A Day in the Life at Miracle Farm
Before the sun rises and the morning dew appears, you hear the shuffle of worn boots headed toward the barn. As you look around the corner, you see the teenage boys at Miracle Farm in the stalls, each caring for his own horse. Feeding and watering them, cleaning the stalls, and getting ready for the day. Mornings are a special part of the routine here. Each boy who comes to Miracle Farm is assigned a horse, which he is personally responsible for during his time in the program. As the boy develops a relationship with his horse and gets to know the horse’s temperament and preferences, he also learns how to properly care for the horse and how to ride and rope. This experience lays the foundation for personal growth and a new level of responsibility that many of the boys have never known.
After finishing their work in the barn, the boys head back to their respective cottages where they shower, get cleaned up, and prepare for the day. They gather together with their house parents for a morning devotional and encouragement from the Word of God before heading out the door.
Then it’s on to the dining hall, where the large group gathers on the steps for biblical teaching from a one of the Miracle Farm house dads. It’s so important for these boys to be under the leadership of men who love Jesus and model a healthy, Christian lifestyle for them. For many of the boys, these men are the only father figures they’ve ever known. “My house dad loves us and wants to help us grow. It’s really great to have someone who cares for me like that,” says Eli. Through their house dads, the boys learn what the Word says about how they should live their lives and serve others. Together, they pray and then feast on breakfast.
After breakfast, it’s time for school. The boys walk over to two large, shared classrooms on campus where their teacher. Mrs. Caty, greets them with a warm smile. Premier High School is our on-campus charter school where each boy is able to learn at his own pace. The teacher works with them all one-on-one to set educational goals and create a plan for achieving those goals. Many of the boys who were behind in their studies before coming to Miracle Farm are able to catch up to their peers – and some have even been able to graduate early! “It’s a different dynamic than what I was used to and I feel like I’m set up to succeed in my classes,” shares Eli. “I’ve actually been able to catch up to everyone else my age.”
After studying hard all morning, the boys have usually worked up quite an appetite, so it’s back to the dining hall for lunch. Here, they’re joined by some of their house parents and the Miracle Farm staff around large tables where they share stories and laughs, as well as Ms. Pat’s amazing chocolate cake.
Afternoons can look very different each day at Miracle Farm. This varies according to the time of year, variations in the weather, as well as the needs around campus. Sometimes it’s an afternoon of mowing or baling hay in the fields. Other times, it’s riding horses and practicing roping in the arena. Some days, it’s practical learning in the woodworking or welding shops to further develop their skills. “I had opportunities to learn this stuff before coming to Miracle Farm, but I just didn’t have the drive to want to do it,” says Waylon. “But the hands-on experience here has changed it all for me.”
At dinnertime, each of the boys heads to his house to clean up for dinner with his house parents and the other boys who live there with him. “This feels like coming home to a real home with a real family,” shares Waylon. “It’s my favorite place to be.” They all sit around the table and share a delicious, home-cooked meal and talk about the day. After second helpings of everything, the boys help their house parents clear the table, do dishes, and other basic chores around the house.
After dinner is cleaned up and chores are done, everyone is able to relax for a spell before bedtime. For some, they enjoy watching a television show or having a movie night with everyone in the house. For others, they love to pull out the board games and enjoy a competitive game of Scrabble. And, of course, you’ll usually find a boy playing a video game somewhere in the house during this time, too. Regardless, everyone winds down and enjoys some relaxing time in his own way.
As the sun begins to set and the day is done, the boys all head to bed early to so that they can get a full night’s rest before the next day begins. Through the relationships being built and the personal growth that happens in the structure of Miracle Farm’s programs, each boy is able to sleep well knowing he is deeply loved by his heavenly Father and cared for by a host of others. It is this reassurance that has the potential to alter the trajectory of the boy’s life forever, pointing him toward a sense of security, acceptance, and significance that comes from an identity in Christ.