Our Mission: Stormlily Ranch exists to provide a safe and peaceful ranch environment where at-risk youth and those affected by sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking find hope and the healing touch of Jesus through hands-on experience with rescued horses.
Looking back at the mission, you’ll see the Ranch will serve both at-risk youth and those affected by sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking.
Let's answer the need to serve those affected by sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking.
Let me just say up-front that even in preparing this content for you, reading the stats, the definitions, the reality, it is flat-out hard to digest. It also affirms in my heart the need for Stormlily Ranch.
In regards to sexual abuse, Missouri Kids First gives us these facts:
Child sexual abuse is likely the most prevalent health problem children face with the most serious array of consequences. About one in 10 children will be sexually abused before they turn 18, including one in seven girls and one in 25 boys.
In Missouri, there were 5,465 substantiated cases of child abuse and/or neglect in 2018. Approximately 30% were cases of physical abuse and 25% were cases of sexual abuse.
Missouri Child Advocacy Centers served over 9,100 children in 2019. Over 6,000 children reported sexual abuse and 2,400 reported physical abuse.
While I don’t have statistics specific to Southwest Missouri, we know that Springfield is the third largest city in Missouri. So, we can also know the numbers above represent real children right here in our community.
As for trafficking and exploitation, it has become an issue with more awareness in the past 5 to 10 years. But, to be sure we’re on the same page, here’s a basic definition from A21 Campaign:
Human Trafficking is the abuse of children, women, and men for their bodies and labor. It's modern-day slavery.
Some of you may think, “We don’t have a problem with trafficking in our community.”
I get it. What we aren’t aware of seems implausible sometimes. Just do a quick Google search, though, and you’ll read about the recent FBI case where they located sex trafficking victims across the Midwest, including in Missouri.
I love what NightLight International, an organization based in Springfield, Missouri says on their website …
"Most of us can understand the mission of reaching exploited individuals in large metropolitan areas, in coastal areas, in border areas. What we don’t necessarily understand is that trafficking is everywhere. It’s in the big cities, but it’s also in small cities, in rural communities, in townships and counties across the world. And whether a victim is in a big city or a small one, a bustling metropolis or a rural community, they are worthy of freedom, dignity, and restoration."
And that, my friend, is why we are here.
Men and women, boys and girls that have been affected by sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking are in desperate need of the freedom the love of Jesus brings.
As a reminder, the Ranch is not therapy or counseling. Many people who come here will likely be in therapy of some kind in their journey of healing.
Instead, we’ll provide a unique hands-on experience with horses that will be a beautiful extension of the love of Jesus. (More to come on that next month!)
Do you want to be part of bringing hope and healing through Stormlily Ranch?
Right now, Stormlily Ranch is in its infancy. That's what's so exciting—God has put this vision on my heart, and I know He is going before us preparing the way and preparing the hearts of people like you who will come alongside us to make it happen.
Your first step? Join the Stormlily Ranch Prayer Team!