At the end of each Crossroads weekend, everyone has a story to tell. They all have different and unique perspectives on how God has revealed Himself during their time at the ranch. Dustin Burnett, who has been an instrumental part of this ministry from the beginning vision, is an experienced guide. Here is his story from the weekend:
Wow! What a weekend at the Panadero Ranch! As I reflect on the events of the weekend, it is clear to see how God was at work all around us. From the moment we stepped foot on the ranch to the last burning log of the Saturday night campfire, each of the young men (and volunteers) had an experience that was special and impactful on their lives. There was never a complaint about the weather and there were certainly no complaints about the food! (Great job Lindy and crew!!) Whether it was spending time on the shooting range, eating a meal together, or sitting in the deer blind for hours, looking back it was time well spent investing in the lives of these four young men. Being a volunteer guide for the Crossroads at Panadero Ranch ministry is special in its own right. To have the opportunity to share the gospel with young men and/or model to them what it means to be a “godly man” is an honor and a privilege.
Keeping up with tradition, I guided my young hunter on a “marathon hunt” that took up a good deal of our Saturday. We waited patiently for the stubborn sheep as they first appeared about 400 yards from us on the hill side slightly camouflaged and hidden by the mix of oaks and cedar trees. The rain was gently coming down and the wind blowing slightly out of the north. Our first choice was to stay put, stay dry, and let them come to us. After waiting close to an hour we realized that we weren’t going to be able to harvest an animal without getting out of the comfort of the blind. We got within 80 yards of the ram before he bolted up the side of the hill and out of sight. There was not much sign for us to track but regardless we begin our pursuit of the animal. We found the small herd of sheep, but the ram we were focused on was not with them. Two cold, wet hours later we spotted the Corsican ram we had been relentlessly pursuing and were able to get my hunter set up for a shot of about 60 yards. It was a great shot and he was able to harvest his first animal and add to his awesome weekend experience.
This hunting adventure was a great opportunity to share with the boys (and remind all of us) that God pursues us in the same way. Even when we are running away from God, He still desires to have a love relationship with us and is willing to go to great lengths to bring us back. All we can ever need comes from God’s unending love. It is with that love that He is always pursuing us to have a relationship with Him – a relationship that is full of grace and forgiveness.
During their time on the ranch, each of the boys were able to harvest an animal….but more importantly each of them left the ranch having experienced God’s love in action in many different ways.