depot! What a fantastic help for the remodel project.

More work in front of our house...cinderblocks to be removed

Jay replacing cinderblocks with rail road ties

New Look!

Another blessing last week included a visit with our Pastor's brother in-law and his wife. They have a place of retreat for Christian ministry workers called Peace Haven. It is on the other side of the state near Seattle. It was a great to be able to talk to them about their work and get some helpful ideas and advice. We are grateful to our Pastor and his wife for setting up a meeting with them!

The red cabin remodel is underway. It is in the middle of being painted right now. I need to get some pictures to post on here.

Thank you to each of you for your support, prayers and encouragement. You all are a blessing!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April Update!

Kitchen in the Red cabin

Update time!!

The red cabin is getting a face lift!

We want to put a fresh coat of paint on the inside of the cabin and replace the worn out flooring and a few other things. I'll be posting before and after pictures. Jay is working more than usual so I will probably do most of the painting myself. I would welcome any help if anyone is interested in volunteering.

I'll be starting the prep work this week. I'll be working on it mostly mornings and evenings of week days. Saturday mornings are also a good time for me as Jay works every Saturday.

Here's a list of things that we are going to be needing along with the price estimates in case anyone wants to donate towards a specific item.

Laminate flooring $620

New baseboard trim $150

Paint, 4 Gallons at $30 a gallon

We have 3 large windows –
each of those will cost about $60 per window to outfit with Curtains/Curtain Rods/Tie backs.
2 smaller windows at $40 per window
A new queen size mattress

A nice oak type table and chair set

We want to send a shout out to a generous donor who has already contributed $300 towards our expenses! Thank you!!!!!

Last of all I want to put out a “Heads Up” to you all!
We are planning to have an open house BBQ on June 9th!! Come hang out with us, hear what is happening here, pick up a new informational flier, and check out the newly refurbished cabins. I will send out more info as the time gets closer!

Thank you all for your prayers, interest and support!


    Tiff and Jay

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Crazy Life


Everyone has a set of circumstances that makes their life unique.

Some of mine are:

  • I'm married to a Bread delivery man who has crazy hours that change frequently
  • I live on a mountaintop in Washington State that gets a lot of snow and -0 degree temps.
  • I help run a small retreat center where the work is never done
  • I have wood heat
  • I have too many animals

Those factors combine to make some humorous trains of thought that could be considered ludicrous when uttered by a “normal” person! (where do they live anyhow?!..Those elusive normal people!) They also create some pretty cool perks or some just plain weird situations!

Here are a few examples:

  • Looking at the thermometer that says 18degrees and thinking... “Awesome! It didn't get cold out after all!” What??!
  • Waking up in the middle of the night to a weird noise, taking 5 full minutes before figuring out that it is the dog barfing in the other room...by that time it is too late, you don't care anymore...and you seriously consider falling back asleep...( after all its not going ANYWHERE!)
  • Realizing that it is NEVER "too late” to do anything! Make Bread at 1AM; do a laundry marathon at 3AM, What's wrong with painting the house at 2AM?!
  • Looking out the front window and doing a double take at what the dogs dragged up from the woods... “What? NO way! Oh my gosh! Its a Moose leg!!
  • Getting to sled down to the horses twice a day to feed in the winter.
  • Getting up at 7am and feeling guilty for sleeping in “Soo late” Seriously?!
  • Having a contest to see how long you can go without letting the fire go out because you discovered too late that you only have 1 match left. (Last month we did 3 weeks in a row and then I distractedly let it go out out three times in 1 day...lol)
  • Wondering if you will freak out guests if you drive up to the cabins at 3AM and continue your construction project in the cabin next to theirs... “After all I've got the energy now, it will have evaporated by morning!!! ...They'll never hear me if they are sleeping like normal people should be! How loud can hammers be anyhow?”
  • Waking up in the dark with your heart in your throat to what sounds like a gunshot... only to realize it is your metal roof cooling down from the heat of the day...Fat chance of getting back to sleep!
  • Wondering if the guests can hear the Techno music that is blaring in your house in an attempt to get yourself moving.
  • Loosing sleep during summer, nighttime thunderstorms so you can watch for lightening strikes and forest fires on your property.
  • Waking up to peculiar noises coming from your sloping roof, slow scraping, and then a whOOOOSH and THUD... The first clue that we got substantial snow during the night!
  • Looking at the Mountain Dew in the cabinet in the morning and somehow talking yourself into believing that it is a GREAT breakfast choice! After all GREEN stuff is supposed to be good for you!
  • Seeing Moose in your driveway
  • Smelling a Bear when you do the chores in the morning
  • Hearing coyotes several times during the night (and your own dogs who are sure your hearing is defective and that you can't hear the coyotes with out them adding to the din!)\
  • Winning the contest of seeing the very first Buttercup peeking though the snow!
  • Finding out a guest almost hit a deer with their car...in your driveway.
  • Having mountaintop picnics on sunny afternoons!
  • Justifying watching “one more” design show on TV by calling it “work” Hey! We Have to get inspiration somewhere for decorating cabins!! 

Now you can laugh with me at the craziness! (:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Something Different

LeRoy as a Kitten

I was talking to Jay a few days ago when I mentioned that I missed writing. Although I'm not particularly good at it, it can be enjoyable and relaxing for me. He suggested “ You could write more on the blog, if you want. You know, you should share the funny stories you tell me when I get home from work....You could write about what makes your life different and crazy....”

Well, I think that could be fun! Maybe I will try a few posts and see how I like it!

I think I will start by introducing a subject that I have many many stories about.

