Nearly 30 years ago, a God-sized dream was given to Gary concerning a ranch named Shiloh – a place for people to meet God for quietness and restoration. A place to pause — for God to touch a heart. The realization of this dream began in 2002 with the first chapter — the horses and Returning Glory.
With the purchase of a buckskin horse in 2002, which we purposefully named Shiloh, the journey called Returning Glory began. With all of Shiloh’s woundedness, she has taught us the unique, God created ability for a horse to touch a human heart.
We have owned horses for over 20 years. At one point, thinking that horses and the associated expenses were an extravagance, we were ready to sell everything (horses, tack & trailer) to go forward in whatever kingdom work God wanted for us. After prayerfully considering the decision, we were pleasantly surprised by God’s desire to engage horses to “do” His healing in struggling hearts — one horse, one heart, one Healer.
Gary continues in his tent making skill — geotechnical consulting engineering. Whatever extra time he has available is used to fix all kinds of things on the ranch — buildings, equipment, water lines and fences. However, the passion of the dream is realized when “work” time is used to teach young men ranch skills while also teaching life skills. Hand and Heart — the Cowboy way.
Roxanne grew up with an ever-increasing love for horses, but did not get her first “real” horse until she was in her 30s. In the midst of raising their 3 children and owning and operating a decorating/interior design business out of the home, horses came into her life via two “miracle horses”, KC and Gunner, from a Kansas ranch. Then, with limited time, trail rides with fellow “horsey” friends were undertaken whenever possible. After volunteering with a county organization in equine experiential learning for two years, she felt called to begin a similar program with the faith-based aspect as the foundation. Shutting down her design business, many trips for training, and the legal paperwork — Returning Glory was founded.
Returning Glory is now on Shiloh, a ranch for people to explore their hearts — spending time with horses and God in unique learning situations where life’s challenges are “set up” so answers can be discovered. It is those special times, hurting children and adults explore heart issues and embrace the hurts that ultimately allow Jesus to do His healing and restoration.
In the world’s eyes, we were both “unqualified and untrained” to do the ministry work of Returning Glory, but hearing the call, we apprehensively stepped forward in faith. We began to understand that God does not call the qualified, but qualifies the called. God is faithful — He continues to equip and train us each step of the way — we are always dependent on Him. He desires total dependence on Him — for His “heart work” is His alone.
As Returning Glory moves forward, and as the dream of Shiloh becomes somewhat clearer, God continues to put before us our spiritual mandate to reach out to “One Heart at a Time”. The journey is, at the same time, exhilarating and fearful — similar to riding Shiloh at full gallop. Yet we know the Hand on the reins is steady and sure, and we go forward in His Faith — on His trail — for His Glory.