Thanksgiving 2011

A Reason to Give Thanks
by Eddie Staub, Founder & Executive Director This special Thanksgiving edition focuses on the story of one of our housedads, Kesh Coffee, and his family. What makes his story special is that more than a decade before joining the Eagle Ranch staff, Kesh lived at the Ranch as a child.

Coming Home
By Kesh Coffee

Coming

Home
By Kesh Coffee

Today, I kiddingly tell him that my graying and thinning hair is, in large part, due to his mischief during his season here. Before we hired Kesh and his wife, Lacy, as houseparents, Kesh had approached me several times about the possibility. Each time, I encouraged him to continue his successful career with the Coast Guard. Finally, sensing that God was calling him and his wife to this ministry, we hired them as houseparents in the Grace Home last spring. Not only was Kesh’s season as a child at Eagle Ranch instrumental in preparing him for his role here, but it was also important in how it shaped his own family’s journey. Lacy and Kesh have two children who are benefiting from a path that otherwise could have been destructive. The Eagle Ranch mission is not just for the children who live here for a season of their lives, but also for their children and their children’s children. The generational impact is significant. I often say that our job here at the Ranch is to plant good seeds and pray for the harvest. Kesh’s life, and the difference he is making in the lives of others, is a testimony to the harvest yielded by the faithfulness of those involved in this ministry.

As a young boy, I was in charge of my life; Kesh was in the driver’s seat. I was making poor choices and getting involved in the wrong crowd. The only consistency I had as a child was the fact that my life was so inconsistent.

O M ur ission

Eagle Ranch provides a Christ-centered home for boys and girls in crisis and in need of hope and healing. Partnering with their families, we pursue family restoration and reunification. We seek to influence and equip others who share a similar calling to impact children, families and future generations.

�he Pas�

My father was not part of my life, my mother had her own struggles, and I changed schools nine times by the time I was 14. Often my friends envied the control and independence I had in my life, but deep down I longed for a family and the security that they had. I was able to experience this when I arrived at the Love Home in 1995. I was very excited to get to the Ranch. Deep down, I knew something was missing in my life, and I desired the love and the security that comes from a stable home and stable parents. I remember Eddie Staub looking directly at me and asking me if I wanted to come to Eagle Ranch. My response was “yes, I do.”

�he Presen�

Coming back to Eagle Ranch, with my family, as houseparents has been an eye-opening experience. Living in the house as staff compared to when I was a child has been a complete change.

Life as a housedad is humbling and a constant reminder to me of just how much God loves me.

God has used my time at the Ranch, both as a boy and as a housedad, to draw me nearer to Him. At times, it gets difficult being on the front lines, and getting the brunt of anger and hurt. I’m fortunate to be able to draw upon my experience and truly understand their frustration and their pain. I can relate to their living away from home and the work needed to return to their families. Life as a housedad is humbling. During our time at the Ranch, our daughters have understood that God brought us here to teach the boys that Jesus loves them, and our girls often will remind us of that. Eagle Ranch is a special place. You can feel that even as you drive on the campus. God is doing some awesome work in the lives of everyone involved at the Ranch. From the staff, to the children, to the donors and volunteers, dedication and faithfulness are changing lives beyond what we have the pleasure to witness. And for that, my family and I are personally very thankful!

Kesh at Eagle Ranch in 1995. High school sweethearts, Kesh and Lacy, celebrating Kesh’s 18th birthday (above).

�ransitions

The only consistency I had as a child was the fact that my life was so inconsistent.
The Love Home was structured as a Christian environment. My houseparents, John and Ginny Harville, modeled what a Christian family’s home looked like. Life at the Ranch was not easy. The structure was foreign to me – having to make my bed, the chores, and the consequences. It was definitely not easy. I can honestly say that based upon the trouble I got into during my time at the Ranch, I have probably push mowed at least 200 acres of land on the Eagle Ranch grounds!

I left Eagle Ranch at 18 and went into the Coast Guard. When I was 20, I married my high school sweetheart, Lacy, who I started dating while living at the Ranch. Life wasn’t easy. We got caught up in a lifestyle of partying with other young military couples and drifted apart. Divorce seemed like it would be the easiest solution, because in our childhoods, that was what we knew. Fortunately, we both reached a point where we realized Christ was the only one we could turn to. We committed our lives to Him and began to rebuild our relationship. The lessons I learned at Eagle Ranch came back to me. I knew I had to make choices, and I wasn’t bound by my past. No matter how bad life has been, God can take brokenness and make something whole. As our marriage strengthened and our family became whole, I knew I wanted to return to the Ranch one day and give back.

