How we care for our ministry children at Rancho Ebenezer
The Mentor Parent model in place at Rancho Ebenezer has been a successful way of caring for the children that God brings here. The success of this model rests on the ability of the Mentor Parents and the in-home counselors to work well as a team. A heart for Christ has been the common thread that allows these parenting teams to show some of the amazing results WGO has seen in the children over the years. Each family group consists of two children’s homes that can contain up to 8-10 children in each home.
Allen Danforth, founder of WGO, realized that in order for at-risk children to grow in their knowledge of healthy family relationships, they needed to experience living in Christ-centered families with the foundation of Jesus’ teaching and consistent love. Since the children at Rancho Ebenezer are not able to live with their biological families where knowledge of healthy family relationships could be learned, we use a model that teaches the important values that the children will one day take into their own future families.
At the Ranch, everyone mentors the children. Not only the Mentor Parents and counselors, but teachers and other staff, also share the responsibility of showing the love and forgiveness of Christ. Children who have been abandoned or abused have issues that can prevent them from easily accepting love and trust. Mentor Parents, under the guidance of social workers and psychologists, can help bring down those “walls” that have been built for survival, while teaching the children to trust in the Lord and to know that He will never abandon them.
The role of the mentor family is to show how members of a family take care of each other. Through special times like a birthday celebration or family outing or simply a meal together, the children learn, sometimes for the first time, that they have an important place in the family. They have gifts to share and responsibilities to each other and the unity of the family.