Last year at the end of November, a few friends from church and I went on an outreach weekend called “The Urban Plunge.” We toured several different ministries in the Omaha area. While on the tour, we were blessed to meet an amazing couple wh are owners of the Soby Ranch.
Soby Ranch is a ministry that offers animal therapy to agencies in the Omaha area. They bring their animals to nursing homes and to children who need help speaking to authorities about abusive situations they’ve been through.
Joy Soby and her husband John greeted our group with welcome arms and smiles (even though the weather was rather chilly). Little did Joy and her husband know, but my daughter Paige had lost a friend that very week. In fact, we had come directly from the funeral to their ranch. Right away, their very large dog Lou greeted us. Lou leaned up against Paige and I a lot that night; it seemed almost like he knew we were hurting. He followed us around and became a friend to us.
Another group from Iowa was also participating with us that weekend. About 15 teenagers joined us as we travelled from place to place. While at the ranch, I was drawn to one of the teens who seemed to pull herself away from her group. I went and chatted with her. As we were talking, she picked up a chicken and turned it upside down to make it play “dead.” I had never seen such a sight in my whole life! (I’m from Massachusetts and have never been on a farm). “You can pick up a chicken?” I asked. “Sure you can, wanna hold it?” Well, I am usually up for anything, and holding a chicken was something I would have never imagined! As she put the rooster in my arms, I just sat there in shock. All I could do for several minutes after was walk around and tell everyone, “I’m holding a chicken. I AM HOLDING A CHICKEN!” As I stood there in shock, something peculiar happened. A baby cow started sucking on my fingers. Again, shock was the descriptive word for that moment.
During our time there, we were able to pet many animals including a horse, a llama, a donkey, rabbits, cats and many more! We helped feed them and helped with other chores around the ranch.
The Soby Ranch ministry provides so much love and support to our community; sadly, not many people have even heard of them. Each year, they also tour the city with a live Nativity Scene. John and Joy have an amazing testimony to share. I hope and pray you are able to visit them someday.
I love chickens!!