Flea-Bitten Grey, Mare | DOB: 2004 | ARRIVAL: 01/12/2017 | 14:2 Hands HANDS

“Dear Jesus, please send us the right horse.” This was a portion of our prayer, during a season where many of our four-footed friends stepped across the retirement threshold into a much-earned life of rest.  Their faithfulness carried many a child into the loving arms of Jesus. Now, it was time for them to pass the baton . . . but to whom?             

A few weeks later, Kim and Sarah found themselves venturing to Christmas Valley, Oregon, to evaluate an Arabian mare.  Her owners shared how they’d rescued this mare with the intent to serve as a “temporary home” where she would be well-loved and regain health and trust. Kind and quiet-natured, the little horse displayed an intelligent and eager willingness to do what was asked of her.  Kim and Sarah knew they wanted to bring this compassionate horse to the Ranch.             

A few days later, a miracle began to unfold. When a donor was told about the Arab mare and our desire to have her as part of our herd, she immediately pressed in and doubled her original gift. Through her generosity, the Lord gave confirmation and completely supplied the finances for the purchase price of our new four-footed friend—and—the first vet exam, dental float, and farrier trim.               

At the start of Christmas season a few weeks later, we again found ourselves bouncing down that same old dirt road, but this time with a horse trailer in tow. The mare happily jumped into the trailer, as if she knew intuitively that it would carry her into a beautiful season of her life.             

With a new home, and a new purpose for her life, we felt it appropriate to give our white-coated friend a new name. Each detail rang out like crystal bells in our conversation, chiming one by one . . . The place from which she came—was Christmas Valley. The season in which she came—was Christmas time. The person through whom God provided—was in honor of “Elizabeth.” This gift to the Ranch reminded us of our greatest gift—Jesus Christ.

What name could encapsulate all this? We agreed “Bethlehem” would become the perfect name for a little white horse whom we knew was destined to declare the glory of God. Through this horse, God truly answered our prayers. Bethlehem has graciously picked up the baton of faithful service to the kids who come to the Ranch. Her quiet, kind and inquisitive nature draws out those who are themselves quiet by nature. She has quickly become a new favorite for the session children, who often declare, “Let’s go to Bethlehem!”        

To read more about Bethlehem, click here for Around the Fire - Summer 2018 and Around the Fire - Winter 2018.