LUC Newsletter

August 2020
Phone: 417.779.5374 Fax: 417.779.2106

   After being gone from the Ranch for two years, Teriq gave me a call.
   "I'm working full time," he said, "and I'm going to join the Army this fall.
   So we talked for a while about things he had done—we had a "hoot."
   "I sure acted silly at times," Teriq admitted, "and I was stubborn to boot."

Boys learning to fish

Teaching these young men to fish

Open House Will Be Online

     For everyone's safety due to COVID-19, we are cancelling the in-person version of Open House. We regret that we won't be able to show our personal appreciation to you for your wonderful support.

     We still want to share with you what God is doing at LUC so we will be doing a VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE. Visit and click our link for more information. We will video on Saturday, October 3, at 1 p.m., the boys performing skits, singing songs, sharing testimonies, demonstrating individual talents, and more.

picture of boys picking up debris from ditches

Picking up ditches keeps our community clean.

A Sister's Testimony

     David came to the LUC Boys Ranch when he was 11 years old. David had been on medicine since he was two years old, extremely violent to the point that he stabbed his own grandmother with a knife which put him in the Juvenile Justice System for that at age 9. David's doctors could not figure out David's behavior. At one point David was on so much medication his psychologist said "with all the medication he is on, it is enough to knock a 40 year old man out." David was on top of his doctor's desk dancing with his middle fingers up. No one could control David's violence, whether it was the state or special schools or the state facilities he was in and then kicked out for his terrible behavior. No one had any ideas on what to do for David. No one wanted David, but Ken and Sheila Ortman. They are amazing people. They and the people at the ranch got through to David when no other place did. They had David sitting in church. David could never sit in church. The last time David was in church was when he was one year old. Because of his violence, we could not take him anywhere. Ken had David working with tools and even power tools. We ate with our hands because David could turn a spoon into a weapon when he was home. Ken and Ken's staff had David learning trades that we thought David could not do. The LUC Ranch got David's violence to stop, even though David got mad, he would not attack or hurt anyone. Sheila had David singing and worked with his Dyslexia. Sheila showed him love. Lives Under Construction staff and teachers got David's IQ from 71 to 91 and Ken and Sheila Ortman do all this with no medication. Medication did not work for David. No matter what it was and no matter how much the dosage was, it never worked. Ken and Sheila Ortman's methods work. They were willing to work with him when the State of Florida and the State of South Carolina said they could not do anything for David. Ken and Sheila said, yes, we can and will do something.
     David has not been violent in a number of years.
     David through all his ups and downs is very loyal to the Ranch. Ken and Sheila kept my brother out of jail. This place works. This place is full of staff who love these boys like their own. I can never say how much I owe them for what they did for my brother. Ken and Sheila Ortman did what the state could not do, I stand with the Ranch.
     You can watch David's video at or just click below.

watch David's story on youtube
Watch David's Story

boys with baby donkeys

Two baby donkeys were born this summer

As I See It

     Violence—We all cringe when we hear about it. It quickly builds fear when it's directed against us. People sometimes let violent adolescents and adults get their way because we don't want to get involved to stop it.
     When our milk cows ate too many "bitter weeds" (they have yellow flowers) the milk tasted bitter. Studies have shown that violence seen on TV, in movies, in songs, in books and especially in video games will produce violence. I believe that America's youth are fed so much violence through so many mediums that our consciences are being dulled to it and we don't even fight it because we are becoming used to it. In fact, anyone who stands up to bullying and violent behavior is often ridiculed for being intolerant. Entitlement issues became a serious epidemic in our youth about 12 years ago. Couple entitlement with violence and we all are at risk.
     Violence is the result of selfishness and it develops when someone questions or confronts us on a particular perception, word, or action. Our first reaction to something we don't like is defensiveness ("It isn't my fault"). Defensivness leads to frustration ("I'll get even"). Frustration leads to anger (fight or flight). Fighting leads to trying to destroy others (violence). Flight leads to self-destruction (ignoring the issue). So if we can deal with selfishness, we will stop entitlement and violence. The Bible has the answer for selfish behavior. We are to esteem others more highly than ourselves. For strong-willed kids, that means tough consequences for selfish actions and then developing our talents to help someone else.

Needs List: Needs List: tools, tractors, battery boosters, vehicles, 4 wheelers, golf carts, cattle, hay, mountain bikes, motorcycles, kitchen racks, sponsors for boys, Thrift store volunteers and those who would want to be part of our team of child care workers, teachers, mechanics, etc. ... Prayer for staff and boys.

Graduate True Life Story

     Fred was adopted by a Christian family as a young child and had some difficult obstacles to overcome. Fred enjoyed being around people he liked, but would instigate trouble with others he didn't like. Fred often got his way and would manipulate people to get what he wanted.
     When Fred first arrived at the Ranch, he played the part of being a good kid. However, over time, Fred had a hard time keeping up that appearance. He had difficulty building relationships because he pointed out the mistakes of others and demonstrated a better-than-you attitude. Fred would often seek attention through negative behaviors and ending with consequences.
     As the issues began to surface, God began dealing with issues of Fred's heart. Fred began to develop better relationships with others. Instead of pointing out their faults, he focused on his own mistakes and made wiser choices. Fred volunteered to do extra projects around the Ranch and worked hard to complete them with excellence. He learned how to build healthy relationships with others. Fred graduated the LUC program and chose to stay at the Ranch to continue developing the skills he had learned. He began working at the Thrift Store and did a great job of relating to the customers. Fred eventually moved on to another job but as he left, he left with the knowledge of what it means to build healthy relationships with God and with others.

three boys working in woods

Three boys working in the woods

We've Been Blessed

     One of the advantages of LUC being on a farm is that we can use our own healthy fruits, vegetables, and meat. When meat prices went way up from the COVID-19 crisis; a lot of people bought cattle that had gone down in price and scheduled dates with local meat plants to process their animals. My normal 2 week wait quickly stretched to 8 months. I wondered how we'd be able to afford the inflated meat prices for 8 months. The next day, a friend who had his meat processing appointment in 8 days called to say that he was giving his meat to the Ranch.

     Only God heard my concern and only God could answer my prayer. We are grateful for friends like you who are fulfilling God's mission here through your support in words, actions, prayer, and finances. We are praying that God richly blesses you for investing in our lives.

Ken & Sheila Ortman, Janey Holloway, Karyn Whitley, Marty & Susan McAllister family, Steve & Missy Garnett family, Becky Lugena, Bob & Niki Crouthamel family, Mona Downs, Max Meek, Sue & Doyle Dick, Jason & Jessica Ponder, Pat & Rhonda McCartney family, Jeremy & Krissy Shepherd family, JJ Henville, Michael & Tracy Ball, Carol Cruise, Benjamin & Tiffany Ramus, Dave & Dianne Ewin, Clinton Bates, Kathy Bernsen and the boys: Wyatt, James, Joshua, Demetrius, Josh, Will, Rocky, Mathew, Matteo, Cody, Brody, Joe, Gauge, Ezra, Nate, Zeke & Andrew.

Amazone Smile logo

Staff Loyalty

Today (August 20, 2020) at our staff meeting we honored Janey, our counselor for 20 years of service to the LUC Boys Ranch. YEAH!!! If you know her, share the good news!

Memorials and In Honor Of:

list of Memorials and In Honor Of donors