ANOTHER BIRTHDAY AT RAINBOW ACRES
By guest writer Erwin King (With sincere thanks from Rainbow Acres)
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God that he may exalt you in due time. I Peter 5:6
Another birthday at Rainbow Acres, except this year I was 92. Rainbow Acres, located near Camp Verde, Arizona, is a faith based facility for “different” people called Ranchers, all with varying degrees of disabilities. The new logo at Rainbow Acres is a cluster of hearts in the shape of a cross. It creates a visual image of a loving community founded on Christian love and promising a future for the 90+ Ranchers there.
One might wonder why I keep going back to Rainbow Acres. It has been nearly 25 years since I first went there. I keep going back because each time my spiritual basket is filled with Humility every day. Humility for anyone who visits there can be found the minute the Ranchers greet you and for the whole time you are there. Why? You go there as a vibrant team fresh from the outside world, while they are a community with all their disabilities trying their best to rise to their own individual potential every single day. If you sincerely make an effort to talk to most any Rancher one on one, you will understand the meaning of Humility and how God is at work there.
I am always amazed at how the Ranchers are transformed by God when they do things like singing or playing the piano. One day a woman rancher was in a craft class we sponsored. It was sometimes hard for her to do the crafts and difficult for me to understand what she was saying, but later the played several classical pieces on the piano. As I watched her fingers glide effortlessly back and forth across the keyboard it seemed like she suddenly had been ‘transformed’ by God to allow her to play. It was like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon that paused only long enough to dry its wings, then fly away to new horizons.
When the Ranchers do their choir practice, some whose speech is also hard to understand are also ‘transformed’ by God when they stand up to sing. It is as though they suddenly had been released from the captive bonds of their particular disability and freed to emerge and sing in a crystal clear voice. What a joy it must have been for them in those few special moments of freedom.
On the last night our team always sponsors a talent show. This gives the Ranchers a vitally needed chance to express themselves to one another in their own particular way, all at one time and place. There were about 20 entrants and again it is absolutely astounding to me to see how their talents emerge.
For example one young lady who had a seizure has a perfectly beautiful voice. I talked to her later and she said the physical part of the seizure was very difficult, but she sensed that she had entered another very spiritual dimension. It was something like a near death experience and she was able to understand during that time how the Trinity all fit together.
Yes, it was a wonderful experience to be at Rainbow Acres again. You know there is a real treasure at the end of the Rainbow and it is the Ranchers. Why? It is because they demonstrate to all of us who go there that God loves them, and only He can give them the ability to be transformed for a special moment.