Saddleback reached Jim and Karin Myers in the very spot where God placed them years ago—Rancho Capistrano! As permanent residents of the area, the Myers have long invested their spiritual lives at the “Ranch,” worshipping for more than two decades as members of the church that met on the location.
One day in the mid 1990s, Karin stood just outside the doors of Rancho Capistrano’s sprawling Hacienda and she felt God’s presence there. “God impressed my heart that He wanted this property to be a place for people to pray, to stay and be restored in Him. I knew it would one day be a place for pastors to be better equipped for ministry.” Karin remained in awe of the experience. “It was a strong enough whisper of the Lord that I needed to sit down. The Ranch has been a part of my heart since that time, but I didn’t tell anyone.”
Five years later, Jim and Karin became a part of Saddleback’s Empty Arms Ministry, following the loss of their youngest son, Michael. Over the next several years, they felt their connection to Saddleback grow as they attended occasional conferences, and in 2008 they began to visit the Lake Forest campus regularly. In January of 2010, the Myers took Class 101 and officially became Saddleback members. “A few weeks later when Pastor Rick announced the circumstances around the gifting of Rancho Capistrano and described how it would be used, I cried,” Karin said.
“We never knew that we would be needed as volunteers here at Rancho Capistrano,” Karin said after a walk through the property. “We volunteered that first Saturday and planted alongside the other volunteers. They needed help watering the more than 2,000 donated plants, and since we live in San Juan Capistrano, we thought it was something we could do.” Jim and Karin work at the Ranch six days a week, watering a few hours each weekday. On Saturdays, they serve as volunteer team leaders guiding the many workers who come to beautify the property and make repairs.
“We’ve met the nicest people. What we love about Saddleback members is their hearts to serve. Everyone wants the time they spend to be effective, so they come ready to work. When there is a need, say for hoses, we just let the need be known, and volunteers bring them!”
“It feels like Rancho Capistrano is a local mission trip,” Jim and Karin agree. “It’s awesome to work with people who have servant’s hearts,” they said. “This isn’t about us, it’s about ALL of us doing what God has called us to do—to Him be the glory!”
“We plan to trust God and serve here as long as He desires. We are committed to keeping our hand to the plow. God has kept us here all these years, and this is where we belong,” Karin concluded.
To be a part of what God is doing at Rancho Capistrano to learn ways you can serve, contact Janna at Jannar@saddleback.com.