No. 772



There is a faith-based ministry starting here in our community that will have a lasting impact on countless lives for decades, even centuries, to come. It’s called The Renewal Ranch, and the basic mission is to restore and renew broken lives that have been all but destroyed by chemical addiction.
When you look around, there are few families in our nation who have not been impacted to one degree or another by addiction to drugs and alcohol. You know them and I know them and, to be sure, they all need help to escape the vicious cycle they have fallen into, often without hope. Now, thanks to many people in our community who care, many of them will have hope, not only for now but also for eternity.
One thing I have noted from the people involved who give their money and time is that they have a compelling reason to make a difference, because their lives or the lives of immediate family members have been impacted in a negative way. While I have extended family members who have been addicted, I am thankful that none of my immediate family has had to wrestle with the demons that completely take over the lives of millions of people in our nation. One thing I have observed is that most of the secular treatment programs do not work for a number of reasons.
First, the cost is beyond most addicted people’s ability to pay and also the fact they can’t stay in these programs long enough to not only break the cycle of addiction, but also to get a job and re-enter society.
Several years ago a lady came to me and asked if I would drive her husband to a state alcohol treatment program south of Little Rock. She needed help, so I did my best to help her. Her husband stayed for several weeks and then came back home. Sadly, in a few short weeks he was right back where he was before he entered the program. The thing that will set The Renewal Ranch program apart from these type programs is that they are faith based, and those who are accepted can stay long enough, with God’s help, to win the battle.
They will also get a job and have a gainful means of employment to provide for their needs. However, the thing that really sets this program apart is that it is based on change that comes into an addicted person’s life, when they come to know and serve the Lord. In II Corinthians 5:17 it says, “If any man be in Christ, he has become a new creature, behold all things have become new and old things have passed away.” You may doubt the validity of what I am saying, but I have seen it many times with my own eyes. You may rest assured that family members are glad to have addicted fathers, husbands and sons, back renewed and restored.
Thus, The Renewal Ranch, which is located on 94 acres of land in Perry County, just a few miles west of Conway. The plan is to have these men, six to begin with, be active in the community by providing community service, growing much of their own food and spending some of each day having devotional time and Bible study. This program, which has worked in other communities, is receiving tremendous help and support for local churches. It should be noted that Home Depot Foundation gave The Renewal Ranch a $20,000 gift to help with the building of the first bunkhouse.
James Loy, who is the director along with his wife Laura, is a former cocaine addict. He found help in a similar program and has a deep desire to give back. For more information, or to contribute to The Renewal Ranch, visit their web site at
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)