The Sky Ranch Board of Directors was to meet on March 18, at which time they would put together the necessary funds, not only to solve the immediate crisis, but to help prevent this from happening again. The Board members realized solving the problem was essential for them as they had joint and several liability for bank loans totaling $500,000. If the ranch declared bankruptcy, the loans would be “called.”
Every member of the Board of Directors was present for the meeting. I was asked a few questions, and then the Board members entered into a very intense, very personal discussion. After two hours with no progress, I said to the Board that the office of the CEO of an international bakery had called to set up an appointment for me to meet with him. The meeting was in 30 minutes. Nobody on the Sky Ranch Board knew the man. As I stood to leave I said: “Sky Ranch is either God’s ministry or our ministry. If it is not the Lord’s, we might just as well find out now.”
When I arrived, I was taken to the CEO’s office by his administrative assistant. He invited me to take a seat, and asked me to tell him about Sky Ranch. He then asked, “How can I help?” Suddenly I felt like Nehemiah before the King and quickly prayed “Help!” I had not expected the question, but responded that perhaps he could help in three ways. I explained that Sky Ranch needed $30,000, and told him why. He picked up his telephone, dialed a number, and said, “Please draw up a check payable to Sky Ranch for $30,000 and bring it to my office. Thanks.” Without a smile the CEO asked me, “How else can I help?” I said I thought a company this big might have things they are not using that would be a great help to Sky Ranch. If there was, I would find a truck to pick them up. The CEO dialed a number, “In a few minutes I will send to you Chuck Gieser, Director of Sky Ranch. Please take him through these specific warehouses. Let’s make available to Sky Ranch anything we will not use in the next six months. Have what is chosen delivered to Sky Ranch.” He then asked, “Chuck, how else can I help?” I asked if he could become a member of the Sky Ranch Board of Directors, and gave a specific reason which had nothing to do with money or things. He responded with his first smile: “Chuck, I would like to, but my time simply does not permit it.”
I stood up to thank him and he asked “What is your hurry? Please sit down.” He went on to say, “Chuck, another cabin would provide additional income to Sky Ranch. What does a cabin cost?” I told him they cost about $25,000 and explained the cabins are duplexes with central air conditioning and heat so they could be used by campers in the summer, retreat groups at other times. Each side was fully furnished for twelve people. He responded with, “Build one, and send me the bill.”
In fifteen minutes I was out of the CEO’s office with a check for $30,000, his promise to pay for the building of another cabin, and being taken to four warehouses where I identified a tractor trailer load of equipment that would be put to immediate use at the ranch including an ice maker, office desks, and huge steel bins the bakery used for the raising of dough, great for storing horse feed!
The Board meeting provided no solution to the financial crisis, but God did. Sky Ranch was God’s ministry.
When we live In Partnership With God, let us remember:
- “How great are God’s riches! How deep are his wisdom and knowledge! Who can explain his decisions? Who can understand his ways?” — Romans 11:33
- “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” — Ephesians 3:20-21