To witness behaviors that stem from hurt, anger and frustrations, with the personal understanding of where these boys are – spiritually and emotionally – has at times broken my heart. To be the voice of hope and to allow Christ to work through me and my family to minister to these guys is amazing and rewarding.

Kesh & Todd at each other’s weddings (above).

“It’s been a privilege and blessing to be a part of Kesh’s life and to watch him

My Biggest Influence
The most influential person during my time at the Ranch was my assistant counselor, Todd Williamson. Todd continues to be a mentor to me. He and his wife, Patty, are the godparents of our children. We often seek advice from them in raising our own girls. We model our family after theirs and the values I learned from Eagle Ranch.

grow in Christ and to become an effective husband, father and housedad.” Todd Williamson
Former Eagle Ranch assistant counselor

T Coffee F y he amil

�he �uture

Eagle Ranch has made my family what it is today, and I know the future of my daughters, Ava (4) and Chloe (2), will be different because of the values that are in place with my children. Spending time together, having meaningful conversations, just being there at times when no words are necessary, and keeping God in the center are important qualities of relationships that I learned from Eagle Ranch.

“Eagle Ranch has repaired the brokenness within my family.” Nicholas, The Grace Home “I’ve learned to talk more. Kesh understands where we’ve been.” Bailey, The Grace Home
Pictured to right (middle) Pictured above and on cover

Children find stability in the small things in life.
Children find stability in the small things in life – eating together at the table, watching a movie, even in the midst of hot summer work – just learning and working side by side . . . these are the things that make a family a family.

“They have helped me learn to express myself more and be my own person.” Jesse, The Grace Home
Pictured to right (bottom)

Lacy’s Perspective
Kesh and I met at Johnson High School during his time at the Ranch a little over 14 years ago. We have been married for nearly 11 years, and God has done so much in our marriage during that time. We were married as soon as I graduated high school with no idea of what marriage really meant, as we both came from broken homes. Thankfully, Kesh learned some good values about marriage and family during his time at Eagle Ranch, and we were able to implement them in our family. Our girls probably benefit the most from what Kesh was taught. There are so many things that they do not have to go through, because we have learned how to operate as a healthy family – emotionally and spiritually. It has been our hearts’ desire to serve at the Ranch, to give back and bless others as our lives have been blessed. Our family has been impacted by Kesh’s time here as a boy and our family is honored to serve together now.

Supporting our Children
This

$1000 $

$500

NON-PROFIT U.S. POSTAGE PERMIT NO. 167 GAINESVILLE, GA

PAID

$100

$50

$25

gift supports Eagle Ranch children.

This gift is made by: Name Address City This gift is: Name City Please send honor/memorial card to: Name Address City State Zip Relationship to honoree/deceased: State In honor of State Zip

In memory of

TH11

Post Office Box 7200 • Chestnut Mountain, GA 30502 770-967-8500 • EagleRanch.org

Board of directors
MICHAEL MOHR, Chairman Managing Director, Wilmington Trust ERIC ANDERSON Consultant, Egon Zehnder International TIM AYRES Partner, Moore, Colson & Co. MIKE CALLAHAN Executive Vice President and CFO, Gypsum Management & Supply DAVID FARMER Vice President, Innovation and Service, Chick-fil-A TOM FULLER Chief Financial Officer, 22squared, Inc. BETH BRAGG HENON Vice President, The DeMoss Group ROY JONES Managing Director, Walton Opportunity Fund ROB KETTERER President, Visionworks Consulting LYNN PRICE Chief Financial Officer, Compliance Services, LLC KIRBY THOMPSON Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, SunTrust Bank TRACY VARDEMAN Vice President of Strategic Planning and Marketing, Northeast Georgia Health System JIM WEBB Chairman of the Board, Triaxia Partners

Board of advisors
VINCE DOOLEY, Emeritus LOYD STRICKLAND, Emeritus COURTNEY AMOS DAN CATHY NICK CHILIVIS ELIZABETH HARRIS EARL LEONARD DAVID RATCLIFFE DAN REEVES KATHARYN AND MARK RICHT MIKE SMITH JOHN WIELAND PHILIP WILHEIT

eagle ranch foundation Board of trustees
DEE ANN TURNER, Chair TIM AYRES JOE HAMILTON DAVE POLSTRA ROBERT WYNNE

executive director
EDWIN J. STAUB

“Watching �esh’s journey is like watching a beautiful sunrise. I’ve had the privilege of witnessing God’s work in action. ”

Bruce Burch

Eagle Ranch Counselor

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful