October 2017
From Pastor to Pasture

What if no one showed up?

In August, devastating hurricanes ripped through Texas and parts of Louisiana flooding thousands of homes. Florida and the Caribbean islands are being hit hard as I write this and, right now, we are still in its path. In March 2017, horrendous wildfires burned hundreds of thousands of acres of grazing lands in the panhandle areas of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas destroying barns, hay supplies, several homes and thousands of miles of fences. Tens of thousands of cattle were either killed or had to be euthanized due to injuries sustained in the fires. More importantly, four people lost their lives in these ravaging wildfires that consumed everything in their path as they roared across the plains at an amazing 70 mph!

The next time you drive down the road at 70 mph, just look out the window and visualize a wildfire with flames over 20 feet moving that fast. By the time you see it coming, it is almost too late to leave. Every rancher we met had their own amazing stories to tell of how they experienced God’s miraculous protection firsthand in the midst of the fires, and the outpouring of His love and provision since the fires, expressed through the love of others.

The wildfire event, tragic as it was, provided a great opportunity for the ranching community, agricultural industries and others to rally together as family helping family – and rally they did! Fencing supplies, hay, drinking water, food, clothing, money, sanitation supplies, fencing, trucking, cleanup crews, construction supplies, veterinary supplies, heavy equipment, laborers … you name it, it came and it came in abundance and came quickly!

Full physical recovery will take a while, but, eventually, the facilities, fences and cattle herds will be rebuilt. In the long run, many of the ranchers will be better off as old facilities and fencing are replaced with new, and as pastures benefit from the burn-off. However, this is not a path that any of them would have ever chosen, nor would ever want to go through again – but the blessings they experienced, they will never forget!

By August, five months after the fires, enough fencing and facilities have been rebuilt and enough grazing had begun to be re-established that Cattle for Christ was able to donate and deliver nine top-quality bulls to help some of our fellow ranchers rebuild their herds. Government disaster relief funds were available for cows that were lost, but these funds were not enough to cover the cost of replacement bulls. Since top-quality bulls will affect the entire herd because they influence the genetics and performance of every calf they sire, this is where we thought Cattle for Christ could provide the most strategic physical assistance.

Helping meet the physical needs of these ranchers opened the doors for us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and to pray with them about their individual needs. Sharing the love and the Good News of Jesus Christ did not cost us anything more than we were already donating but it will surely have a more lasting impact! Everyone we visited with was just as open and appreciative of the prayers and spiritual help as they were the physical – in fact, it made the physical assistance even more appreciated because it put everything else in the right perspective.

In addition to the bulls, each of the ranchers and their staff received our solar-powered CFC TRAILBLAZER Players, allowing them to listen to the Word of God, devotional-level Bible studies and hundreds of hours of other encouraging Christian messages while they work with the cattle and rebuild their fences and facilities. The bulls, the hugs, the prayers and the messages on these players provide a great opportunity for them to see the Love of God in action and to hear the Word of God while they work and heal. Our prayers are that they will continue to grow in their knowledge of, and relationship with, the God they have seen in action during and after this disaster! He is still in control and He still has a plan for their lives; plans to bless them and not to harm them, plans to give them hope and a future. Not only hope to make it through this life but the hope of eternal life through what Jesus did for them as individuals when He gave His life on the cross as a ransom for theirs!

The ranchers affected by the wildfires and the tens of thousands more recently affected by the powerful hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida are recovering and will continue to do so. But, where would they be if nobody gave and if help never came? What if no one showed up to encourage them, to give them the tools and supplies to rebuild, and the time and labor to actually help them rebuild? What if there was no government assistance? What if they had no hope for a future where their situation would soon get better? What if no one came to tell them how they can personally know the God they have seen working in their lives and, as a result, inherit eternal lives? Only in America would this type of physical and spiritual support and resources be available on this scale!

In most of the countries where Cattle for Christ is and has been working for the last 16 years, people are still either living in the midst of their own wildfires and hurricanes (wars or whatever tragedies they are facing) or are still in Day 2 or 3 post-event! Though it may have been years since the tragedy happened – few, if any, have shown up to help! No one is there to encourage or to offer hope! Instead of digging holes with bulldozers burying dead cattle, they are still continuing to dig holes by hand to bury their own children, spouses, family members, close friends and neighbors who are still dying as a result of the tragedy.

Their livelihood is lost; their homes are destroyed; their children are being killed or taken as sex slaves; many have even lost their citizenship. Yet they suffer alone, wondering why no one cares and why no one has come to their rescue. They have no hope for a future in this life and, because they have not had the opportunity to hear about the true God who sent His only son Jesus to give them hope and eternal life, they see no hope for a future. Most of these people will die in their suffering, just to endure eternal suffering because they do not know Jesus (John 3:16-18).

We are so grateful Cattle for Christ and so many others were and are able to help our American families and neighbors in these recent times of trauma and crisis. Though we did not know one another before the crisis, we are in sense a family now! Our prayers are that those helped and those helping have not only seen God’s love for them as individuals but they will also see God’s love for everyone; not just here at home but around the world where there is no help and no one to offer hope.

We pray you will be moved to action to help – even though you may never meet the ones you are helping this side of Heaven. Think about this: There are roughly 915,215 beef cattle producers and 53,200 dairy farmers in America alone. Imagine the lives that could be touched and forever changed if just the ranchers, cattlemen and dairymen in America rallied together like we did in these wildfires and hurricanes and gave back to help reach and minister to the needs of others around the world like we all ministered to our own! If every producer donated just one animal (or the proceeds from one animal a year, valued at $1,000), that would generate over $1,000,000,000 each year that would enable Cattle for Christ to minister to the physical AND the spiritual needs of so many others both here at home AND around the world! By working together, we cattle producers could literally change the world!

If row crop farmers joined in and donated the proceeds of just 1 acre of their crops each year, BILLIONS more dollars could be raised annually. There would be no limit as to how many lives could be forever (eternally) changed with the Gospel’s message – while we helped them get back on their feet by helping meet their physical needs. Humanitarian work is invaluable and everyone who helps should be greatly appreciated and applauded. But humanitarian work alone without sharing the love AND the Good News of Jesus Christ is like just giving treatment for the symptoms of cancer when we have a cure in hand!

Cattle for Christ International provides you with an opportunity in ways that are strategic, transparent, accountable, efficient and effective. Everyone can give or do something to help. If we would just think outside the box and ask God to show us what He would have us do and then do it, nothing is impossible – especially if we work together!

Please contact me today at 334-333-4400 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see how you can help Cattle for Christ International take the Gospel and the love of Christ to our neighbors and to all the world. We also invite you to visit our website at www.cattleforchrist.com and follow us on social media.

Blessings.

 

Glenn Crumpler is is president of Cattle for Christ International, Inc. He can be contacted at 334-393-4700 (home), 333-4400 (mobile) or www.CattleforChrist.com.