“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” ~Philippians 4:6 and “The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.” ~Psalms 6:9
It is evident, when we pray God answers. Whether it’s the answer we want or not, He cares enough to let us know. When working at the ranch, I know personally that God has answered so many prayers, and most of them in ways we couldn’t imagine. He takes our goals and plans and exceeds them far greater than we had thought He could or would. Never underestimate God’s power and plan, all we need to do is pray in earnest and ask in faith. This has been so clear this year and has been a boost to our faith!
There are so many blessings and answered prayers to write about! I love that God always shows how faithful He is to us doubters.
· In January- January started with Darlene needing to go in for a hernia surgery t0 repair two hernias. She came through with flying colors and managed to sit still long enough for them to heal.
· In February, Dennis, Dennis was able to have cataract surgery and some of his dental work done before the pandemic hit. We were so thankful. God’s timing was perfect.
· In March, the Ranch hosted a local Purity Retreat put on by Care Net. There were 40 teens with some deep issues. One accepted Christ as Savior. They all went home with lots to think about and we pray they make life-changing decisions. Darlene helped in the kitchen and Dennis ended up being one of the counselors and enjoyed his time with the teens and leaders.
· In April- Sadly, we had to cancel our first Character camp with the Boys and Girls Club in Nespelem, due to the start of the pandemic.
· In May- May began with some unexpected challenges but God brought answered prayers to them- The first challenge hit one evening when Dennis went out to check on their fish pens because it had been windy. He found them broken apart and three of the pens starting to head down river! He didn’t have enough time to put the boat in the river so he grabbed ropes and plastic to make sails because the wind was blowing up river. He jumped from pen to pen as he brought the pens to a safer place above the metal fish pens. Miraculously, it worked! Darlene was praying from the shore and said it looked like he was doing this singlehandedly BUT she knew there must have been the Lord’s angels all around him, helping him accomplish this. We saw how BIG of a miracle this was when Ed, David Anderson, Luke and Dorece came out in the middle of May to help move the rest of the old pens up river and struggled for two days to accomplish what he, with the Lord’s help, accomplished in one night! In the beginning of June we were able to remove damaged dock from the fish pen system and get it ready to unload to shore, thanks to the help of the Jacobsen, Justus and Kreft families.
The second challenge was our walk-in freezer temperature started rising higher than it should. We had a repairman come check it out and ordered the part he recommended. The company we ordered the part from offered a discount when they found out we were a ministry. What a blessing! God’s timing is perfect because the part came when the Jacobsen and Justus families were out at the Ranch helping with maintenance projects. Who knew that Dallas Jacobsen had a hidden talent as a trained appliance repair tech. He and Dean Justus were able to work together and put in the part and fix the freezer. Thank you Lord! Unfortunately, it seems that is not the only problem with the freezer so we are still trying to figure out what else needs to be done. Thankfully the freezer stays cold enough but it is not down to the temperature we want it to be.
· In June we had problems..... like water problems. Thankfully it was only the dining hall. At first the grease trap was having issues, it was overflowing and not draining. For those who don’t know what a grease trap is, it is a box like thing that takes out the grease in the water. This helps the septic tank not get plugged up from all the dirty grease water. That wasn’t our only problem, one day when we were doing dishes; my mom noticed that water was pouring up out of the floor drains so we immediately shut off the water. No more dishes, bathrooms, or handwashing (very handy when we are trying to NOT spread a virus!) Some of the men that were there had some experience in this type of problem so they decided to push a50ft snake (long thin metal hose) down the drain. The bad part was that we couldn't find a clog in the drain or pipe. The next thing to do was to look at the septic tank underground, which of course we didn't know exactly where it was. Some of the men dug long trenches trying to find it. They were digging around the ranch house. After a day of searching they found it! After lifting the lids, we were able to see what was wrong. It needed to be pumped! What was crazy is that it hadn't been pumped since it was put in (14 yrs. ago) so it was super backed up and clogged. We called a pumping company and they came out and pumped it all out that same day which was a miracle because he just happened to have a small window of time when we called and his next available time would have been four days later! Praise the Lord!
· In July & August-Because we had to cancel our Character Camps with the Boys and Girls Club in Nespelem, we decided to have the families, who were going to serve at these camps, come out to the ranch and do work projects! What a huge blessing!! Thanks to our July and August work crews we were able to finish the roof! Thanks so much to the young and older men who worked on it! We were able to accomplish so much this summer that would never have been possible without everyone’s help! It would be impossible to fit onto one piece of paper all the work that was accomplished! A Huge “thanks” to all who served!! We also learned more about how to share the gospel and to draw closer to God!
