Changing the way America saves at-risk youth

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Ken Ortman and a boy walking down a path

a wide picture of the ranch in the spring

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complimentary remark by one-time attender at open house

watch David's story on youtube
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When one thinks of a Boys Ranch, they might think of a place where boys are locked up or kept in a room and controled by medications. This Christian-based organization believes in allowing boys a second chance in a structured farm family type of environment. Our belief is that Jesus always forgives, no matter what you have done in the past.

LUC Boys Ranch is located in the heart of the Ozark Mountains in Southwest Missouri. We are changing the lives of at-risk boys in our Christian residential treatment program. Through the use of Biblical counseling and applying Christian principles in their lives, we are re-building broken homes and family relationships.

Our Mission is to not only change a young man's life, but impact him while he is here by teaching him the values of hard work, respectfulness, responsibility, honesty, and Christian values through our actions as staff members. We teach by being a loving example and modeling how the Bible can change anyone's life if we obey the Lord's commandments and do the things he has taught us to do. Doing the right thing is not always easy, but our Father in Heaven helps guide us through his Word, and we can find hope and love through Him if we do what he asks us to do.

Boys are able to find purpose and develop their talents by acquiring various trade skills, excelling in education, and feeling a part of the LUC family. Please join with us in helping these boys find lasting changes in their lives by becoming a donor, volunteer, or staff member. Please browse our web site for more detailed information on how we can work together to accomplish many goals! Come join us for a meal, call and schedule your appointment 417-779-5374. See for yourself!

Letter dated October 31, 2021
One of the life principles we teach the boys is to treat others the way you want to be treated. One of our boys twisted that principle and continually argued that he should treat others the way they treat him because that must be how they want to be treated. He recently came into my office and shared with me that he had made a major discovery when he treats others better, they tend to treat him better. Sometimes life principles don't become meaningful until you experience them first-hand working in your own life.

We had the opportunity to attend the Route 66 Tour with Franklin Graham in Springfield. On the way to the service, the boys enjoyed eating at a pizza buffet and seeing who could create the tallest ice cream cone without it falling over. We joined over 9,000 people at the service and were reminded that even though the world has changed a lot, God's love for each person is still the same. We were encouraged to take a stand for what is right and not worry about what others think. One of the boys accepted that challenge and recommitted his life to Christ. The night ended with the Newsboys singing one of the boys' favorite songs, "God's Not Dead." It was a great time celebrating the awesome God we serve.

One of our recent graduates called to check in and see how things were going at LUC. He began to share about his current circumstances, and it was good to hear that he was doing well. As he continued to talk, he admitted that he was struggling spiritually and was searching for answers. We talked some more and I attempted to answer his questions. At the end of the conversation, I asked him why he called me to ask his questions. He commented that while he may not have enjoyed all the experiences of the Ranch life, he knew the Ranch was a place where he could find spiritual truth and knew people cared about him. Our prayer is that every boy at LUC will discover spiritual truth in a genuine, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

The calls from people in our community needing our boys' help keep flooding in. We already are scheduling into December and January, and regrettably we have to turn down many requests to rake leaves, build rock retaining walls, clear brush, help people move, etc. While doing some weed eating and yard cleaning, the guys came across a wild bush with small berries. They quickly learned that if the berries hit an object (like a body), the berry would explode in a 4" circle of purple powder. It was pretty obvious who had been hit the most, or who did the poorest job cleaning up for dinner.

At the end of each month, to practice their public speaking skills, our guys give a report on what they learned in the trade they were in that month. It could be cooking, welding, mechanics, horticulture, etc. Housekeeping vo-tech is least appreciated, so Brody decided to do some research to make his report more interesting. He found out that women spend twice as much time cleaning as men do. That may account for the reason why men aren't quite as good at cleaning as women. He also learned that the towel is the dirtiest place in the bathroom. I've decided to "shake dry" my hands now, but I get some strange looks.

A former staff sent us a letter to congratulate us on our forthcoming 39th anniversary of LUC's existence. He wrote, "Wow, what amazing things the Lord has done at LUC over these many years. It is quite incomprehensible from living in the old well house to the wonderful facilities there now. After impacting hundreds of lives, you've been blessed to witness countless miracles in the lives of your boys, staff, and in the community." None of that would have been possible without your help. Thank you for sharing in God's work here. We are indebted to you for your kindness to us. We're praying for God's richest blessing on you each day.

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