A buyer with a heart for ministry

A buyer with a heart for ministry

Jeremiah 32:17 “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and your outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”

Sam loves duck hunting and he made to plans to go out duck hunting with a friend early one morning in December of 2012. Sam’s friend ended up inviting another friend along and during the course of the morning, Sam and his friend’s friend had a conversation about Circle C Ranch and what some of the goals and dreams were for the ministry. That friend of a friend was Troy Nelson and he was interested in the possibilities to further God’s kingdom. Sam and Troy met at the ranch in January of 2013 and as they began to share with each other what God was doing in their lives and what Circle C Ranch could become, God began to work in Troy’s heart. He and his wife, Kree, began to pray about what God would have them do and how they would support the ministry. In the spring of 2013 they made a full market offer to buy the land and immediately donate the 40 acres that the ministry buildings were sitting on with the intention to use the rest of the land for ministry as God directed! In a miraculous answer to prayer, Troy and Kree purchased all the land in November of 2013, donated 40 acres back to the ministry and are waiting for God’s direction for the rest of the land.

God gives you the desires of your heart!

God gives you the desires of your heart!

Psalms 37:4  “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Sam Coleman grew up in Bismarck ND and had been given the dream of someday running a conference center, art gallery, gift shop and cabins out west somewhere. His wife Sarah grew up south of Washington DC in Virginia and she also had a dream of someday doing family ministry at a family camp or someplace she could call home. Sam and Sarah met on a missions trip to Europe and through time God showed them their similar vision and they decided to follow their vision of ministry together. For 10 years Sam worked at Charity Lutheran Church in Bismarck as a youth director before becoming a Pastor. During Sam and Sarah’s work with youth, they both continued to think of their dream often and prepare for it but God always confirmed that Charity is where they were to stay. During this time, Sam and Sarah had 3 wonderful children and lived in a beautiful little house in Mandan ND. As God blessed their family with new additions, it was getting cramped in their little house so they began to look for a property with some land, an old red barn, and hopefully a log home with a stream running around it. God led them to meet Trish Lenihan and as they visited with her about what Circle C Ranch had been and what God had laid on Trish’s heart for the future, they realized that God had called them to follow their dream right there in the heart of North Dakota! And as they looked at the homestead where Trish’s grandparents had homesteaded years ago, they found a log home with a big red barn and a little stream with multiple ponds running around it! God is so good!

After much prayer, they worked out a deal to buy Trish’s homeplace contingent on the selling of the rest of the land Circle C Ranch had used in the past. Trish, Sam and Sarah, and many other people began to pray that God would bring someone along who would purchase the land with the intention to utilize it for ministry instead of development. And God answered their prayer in the persons of Troy and Kree Nelson! Their story is shared in "A Buyer with a heart for ministry" and God moved them to purchase the land allowing Sam and Sarah to move forward and purchase the homeplace.

In yet another God story, Trish moved to Mandan and Sam and Sarah proceeded to list their house for sale. It seemed like things slowed down in the housing market and Sam and Sarah began to worry about having to begin renovations on “The Homestead” (The acreage next to the ministry) without having their house sold. On the 1st of April, 2014, the renovation process began and what had seemed like a smaller renovation changed to having to bring the electrical, plumbing, and heating and air up to code as well as numerous smaller projects. Sam and Sarah half-jokingly point out that for the first 2 months the electrician and plumber lived at the homestead. This was a huge step of faith as Sam and Sarah didn’t necessarily know where the money for all this was going to come from but God showed His provision and the money and people came at exactly the right time! It was a moment where God truly showed His mighty hand! During this time, a young couple decided that the little house Sam and Sarah had loved and lived in for almost a decade would be theirs in a huge answer to prayer. In the ensuing rush to finish the renovations, pack the house up, move, and then start moving stuff in, family and friends showed up in the nick of time and Sam and Sarah once again saw God’s blessing and in June of 2014 they moved into their new home. Since then they have been blessed with another little boy and have the privilege of living where every place they look has a God-story connected to it!

 

God is in the process of resurrection

God is in the process of resurrection

There are two different definitions for the word “Church.” One is the people that make up the body of Christ and the other is the church building. At Circle C Ranch we refer to the Church (Capital C) as those that are putting their faith in Jesus Christ. Part of the heritage and vision for Circle C Ranch is that it is a unifying place for people of all different races, denominations, and backgrounds to come and experience the Lord in a unique western environment.  One beautiful building on the property for that purpose is an old country church (Lowercase c) called “The Glory House.” This church was built in the early 1900’s and had an amazing revival during the 40’s where God worked in amazing ways. After the congregation built a larger church, the building became dormant and when plans were made to turn the building into a bar, the congregation contacted Trish and donated it to Circle C Ranch. There it served as a gathering place with the idea of turning into an “Opry” house with all the flavor of Branson MO. But that idea didn’t come to fruition and it began to fall into major disrepair. Paint pieces from the ceiling were coming down and there was no heating or insulation in the building so it began to look as if the little country church was going the way of so many building in our small communities.

But God had another plan and after giving Trish the vision of resurrection over the ministry, He showed Trish that the old country church was intended to be “The Glory House”. When the decision was made to turn it back into a church, people began to come out of the woodwork to renovate and revive it and two of those were Bill and Darline Mahowald.

Bill and Darline could see that God had special plans for Circle C Ranch and joined the board in 2010. They had a heart in particular for the “The Glory House” and began to work with Trish and many others to resurrect it. Youth from a local church came out the summer of 2012 to help take out old insulation, wallboard, and paint. With hard work, sweat, and lots of enthusiasm, the inside of the church was gutted. Two brothers from Regent ND heard what was going on at the church and showed up with their hired man to put on a new porch, handicap access ramp and entry, and lay down asphalt on the road around the ministry. Numerous people showed up to clean, scrub, paint, build, move items around, and finally the church was turned into an unrecognizable shell. Thus began the time consuming process of restoration with so many people giving of their time and energy to accomplish what God had begun! 

Today, “The Glory House” has been transformed into a beautiful country church with an amazing sanctuary and worship area, hardwood hickory floors, a kitchen, gas fireplace, and is truly a place where God’s hand is visible. God chose to begin the process of resurrection at Circle C Ranch with the old country church and you are welcome to see first-hand a part of the amazing work God has been doing through people who have caught on to the vision.