· In September- Fires up the road!! The account from my (Lauren’s) perspective- It was a crazy day!!!! Like the craziest day I have ever lived! I woke up on Monday (Labor Day) around 4:o0amand noticed the power was out. I woke my mom, she said not to worry about it and she would tell me about it in the morning. Backing up a few hours, my mom and grandpa were talking around 11pm when the power went out. My grandpa went outside and saw a glow on the hill facing Omak. He and my mom jumped in the car and drove toward it. They were almost to Omak Lake before the police and fire passed them and blocked off the road. They were able to talk to a policeman there, and he assured them that the fire was under control, blowing the other way and there was nothing to worry about. My mom, knowing that by chance if the wind changed we might need to be notified, she let the policeman know where we were, and told him that someone would have to come down and tell us if there was a chance we needed to evacuate because of our power being out. He assured them that they would do that if there was a need. My mom and grandpa drove back puzzled because the fire looked bigger than what the policeman said. They got back and went to bed, trusting that the policeman was right. My mom had left the door open since the fan couldn’t work, so from my bed I could see the dining hall. I lay back down, and noticed that there were car lights at the dining hall. My first thought was “Why are the dads trying to put the power back on? That’s stupid because when it’s out, its out and we can’t do anything.” My next thought was, maybe some people are trying to rob the place! The car pulled back and went away (farther up the driveway) so I went out of my room, I mentioned also to my mom that there were lights down at the dining hall. She knew what it was and jumped out of bed and ran around the other way to meet the policemen. The wind was blowing in all directions when I walked around the bunkhouse. I could see that the car was by the Hayashi’s trailer (family friends of ours that were out there) and I could also see a man walking toward me. The guy mentioned to the other man “Oh there is a person!” I thought to myself, “yeah of course I am person” he then shined a light in my face and told me "Tribal police! Level 3 evacuation! You need to leave immediately!" That woke me up! I think I said “Okay, I’ll let the others know” or something like that. They said the same thing to my mom, who had reached them at that point. The police left soon after mom asked a few questions. My mom ran and woke up my grandparents, who very calmly prayed with her, asking the Lord to spare the ranch if it was His will but willing to praise and thank the Lord if He chose to take it. I woke up my friend’s family and gathered my stuff, Luke and my dad packed our car. Mom went around and woke up the rest of the people at the ranch. The families with younger children were able to leave within 20 minutes. The rest of the families stayed because they wanted to help. We all gathered in a group and started praying. With the power out there was nothing we could do, because the pump wouldn’t work and that meant we couldn’t do anything with water. This is where the first miracle happened. As soon as Mr. Hayashi, a pastor in Odessa, started praying the power turned on! We were then able to turn on irrigation, and everyone started working. The guys moved tractors to safer spots and turned off gas and propane. The fire turned out to be farther away than we thought so we stayed to see what would happen. With the power on, it gave us hope. The fire never came down the hill, which would mean we would actually have to leave. The Lord sent an east wind all day (if it would have been a west wind the place would have burned) which was the second miracle. Never has it ever in all 31 years that my grandparents have been there, blown so hard and so long from the east! Luke and I, with another family and friend, went to Grand Coulee for the day. My mom and a few others from our church, plus my grandparents stayed at the ranch and continued monitoring the fire. We ended upcoming back to the ranch that afternoon. All the kids took turns watching the fire, every hour, through the night to make sure the wind didn't change and that the fire didn't come down the hill. It was fun! It felt like the longest day of our lives (we were up from 4:00am-11:00pm)and the craziest!!
The Lord was so merciful, and answered so many of our prayers. It was incredible to see the Lord at work and witness His faithfulness!! Thanks to those who were praying for the ranch. Prayer does change things!!
· In October, God provided us with a family (Bakers) and a couple individuals (Shayn and Jill) to be out at the ranch this fall/winter! We were so grateful and thankful for them! They helped Dennis and Darlene with projects, putting in a new dock and the up-keep of the ranch! Shayn and Jill are planning on getting married in May.
The Ranch also had an opportunity to help out a family, who lost everything in the fire except some of their dogs, cats, cattle and horses. They are now living at the Ranch along with the wife’s sister, who lost her home as well. They have been through a lot, but continue to press on and be brave. Please pray for them as they adjust and for their salvation, that we could be a light to them. Another rancher, who rents the alfalfa field next to the ranch, had one of his homes burn as well. He brought cattle down to his neighboring alfalfa field and is using 23 acres of our land to graze his cows. Everyone is working on building stronger fencing.
