Rancho el Camino a community of faith - from an abandoned ranch to a bustling ministry...
...extending the Kingdom of God throughout the city of La Paz, Mexico and the US. In the early days Cher and I could go for several days before we had a visit at the ranch, from January 2014 to September 2014, over six hundred people have visited and many more touched by the ranch’s outreach efforts in the surrounding the areas. From transformational short-term experiences, service opportunities, kids’ clubs, horse ministry, horse therapy clinics, retreats, day camps, internships, celebration services, and weekly Bible studies, the community of faith continues to grow. The influence of the ranch expands far beyond what we could have ever imagined in the early days. It is a dream realized. A vision brought to life. A place of wonder and mystery where broken lives collide with the grace of God. Each of you is a part of this community as you have served and invested your time and resources to make the ranch what it is today. My friends, we are not done yet - continue to pray, continue to come and serve, continue to generously give, that the ranch will become all that God has intended it to be long before the foundations of the world.
Chuey’s Tire Shop (community group):
One of our goals is to extend the community of faith into the surrounding villages by developing Acts 2 communities throughout those colonias right outside the ranch. We call them “community groups.” Many of you had the chance to visit Chuey’s place and experience the authentic love celebrated there. One evening Iban, one of the men who attended, opened up and shared that he had returned to his old ways and used drugs again. He shared that he felt trapped and that he had lost the newfound hope he was experiencing Jesus. As a community, we circled around and prayed fervently for Iban. He was restored before our eyes and shared that He experienced God’s presences. A week or so later we were able to give Iban a Bible. He was delighted. With a sense of wonder and excitement, he said this was the first Bible he had ever had. We all signed it. This small group of believers is growing numerically and spiritually and is already under the leadership of local Mexicans. Please pray as brother Beto, Chuey and Luis lead this group and grow this aspect of the ranch.
“As I sat there in this place of adverse poverty God spoke to me. He then gave me a vision of myself serving long term in an area of great need. Whether it is Mexico or somewhere else, I do not know. But I know God was speaking to me. I have only heard His voice like this one other time in my life.” These were the words of a young woman who engaged in a short-term trip this summer to the ranch. God continues to use the short-term focus to speak to those who come and minister to those who live in our ministry area. We want to thank God for each of you who have taken the step of faith and made sacrifices to serve at the ranch. You are making a huge difference in an area of great need. Once again lives were touched in the name of Jesus through you and the continued development of the ranch’s facilities moved forward to facilitate vibrate ministries in the future.
Summer Internship Program:
Our summer internship was its biggest ever this year with 15 teens devoting their summers to serving God cross-culturally at the ranch- 5 from Mexico City, 5 from Marquez de Leon (right in our backyard) and 5 from the US. The program included a week of cultural orientation at a local language school, team building on the new ranch challenge course, prayer walks through the impoverished villages, day camps for the children (held out at the ranch this year), daily staff responsibilities, etc. Our hats go off to these incredible young men and women who served diligently and loved sincerely. If you would like to learn more about the internship program just visit the ranch web site and click on “ways to serve.”
Six Months in the States:
Over the next six months the Gatto family will be in the states getting some much needed rest and support for our family.
As many of you know, Meagan began her first year of College, pursuing her dream in horse training at Feather River College in Quincy California. At the end of 2-3 years, she will receive a Certification in Natural Horsemanship Training from nationally renowned trainers. She ultimately would like to return to Mexico and train others to use natural horsemanship methods, something that is rarely recognized or practiced as of yet within the Mexican culture.
After a rough start with a detached and unresponsive roommate, God provided the safety and security of a beautiful family just outside of Quincy. Mike and Carolyn Preston have pastored a local church in the nearby town of Graeagle for 26 years. Between them and another beautiful family with Christian girls right next door who are also in the equine program, Meagan is in great hands! There are just too many miracles to mention here surrounding Meagan’s arrival in Quincy. Please continue to pray for Meagan as she enters this very exciting and challenging part of her life journey.
Right now we are enjoying a few days in Vail, Colorado. thanks to the Kneen family (Sept. 6-10). From here we will head to TEAM headquarters in Wheaton for a time of debrief (Sept.10-13) and then onto upstate NY for 6 months. The purpose of our return is for rest and renewal. The past seven years have been gruelling and now we sense God helping us to step back for a short season. During this time our children will also be receiving support that we were unable to provide for them in Mexico, primarily testing for learning differences. Please pray with us during this time that Cher and I will bounce back to 100%, so that we can approach this next part of the journey through a place of wholeness.
What about the ranch in our absence?
Peter Johnson has assumed the role of interim leader over the ranch. Beto and Lili Gonzalez are on sight daily covering the operations, animal care and facilitating local events and retreats. They are also bringing leadership to the community group at Chuey’s place. The ranch will continue to move ahead on all levels. The calendar is full and the future of the ranch is stable as the team of missionaries and local believers continue to facilitate its ministries. Please pray for Peter and Emily as they embrace this leadership challenge and please pray for our local brothers and sisters there.
Rancho el Camino and our community of faith will be highlighted in the upcoming issue of HORIZONS, a high quality magazine about world missions published by TEAM. If you do not already receive HORIZONS please send us your address and we will send you a free copy. You can also view all the videos and footage on the TEAM website at: http://horizons.team.org. The next issue will be out shortly so keep your eyes open and share it with friends and family. Let’s keep expanding the ranch.