Our cat, LeRoy. His name is said many, many times over at our house in the course of a day. And it is said something like this “LEEROYYYYYY!!” I am sure that if I keep this blogging up, you like me, will become very familiar with this cry of desperation, horror, hilarity and ONCE in awhile, fondness.
Leroy ended up becoming part of our family due to the kindness of my husband.

Months before LeRoy came to live with us I had wanted to get a kitten, after my own cat who I brought from Kansas had disappeared. Together we had gone to the animal shelter to adopt one but the shelter didn't have any kittens. Just teenage cats. I didn't want to refuse a kitty a home because it didn't fit my criteria – so of course I brought one home! ( I named her Jinx – and I'll tell her story in another post!)

What I didn't know, was that Jay felt badly that I didn't end up getting “my kitten”. So, Jay brought home a little kitten as a surprise for me one winter day. The little guy was orange and white, scrawny, and very sick,. He was so congested he could barely breathe yet somehow was managing to purr his heart out. “I picked the sickest one” said Jay, “I didn't figure anyone else would take a sick kitten and I wanted to make sure he got taken care of.” (I love that man!) Anyhow, there was this cute, smelly, kitten who was acting like he was our best friend, purring, rubbing against us and sneezing on us!

He was called “Kitten” for a long time. Jay and I simply could not come up with a name for him...he was too much of a character for any normal cat name!

Kitten was fast becoming a terror as he began feeling better. I've had many kittens in my life but none like this one. I would be washing the dishes and he would come over to me- if I did not immediately pay attention to him, he would leap onto my leg and begin to climb straight up...digging his pointy kitten claws into my leg as soon as he landed and continue climbing up one claw at a time. Or sometimes he would just hang where he landed – claws dug in so deeply that with gravity pulling him down he could not get them out and he had to be manually removed.

Kitten also could not grasp the fact that you could be unhappy with him. You could yelp from the pain he was causing you, yell at him, spray water at him and even give him a little spank while saying NO! very sharply. He just looked at you and purred louder. The only way we survived was by locking him in the bathroom for a while when we could not take another second of his “love”.

Kitten was also incredibly unclean! He would go outside and come back in with mud all over his legs. He lacked any desire to groom himself. One of the worst unclean acts he ever committed turned into a bad, bad day. Our dogs were being house trained and one of them had an accident, thankfully on our wood floor and not on the carpet. It was one of the worst smelling accidents imaginable! While I was retrieving the necessary tools for cleaning up the mess, Kitten discovered the smelly, runny substance. By the time I returned, the carnage was unbelievable. Kitten had jumped in it, played in it, gotten covered in it, and was tearing around the house, spreading the joy to whatever surface he touched.

That might have been the moment we realized that yelling “KITTEN!!!!” was not enough. We needed to be able to wail something that could voice our pain...something like “LEEROYYYYYY!!!!!!!”

Thankfully, LeRoy, has grown up a lot in the year and few months since we have owned him.

He has filled out into a beautiful, BIG cat. He has long hair and an incredibly long and poofy tail that looks as if he is in a constant state of shock.

He is now meticulously clean and we find ourselves yelling “LEEROYYYY!!!” from across the room at him when he insists on making a snack out of one of the burrs that he pulls out of his hair.

He still has very little concept of the fact that he ever does anything wrong. With his generous nature, he is sure the world loves him just as much as he loves everyone in the world.

He makes us laugh and drives us crazy. Well I must be crazy. What sane person would be writing a blog post while hiding in the bathroom from a certain cat who is scratching the paint off the door and crying his heart out?!

Excuse me while I just say“LEEEEROOOOOOYYYYY!!!!” (:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Blue Cabin Update

We finished the remodel of the blue cabin yesterday! Here are some pictures of the new look.

                                 Living Room


                         Bathroom and the new shower stall


                        New Countertop and New Floors

Updated table and chairs

We are excited to have this cabin done!

We will be posting more photos on our facebook page - including before and after pictures if
anyone wants to see them

Jay and Tiffany

Monday, January 16, 2012

Remodel Update

“Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing Psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!~Psalms 105:1

Here's an update on the cabin remodel. It is so exciting to see what God is allowing to happen here!!


Gone are the white walls!! The interior is now a light yellow, blue and tan. We've purchased new baseboard trim for the whole cabin. The new white trim sure pops with the freshly painted walls.
In the kitchen and bathroom Jay replaced the pipes with new flexible pex pipe and ran it through the walls instead of having them run along the walls like they were before. The floor and sub floor is gone in the bathroom and Jay framed in extra support for that floor. We have nearly everything we need to put the bathroom back together. Jay just needs a chunk of time

The kitchen got a unexpected face lift!! Jay's Uncle Tim and Aunt Shelly donated a roll of high end laminate to recover the older counter tops. Jay installed the counter tops last week. They look great! We also found a nice Moen kitchen faucet set on clearance to replace the old one. We are going to repaint the cabinets. I think we've decided on a soft gray that matches the new laminate.

We had an exciting, unexpected donation that allowed us to buy beautiful wood laminate flooring for the living room,dining room, the kitchen and the hall!!! We began laying that last week.

                          Taking out the old shower stall
It is so exciting to see it coming together!
We still need a few things to complete our update, we are welcome to donations!

-Gently used or new tan or brown couch (preferably with a fold out bed.)
-Gently used or new coffee table
-Gently used or new end tables
-Gently used or new small wood tv stand
-Gently used small kitchen table and chairs
-New curtains

Thank you all for your interest, care and support! We feel so blessed by God and you all!!

Jay and Tiffany