In the summer of 2003 my wife and I took part in a western day camp for young people. This particular event was geared towards the inner-city and under privileged. We introduced them to the country but also saw the ministry potential. Two years later Haven of Hope ministries was born.
God opened many doors and we met wonderful volunteers with the same burden. Our volunteers may have a love for horses but you add young lives in the equation and there is no comparison.
We have qualified workers who know horses but also know the troubles young people face every day. We have solid preachers who love the Word of God; and see young lives who will soon be adults. Knowing this we try to educate and instill character in their lives that will be profitable for the cause of Christ. We have a “hands on” approach to theses horses. We start out with the basics of safety; grooming, leading, tack, and then the reason they came: the mount and the riding.
Time after time our volunteers have seen young hearts growing attached before the day, or the week, comes to a close. Many close friendships develop and hearts begin to knit with the common foundation of Christ and doing the ministry of out reach. Little ones carry many a burden in these times. Often it is a tough home life, poverty, neglect, or all of the above. But to see a child mount a horse for the first time is often to watch the trials and burdens of life fall off their shoulders. Maybe it’s the height of being up in the saddle, above everything and everybody. Maybe it’s the sense of control over larger things. Maybe it’s the confidence of the “cowboy get-up.” Whatever it is, the burdens and barriers fall and the door opens to reach a soul for Christ.
Haven of Hope does more than just get the inner-city kids exposed to the country. Our goal is to provide respite from the troubles of life and to show these young souls a Saviour who said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:41