Changing the way America saves at-risk youth

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Ken Ortman and a boy walking down a path

a wide picture of the ranch in the spring

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complimentary remark by one-time attender at open house

watch David's story on youtube
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When one thinks of a Boys Ranch, they might think of a place where boys are locked up or kept in a room and controled by medications. This Christian-based organization believes in allowing boys a second chance in a structured farm family type of environment. Our belief is that Jesus always forgives, no matter what you have done in the past.

LUC Boys Ranch is located in the heart of the Ozark Mountains in Southwest Missouri. We are changing the lives of at-risk boys in our Christian residential treatment program. Through the use of Biblical counseling and applying Christian principles in their lives, we are re-building broken homes and family relationships.

Our Mission is to not only change a young man's life, but impact him while he is here by teaching him the values of hard work, respectfulness, responsibility, honesty, and Christian values through our actions as staff members. We teach by being a loving example and modeling how the Bible can change anyone's life if we obey the Lord's commandments and do the things he has taught us to do. Doing the right thing is not always easy, but our Father in Heaven helps guide us through his Word, and we can find hope and love through Him if we do what he asks us to do.

Boys are able to find purpose and develop their talents by acquiring various trade skills, excelling in education, and feeling a part of the LUC family. Please join with us in helping these boys find lasting changes in their lives by becoming a donor, volunteer, or staff member. Please browse our web site for more detailed information on how we can work together to accomplish many goals! Come join us for a meal, call and schedule your appointment 417-779-5374. See for yourself!

Letter dated December 16, 2022
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast with staff, boys, and volunteers followed by the annual Turkey Bowl which is a fun game of football. Now, the Ranch is beginning to look like Christmas with decorations popping up in various places around the Ranch. The boys really took ownership of decorating the dorm both inside and outside to make it look very festive.

It's not unusual for a new boy to test the limits of the structure and rules of the Ranch by refusing to comply with the expectations given. One of the newer boys decided to do just that. As the staff was processing the situation and how he ended up working consequences for his actions, the boy tried to blame his behavior on the staff, other boys, his family, etc. After he exhausted all the possibilities he could think of, he finally answered, "I'm beginning to think this is my responsibility.”

Recently, a few staff members have created a LUC Youth Group for the boys. The group meets every Saturday to focus on learning Scripture and putting it into practice through service projects. Their theme verse is Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Their first service project was clearing leaves for a few widows in the community who in turn provided dinner and games for the boys. The boys came back and shared with the others about their experience and how good it felt to help other people. The next week, we received this email from one of the widows, "Fellowship Lane rejoices with the LUC boys whose lights shone last night. Please extend our love and thankful hearts to each of them who was willing to serve the widows. God richly bless ya'll.” When we serve others and put their needs above our own, it is a win-win for everyone.

The boys enjoy having volunteers and guests on Ranch, especially when they are able to hang out with them. Recently, a local church group brought dinner for the boys and taught them how to play Skip-Bo. Before they arrived, the boys had assumed it was a youth group. They were a little surprised to discover that the group was more youth at heart. As the boys interacted with the "more mature” crowd, there was lots of laughter and good times. Watching the different generations interact demonstrated the value of investing in others with the love of Christ and what it looks like to build healthy relationships.

As a former Ranch boy and I shared updates with each other, he started talking about his experiences at the Ranch and commented on how much he missed the Ranch. He said, "I had no idea how much I got out of spending time with people who showed me love in the way you guys did.” Our prayer is that each of our boys will not only discover and embrace the love of the LUC staff and volunteers but also the love of God in their lives.

No greater love has ever been given than when God sent his son, Jesus, to earth. Ultimately, Jesus would give his life so that we could experience eternal life. For our guys to experience the miraculous transformation in their life, we need friends like you to help us. Thank you for showing all of us that you care and are willing to sacrifice your own wants to encourage us in a big way. Your faith and commitment in God's work here is amazing. We are praying that God blesses you with renewed hope and peace during this Christmas season.

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