God redeems our past and allows us to see a life – a future – that can be different than the life we have experienced so far. For Dylan, his experience at Eagle Ranch led him to faith in Christ and learning who he truly is because of Christ.
“Dylan struggled with a lot of things. Dishonesty, disrespect, taking responsibility, even confidence were big issues,” said Veronica, thinking back. “We got to a point where we needed more help than I was able to give.”
When Dylan first came to Eagle Ranch, he was numb and rarely expressed anything he was feeling. Now, Dylan laughs. He dances. His heart has come to life as he learned to look back on the difficult things that happened in his past. For Dylan, God played a major impact in his time here.
“I thought my past experiences meant that’s who I am,” said Dylan. “Through my time here I’ve learned that’s not who I am. I am who I choose to be and will go in the direction that God takes me. I learned to give God control.”
Dylan had many opportunities at Eagle Ranch to experience growth in his spiritual life – from daily devotions at school, church on Sundays and devotions and small group in the homes. But one night, alone in his room, Dylan made the decision to follow Christ.
“At first I thought I could probably do this on my own. Getting baptized is no big deal – that’s what I thought when I first got here,” said Dylan. “As I grew, it was like something clicked. Alone one night in my room I got on my knees and prayed. After that, the devotions at the school started to speak to me. I believe in Jesus, and I believe that He can help me. And so far, He has.”
After accepting Christ, Dylan went on to bravely share his testimony at Eagle Ranch School, standing in front of all his classmates and telling his story. To take an even bigger step, Dylan made the decision to get baptized.
While Christ played a major role in Dylan’s success, for Veronica, it was the structure of Eagle Ranch and the tools she was given that made the biggest difference.
“I am so proud of Dylan. Over the years I have watched him come out of his shell, trust people, and love people. I’ve watched him start to find himself. Eagle Ranch has helped us become closer, more connected, and more in tune with each other. Structure has been the game changer for everything,” said Veronica.
For both Dylan and Veronica, life is better. Communication at home has improved, and accountability has been established to help Dylan make wise choices. Most of all, Dylan now has his faith in Christ to help him as he moves back home.
“Eagle Ranch has impacted me spiritually, physically, and also emotionally. It’s been very positive,” said Dylan. “Before I came here, I wasn’t doing what I was told, lying, and I didn’t share my feelings at all. Now I am able to express my feelings and talk about them. Spiritually, I have come to know God more. I feel like I’m ready and I feel like I won’t fall back into our old patterns.”