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The 411: Youth

Letting God take the lead

Letting God take the lead

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Pascalle Bippert
WCN Correspondent
July 18, 2012
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SUTHERLAND SPRINGS -- The Floresville United Methodist Church youth group usually takes a summer trip to do mission work in Mexico or a fun trip to some other destination. This year, the group stayed closer to home, making it their mission to work at the Osborne Stables Equine Rescue on U.S. 87 just outside Sutherland Springs.

The stables are home to 33 horses and four donkeys. One of the donkeys is an albino, born there when his mother was adopted. The kids named him Christopher Columbus.

The youth group cleaned out all 36 stalls and all the feed buckets. Next they groomed and bathed the horses, only to watch the horses roll in the mud after the rain that came soon after!

Some of the fences were moved and restrung. The teens had to dig up the old posts and dig the new postholes and restring the new barrier.

In addition to the work, the youth experienced valuable life lessons, too.

The kids learned how to catch a horse. The horses were released into a pen and each kid was given a halter. Most of these teenagers had not worked with horses before and had to learn to relax and be patient in their quest to halter the horses.

Working with horses, according to owner Claudette Osborne, kids learn to control their emotions in order to get the horses to calm down, leadership skills, and how they portray themselves to others. Kids who are picked on at school learn how to control their anger and other emotions. Students in alternative school learn important life lessons at the stables and are changed for the better, Claudette said. Osborne Stables gives teens who need community service hours a chance to work off their time.

Youth group leaders Leann Drozd and Johnny and Kristie Crisp were joined by chaperones Cathy Bruett and Shelly Weilbacher for the weeklong “mission trip.” The 17 students ranged from sixth-graders to recent Floresville High School graduates. Drozd, a counselor at the high school, explained that the lessons the teens learned at the horse farm are related to life lessons they need to learn from God. The experience taught them that we all go through some rough patches in life, but if we can give it up to God and refocus, we can get through it and triumph, she said.

The youth slept in tents pitched on-site; showers were limited to two minutes each. Nightly meals were hosted by church families. The teens also enjoyed one day of play at Fiesta Texas. It was a great reward for some very hardworking kids.

The church youth group donated all the fence supplies and feed. They never complained about the hard, dirty, sweaty work. The message of perseverance was an important lesson learned. Osborne is grateful to the kids and their leaders for their hard work.

The Floresville United Methodist Church youth group is open to all teens from sixth through 12th grade, whether they go to church or not.

For more information, visit their Facebook page or their website,

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