A Tragic Beginning…

Death came swiftly to a young girl’s parents – killed in a murder/suicide. The crushing devastation of this loss threatened to destroy the child’s heart. Yet, through the unconditional love of a horse and the mercy of God, her life was saved. In the decades that followed, this restorative template would reach far beyond her own loss and bring healing and hope into the lives of thousands more.

A Humble Start…

In 1993, Kim and her husband Troy purchased the only piece of property in Central Oregon that they could afford: a nine-acre, abandoned cinder mine. The land was so completely ruined that no one else wanted it. Together, they began the rehabilitation process by collecting organic waste materials from neighboring ranches.

For two years, the Meeders spread moldy hay, using stall shavings, and manure over the rocky floor of the mine to help create a nutritive base that would once again support life. Troy brought home broken and discarded trees, and in 1995, Kim brought home the first two broken and discarded horses. One had been starved to the point of near death, while the other had been beaten so badly that a vet was needed to suture her beautiful face.

Shortly after the horse’s rescue, children began to find their way to Troy and Kim’s home. The kids came not for what they could get, but for what they could give. In their efforts to help the horses recover, something miraculous took place in the heart of each child. As they cared for the horses in need, healing began. Lives were being transformed by love.

After witnessing a mute girl speak freely to one of the rescued mares, the need to build a ranch where horses and children could help each other heal became vitally clear. Watching this powerful redemption of children and horses inspired the Meeders to build Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch.

Founded on hope, the ranch is a place where broken children, horses and families can find wholeness, belonging and trust. This richness is expressed through the healing embrace of God’s unconditional love.

The Program Today

Currently, Crystal Peaks serves between four to five thousand visitors a year. One of the features that makes our program unique is that many of the 30-35 horses who live on the Ranch have been rescued from violent abuse or life-threatening neglect. All of our extraordinary horses have their own stories of triumph and hope. We then pair these horses with one child and one leader for 90-minutes of purposeful activities to build lasting relationships full of the release of God’s love, truth and kindness. This is what we call a “session.”

These sessions are like water in the hand of God, fluid and adaptable to meet the individual needs of each child. Instead of being lost in a group, every child is nurtured by one leader who shares in the child’s challenges and victories. All of this is done free of charge.

Through hands-on experience, kids are taught the values of faith, trust, hope, and family. 

Although the primary focus of Crystal Peaks is to serve at-risk children, our program is available for any child. The only true requirement for kids visiting the Ranch is that they want to participate. Their desire to come indicates a soul willing to try. It is from this willingness that broken hearts and lives can be lead toward the healing hope of Jesus.

The Ranch has also built strong relationships with other local organizations that serve youth and families faced with extraordinary challenges. Crystal Peaks shoulders with these groups by reserving sessions on a consistent basis for those children referred by these organizations. Approximately 35% of our session program is referral-based. 

Our volunteer program is another integral part of our ministry. Each week we are delighted to join children, families, and individuals who come ready to serve by giving their unique skills, talents and time. Volunteering at Crystal Peaks is designed to be much more than getting tasks done. By working shoulder to shoulder with our volunteers, we have the privilege of sharing life, encouragement, love and the hope of Jesus with each other.  We often see the Lord heal brokenness through this beautiful circle of giving by drawing kids, families, and our staff closer to Him and each other.

As global statistics of broken and blended households continue to rise, Crystal Peaks seeks to provide in every possible way what each individual desires most . . . a family.

The Property Today

Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch was founded in 1995 on an 8.9-acre cinder quarry. Free organic material was gathered by hand—shovel full by shovel full—to cover the stone and help create a seedbed so the earth could be redeemed. Imperfect and misshapen trees were rescued from burn piles and planted throughout the recovering property. Over time, the broken property, filled with broken trees and broken horses became the perfect foundation for the love of God to heal the hearts of broken children and their families.

To fully serve those who need it most, our program is offered free of charge.  Because everyone can afford “free,” the ranch grew quickly, now serving close to five thousand visitors each year—still on less than nine acres of rock quarry.

In 2013, just shy of eighteen years of service, the Ranch was gifted with a designated donation to purchase property in proximity to its border. Although in disrepair, the adjacent ranch came complete with a lovely home, irrigation water, an indoor and outdoor arena, several stall barns, a hay barn and a producing 30-acre hay field. It was through this loving generosity that added almost 51.1 acres of prime farmland to the cinder pit.

Through the combined efforts of the founders, board members, staff, interns, session kids, families and a beautiful sea of volunteers, the new property—lovingly nicknamed the “West Ranch”—continues to be improved, renovated and redeemed.

It’s been said that, “lightning cannot strike twice,” but God can do whatever He desires, wherever and whenever He pleases. As only He can, in 2015, Crystal Peaks was once again given a designated financial gift to purchase the property north of the West Ranch. Like the West Ranch, this 40.3-acre parcel was also in disrepair but came with a home, irrigation water, an indoor and outdoor arena, a cattle facility, stables and storage areas and pastures.  With the addition of the “North Ranch,” the original Crystal Peaks cinder pit is now surrounded and supported by approximately 91.4 additional acres.

With this additional acreage, the Ranch program is expanding its pre-existing greenhouse and gardens to include vast gardens and orchards to grow more food. Approximately 230 fruit trees have been planted along with 450 blueberry plants. Potatoes, carrots, onions and beets are also being cultivated, along with many other vegetables, to provide staple sustenance for those who help and for those who need help.

Another welcome benefit of the additional land is grazing pasture for our herd. The Ranch now has ample room to receive more critical rescues, train up-and-coming horses, rest our hard-working session herd and safely retire our veteran horses. For all of this, we are profoundly grateful.

Because of the faithful financial support of those who believe in this ministry, the largest structure the Ranch owns—formerly a dairy/performance horse barn—has been beautifully renovated into a 10,000 square-foot place to gather. This former barn has been renamed “Refuge.” It is within these new walls that the Ranch Fellowship now gathers. It is also within this place that similar ministry events are held. This once dilapidated old barn is now a welcoming place for everyone to come together as a supportive family, each bringing a unique gift of gratitude to God.

Promotional Brochure/DVD

The foundational message of Crystal Peaks is simple: Broken, abused, and neglected things can be transformed by the hope of Christ into something beautiful and whole. This transformation is only found through the hope we discover in Christ.

The same message of hope is available for you through our booklet brochure. Tucked inside each brochure is a DVD about our ministry. 

For requests within the U.S. or Canada, it would be our joy to send to you this encouraging brochure and DVD at no charge! Simply submit the request form below.

International orders may be placed for $5 per brochure/DVD, to cover increased shipping and handling fees. To order, please click here to be directed to our ​Secure Online Donation page. ​Select the “Other” option and write in “Brochure/DVD”. In the “comments” section, please give details for your order (​eg. correct mailing address if different from billing address, number of brochures ordering, and any other notes). Note: comments section must be filled out for orders to be processed.

To view the DVD video online now, click here.