· In November & December- We reflect on the Lords goodness and enjoyed family and friends out at the ranch. I love my grandmother’s words…”The LORD again has sent help from the Sanctuary! So amazing His care and concern for the ”little” things when He holds the whole universe in place and works in detail in each of our lives, even knowing the number of the hairs on each of our heads!!” ~Darlene DeLano
Luke and I (Lauren) spent our winter break (4 weeks- from Christmas to mid January) out at the ranch helping get projects done. We had an amazing time! We were able to get so many needed things done and found many fun treasures along the way. It was a great experience and we are just starting to adjust to normal life here at our home.
We have posted our 2021 camp schedule on our website (www.penielranch.org) you can find more details about camps and mission trips there!
· Retreats- We were able to gain permission from the tribe to allow people to come out this last year as long as they did essential services at the ranch and didn’t go up to Nesepelem. So we were able to host a Geology/work camp featuring Patrick Nurre at the end of July. So we were able to host our Labor Day/work weekend retreat this year. We had a lot of fun working with those out at the ranch to serve.
· Character Camps- Sadly, this summer we were unable to hold our normal character camps due to the Boys and Girls Club not opening. The blessing was that we were able to do work retreats out at the ranch! We are praying that we can have Character Camps this year… pending the COVID restrictions at the tribe.
We thank the Lord for answered prayers! He will continue to answer these in His time and way, one by one!
· Please pray for the health and growth of the church in Nespelem. Pray also that Pastor Bob would be encouraged and glean strength from the Lord. He has been doing sermons posted to Facebook during this pandemic. Pray that those who regularly attend the church, especially the children, would keep their focus on the Lord at this difficult time.
· Please pray that Dennis and Darlene DeLano would be safe and productive as they work on the many projects at Peniel Ranch.
· Pray for the safety and health of the children on the Colville Reservation, especially, as they are isolated in their homes right now. Pray they would choose to seek their comfort in the Lord in these uncertain and probably disappointing times.
· Please pray for more help for Pastor Bob as he pastors the church in Nespelem and Omak.
· Please pray that God would bring more families and individuals, who would be willing to serve full or part time at the Peniel Ranch. Pray also that other churches and ministries would utilize the Ranch a swell.
· Please pray that the Lord would send a mechanic who can work on the tractors and vehicles at the ranch that need to be repaired.
· Please pray that God would open the doors to start a horse program at Peniel Ranch and that He would supply the people, horses and structures for the program.
· Please pray for God’s wisdom and guidance as we plan our camps and retreats for this year!
At the ranch there is a never ending amount of projects! God does give us the strength that is necessary to fulfill all the tasks and wonderful people who come out and help!
· Yardwork- Never ending! J With volunteer help this summer, we were able to mow lawns, weed-whack, clear leaves and pine cones, weed, plant and harvest from the ranch garden and trim/haul away tree branches. What still needs to be done: Mowing lawns, weed-whacking; clearing more pinecones and leaves, and more trimming out dead branches from trees.
· Ranch House- Some rooms need to be completely repainted and some drywall repair, while others need just a touch up paint job. I (Lauren) was able to go through and pack up some things and move stuff around so that we will be able to use the Ranch House for camps. With the help of my friends we were able to do a spring cleaning of the house. It was a BIG job, but it is nice to see it almost finished!
· Shalom Cabin- We didn’t have time to work on it much this last year but we hope to be able to finish it this year. We still need to finish repairing and putting in bathrooms, trimming and painting of rooms, kitchen cabinets need to be installed and some exterior work completed.
· Fish Pens- We were able to unload the barge full of excess pieces of fish pens and docking, thanks to some strong young men. We also moved one of the metal fish pens up to the swimming area and used it to make a new dock. We are now waiting for a permit to remove the fish pens from the water.
· New dock- We were able to finish it!! Thanks to Seth Baker and Daniel DeLano (the oldest son of Dennis and Darlene) plus other volunteers like David Anderson, Torey, Ed Davies, Dean Justus, Shayn Bancroft and Luke Davies. We were able to form the dock and weld it together. Seth learned how to weld like a pro and was able to do the rest of the dock just by looking at Daniel’s work and getting a few pointers.
Written by Lauren Davies