June 13, 2011

As I write this, the outside temperature is in the high 90's, wind speed 35 to 45 mph, and 0 rainfall this year.  That being said, it is raining opportunity at Horse Play.  

We are so very thankful that we have our indoor arena.  It has become our "office" as we continue to reach out to area kids, individuals and families. We extend a huge thank you to J.W. Thomas of Thomas Redi-Mix for donating a wonderful covering of sand which has been a tremendous relief to our clients with respiratory issues.  A generous donation to Samaritan Pastoral Counseling Center's equine therapy program (us) was used to purchase corral panels which makes the arena more functional.  Our horses are meeting us at the gate wanting the opportunity to be "used" so they can come in from the wind and sun!

Schedules changed as winter fled and spring blew in.  Frank and I took a quick trip to Santa Fe during the transition, and we are off and running for the summer months.  Our faithful CareNet friends and Leadership Amarillo in Canyon are on the books for July and September activities. We always look forward to returning organizations.

We had  the pleasure of working with kids from Austin and Sam Houston Middle Schools in A.I.S.D's  after school program.  Our theme was "Reaching Your Potential" and each week we explored another facet with that idea in mind. Thank you to Mary Strong and Melissa Chapman and all the teachers who came each week and trekked through the deep sand in their good shoes to make things happen for their kids.  We welcome two new groups who will come each week for the entire month of June. Word is getting around that we let the kids paint the horses. They are already asking about that!  We may not have the traditional Quarter Horses everyone is used to seeing around here, but after the kids paint them, ours are definitely more colorful.

With Frank on staff at the Samaritan Pastoral Counseling Center, we have been receiving many individual and family referrals for those who believe they can benefit from the unconventional, but experiential methods of equine-assisted psychotherapy. Director Twilla Woolsey has been a huge advocate in promoting our ministry in the schools and various organizations around our community.

 Our new friend Dawn Wells, Presbyterian Children's Home board member, and Clay Thomas, Vice President, Residential Services of The Children's Home have been instrumental in arranging for the staff and board members to participate in demonstrations of equine-assisted learning activities which have resulted in the wonderful opportunity we are being given to work with their children starting this June.  We will incorporate life-skills with God's timeless principles "giving every child the chance to succeed," and pray the interaction with our horses will create lasting memories for each child.

The beautiful children from Arrow Child & Family Ministries, formerly The Panhandle Assessment Center have been a part of our ministry in different capacies going on 4 years now. At this time, we host two groups of children each week. The impact of the horses on these children continues to amaze me, always. The Lord knew. Frank and I took our granddaughter, Katen, with us on one of our trips.  After a couple hours her comment was, "I can't believe your work is this much fun!" 

Our family continues to grow as we have had living with us since January, Ethann Greenlee, our foster-son (no pun intended). He is a vital part of this ministry coming to us with exposure to this work from a facility in Lubbock. Everyone who meets him says, "He looks like he"s a great help around the place."  He is that and more.

Well, as usual, I've written a book.  When I watch the news and listen about the sad state of our economy, I am not disturbed as I am reminded of the scripture in Luke 6 about those who build their foundation on the Rock.  The Lord is our Provider. Lord bless all our friends who have prayed for this ministry, supported it financially, and given time and energy to its growth.  You are angels.

Volunteers!  You know who you are...what can we say that will let you know how much we appreciate all that you do to help us with Horse Play?  Countless hours and your heart and soul into making a difference in the lives of the young people who come here.  Thank you so very much.  We cannot do this by ourselves.  Lord bless you all.

We are humbled by the Lord's guidance, His provision, and kept promises that He will supply all that we need.