Ricky Teal: Founder
How did I come to find myself surrounded by these wonderful people? How did Sparrow Ranch grow from a tiny seed in my spirit to the ministry it is today? To answer these questions, you must go on a journey with me.
A close family member of mine moved to a foreign country around 2004 to start a new business venture. I have not seen or talked to him since he moved.
I received a strange phone call around 11 pm one night in January 2015. I answered, heard his
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He followed it until he found my Facebook page, which is set to public. He said, “I watched every video and post that you have shared and I became so moved by it that I had to call you. The problem was I needed a phone card. It was the middle of the night and the only transportation I had at the moment was my scooter!”
He said he knew he had to do it so he drove, I forget how many miles he drove, in the dark that night. On the way he said he heard the enemy in his mind telling him you are crazy, it’s been too long, don’t call him it’s too late, what will he think it’s been 10 years. He just kept driving, he knew in his heart he had something he just had to tell me.
He said, “Ricky I have three things to tell you.
1. I love ya man and I miss you!
2. I am so proud of the things you are doing.
3. You need to give your Testimony.”
So today, I am giving my Testimony 🙂
I got saved when I was 9 years old. It was in some building, not a typical church. I kneeled down and ask Jesus to forgive me of my sins and to come into my heart. I was crying because I knew a change had taking place. I could feel a warmth and Love like nothing I had ever felt before.
I would take my little pocket Bible to school and share my experience with my friends. As I entered my late teenage years I drifted from Christ and became a specialist at the party scene and did lots of things that I should not have.
As I entered my early 20s I found my way back to Jesus and this season of my life is when I really began to grow in the Lord. Learning how to fast, pray and worship under leadership of the late Rusty Clark and his father who was the pastor of the church my family and I attended.
Once again, the snares and trials of this life had lured me back to it’s strong holds. I had become angry with God and because of this I fell back into sinful nature of this world. It would be many years I lived this way, doing wrong, but wanting to do what was right.
I began to pray, “Lord take from me my life when I don’t have the strength to give it away to you.” Note: never pray this prayer unless you mean it and willing to except the outcome.
I found my personal life dying a slow death, God had blessed me with everything a man could want. Beautiful home on the lake, a boat, motor home etc. But no matter how much fun I had or how many different women I would date my life was empty.
One by one my once close friends were disappearing and I stopped attending the social events that were bad for me I suddenly found myself completely alone and lonely. I quickly realized that the prayer I had been praying, God had answered. He had taken from me my life when I didn’t have the strength to give it away to Him.
I began seeking after Him, reading His word, fasting and praying as before and asking forgiveness of the things I had done wrong. I was thankful to be back at the place God had planned for me to be. I still felt very alone and empty. But on a sunny afternoon in late May 2014 I was laying in my hammock I was talking to God pondering my life. For some reason as my eyes were closed, I saw a funeral setting with the little tent in the middle of a grassy green area and all the people huddled around the grave side. Content that I was where I needed to be with Jesus, I played over in my mind what the preacher may say if it was my funeral. I didn’t recognize the preacher but he said I was a good guy who enjoyed the water, boating, taking road trips in the RV, hanging out in his old blue chair and chilling in his hammock and that I loved my family. Then it was over, they buried me and everyone left.
Then I realized that a man I didn’t even know had just given the world my testimony. As soon as that thought entered my mind I heard a voice deep inside of me that I believe was God Himself. He said Ricky you can lay right here in your hammock, sit in your old blue chair, road trip in the RV and ride on your boat until your dying days and I will be with you and I will love you. Or you can get up out of this hammock and go make a difference in a dying world and I will lead you into great and mighty things your eyes have never seen! I will be with you and show you the way. And on the day that you do die and everyone has gathered around the grassy area under the tent no preacher will be necessary
to tell your testimony, for you will have written it in the hearts of the ones who knew you. And that time should be spent in silence so everyone gathered around shall search their own hearts as to the testimony that will be spoken on their appointed day.
Since that day I have been on a mission with a New Passion! I have been sharing a lot of videos and post of my friends that have special needs from the activities at my home and other events. Many of you have private messaged me asking what I was doing etc and how they could help, I hope my Testimony may answer some of these questions and inspire some folks that may be hurting or searching for answers. I will be having lots of special events this spring and summer so hopefully you will be able to join in. Please remember that no matter what we gain or accomplish in this life will never even come close to the greatness of knowing Jesus Christ.
If you are interested in volunteering with us- or have any questions about our ministry please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing you many blessings!
Matt & Stephanie Sampers:
Our special needs story started around 2012. Our middle child was diagnosed with autism just before his third birthday. At the time we didn’t know a thing about Autism Spectrum Disorder let alone any special need diagnosis. The day of the diagnosis our lives became this roller coaster ride of emotions and experiences. The day we toured his school that he would be starting at age 3, it all became real. It would begin the long road of ABA therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and doctor visits. It sparked a passion in my wife and me for those with special needs and being a voice for our son with ASD. Seeing the struggles those with ASD had, I wanted to start a special needs ministry in our church but was so lost as to where to even begin. We didn’t see it right away, but God definitely had a reason for everything.
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