Lexi* came to Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch with a chip on her shoulder the size of Texas. She was seething at her parents for sending her to the Ranch, and unable to process, much less let go of, the anger she felt toward all those who had wronged her. She was hostile toward all and trusted no one.
Lexi was surprised to learn soon after she arrived at the Ranch that there is actually a name for the intense loneliness that had followed her around for so long. It is called Major Depressive Disorder, and it is treatable. With expert psychiatric care and on-demand therapeutic resources at YBGR, Lexi started to stabilize. She began to notice that she wasn’t in a rotten mood all of the time. She began to realize that some of the girls in her Lodge were actually kind of cool and she could relate to them.
That’s when a couple of Lexi’s Lodge-mates talked her into attending the Ranch’s summer Young Life camp. She wasn’t much interested in hearing about Jesus or why some of her new friends had started reading their bibles, but the activities during the day were a blast and the candlelight Club Talks in the evening were low-key and actually made sense. Lexi began to wonder whether Jesus really did have an interest in her life?
By the end of the summer camp, Lexi was feeling like she had connected with several of the volunteers and staff working in the Spiritual Life Program. Then one evening, a Young Life volunteer came to Lexi’s Lodge and helped with a “spa night” where all the girls painted their nails. Amid the giggles and laughs, some of the girls talked about the 30-Day Challenge they were doing where they commit to reading their bibles and journaling about the experience. Lexi decided she was up for the challenge.
Fast forward almost a year later to Lexi’s recent discharge from YBGR. The angry and hostile girl was gone, and in her place was a young lady who had hugs for everyone and crocodile tears because she had to leave. These moments are more sweet than bitter for the caring staff at the Ranch because they can see that a life has been changed on the inside, as well as the outside.
The Spiritual Life Program at YBGR is made possible by our caring donors who believe that offering a voluntary spiritual component of care to the hurting children at the Ranch makes sense. Government and insurance companies will not pay for all the “extras” that make the Ranch so unique, most especially the Spiritual Life Program. But donors like you will.
We need your help now to keep the Chapel programs available to the kids for another year. Thank you for your past support for the boys and girls in treatment at YBGR. This Easter, please send a gift so that children like Lexi have an opportunity to learn of God’s love for them. Thank you.
*name and photo changed to ensure confidentiality