One thing I love about summer is the opportunity to take some time off from the usual routines we keep throughout the year and simply get away. Now, some of us have unlimited time and finances to take elaborate and well-planned get away trips while others on a more limited budget, ahem, like me, have to do with what you got.
Of course, having limits both in time and in finances does not mean you cannot have a meaningful, relaxing and fun summer get away. One can visit unlimited places via online travel blog sites or you can incorporate a simple summer get away–perhaps on some weekend.
This weekend, I took a meaningful summer get way to the open house of Cookson Hills Christian Ministries.
Located in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in rural Northeastern Oklahoma, children experiencing neglect, abuse, abandonment and estrangement within their own biological family, can live at Cookson Hills and find help, hope and healing.
The children live in family homes with each home having their own “surrogate mother and father” who offer support, love, structure, discipline and guidance like the family they should have had if circumstances were different.
Cookson Hills has over 1,000 acres with family homes, a Christian school, gymnasium, counseling services and a small area for senior citizens to live and work as staff grandparents!
What I found the most interesting about Cookson Hills is their Equine Program. The open house main event was a rodeo and all the participants were children living at Cookson Hills.
Our tour guide mentioned that horses have a sixth sense and are able to sense a person’s behavior and even a person’s emotions. Therefore, a horse’s reaction or response “will always reflect truth back to that human.”
According to the tour guide, a young man came very angry into their Equine Program. As he was cussing and carrying on, the therapist led this young man over to a horse, and the horse was calm and nuzzled up to the boy. The therapist told the boy if the horse had sensed true anger raging within him, the horse would have reacted in the same angry way.
It was at that moment; the boy dropped down and began to cry.
He poured out all the hurt within his heart and the therapist was able to move a bit further to help heal this boy.
Restoring a child back to health is never easy, especially when it deals with so much pain and trauma from neglect and abuse, however, God can and does heal.
Successfully helping children for over 50 years, Cookson Hills depends entirely on private donations only. They receive no funding from the federal or state government.
I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about this awesome place that is helping to build better families by taking care of children who are unable to find the basic love and care from their own biological family.
Sometimes, it is in simple summer get away trips that teach us that hope begins with us. If we can help in some way just one person today, what a better world it would be for all of us.
Thanks for joining me at the open house of Cookson Hills Christian Ministries.
Do you have ideas or plans for a simple, yet meaningful summer get away?