Chip and Sandy Hungerford
Chip and Sandy Hungerford came on staff in 1988. Chip serves as the Business Manager and Guest Service Director overseeing Finances, Guest Registration, and Housing. Sandy teaches Vaulting and is the camp store manager. They have six children of which Sandy is currently homeschooling two. Sandy is a graduate of School of Discipleship (1986).
News from the Hungerfords
Dear friends and family,
We hope you have been able to enjoy this fall as much as we have. The leaves here in Northwestern PA, were at their peak colors this past weekend during our Fall Harvest Party – simple gorgeous. The Harvest Party, for those who don’t know, is like an open house with trail rides, apple cider press, carnival games, hay rides, fry bread and many outdoor games and activities. It was a beautiful day to be outside enjoying the crisp air, sunshine, and the fall colors. Earlier this fall, we sponsored a Horse Lover’s, a Ladies Retreat, a Homeschool day, and two Family Camps. We also hosted a few other groups as well. It is a blessing to be in an area with hardly any cases of COVID, and to have the ability to provide a safe environment for people to attend these events. Even in the mist of COVID, the Lord has blessed us, not only with full retreats, but with attendees hungry to hear the Word of God.
COVID has had a significant effect on our year, as with everyone. In February we sent our students home for an early spring break that lasted six weeks. We brought them back cautiously in May, implementing the required protocols required by the state of PA. We also cancelled all of our spring retreats. During that time, we still kept as busy as ever and were able to catch up on many projects around the Ranch such as; installing new carpet in the dining hall; remodeling our old nurse’s station (paint, carpet, new cabinets, etc.); installing the carpet in the stair tower of the Brokenstraw (which is our bathhouse, female student housing, and class room); and remodeling a staff housing unit, turning it into a duplex.
After much prayer and endless hours of discussion amongst staff and board members, with heavy hearts, we decided that overnight camps would not be possible. So, if we couldn’t do overnight camps, what could we do? Would we be able to draw enough local kids to do day camps? If so, for how many weeks? Well, we decided to go with day camps, and based on our state’s guidelines, we would run 3 independent groups, of 25 kids each week, for 4 weeks and a 3 day camp for kids 6-9. To our amazement, we filled every week! Fortunately, God’s ways are not our ways, as, what we thought might be a loss in ministry, turned out to be a blessing. With the day camps, we were able to connect with a whole new segment of kids who might never have attended an overnight camp. We also had lots of returning kids who were able to adapt to the new format. These kids either lived locally, or their parents became very creative in figuring out how to get their kids here. All in all, it was a very healthy and successful summer!
In the middle of August, our 2019-2020 School of Discipleship students graduated. A few of the students stayed on for a second year, but most of them have gone on to further schooling, or have jumped back into the workforce. Please be in prayer for them as they now apply all the things they learned over their last one or two years here at MMR.
This September, the Ranch’s housekeeper, who worked for Chip and was our co-advisor with our students, left the Ranch and will be married October 31st. We miss her very much!
Another blessing which came out of COVID, is that Sandy was able to spend several months with her father before he passed into Glory. With the extra long break for School of Discipleship this spring, she was able to spend that time in Wisconsin taking care of her Dad. She then returned to PA to oversee the camp store and help at the barn for summer camp. Then this fall, she was able to once again return to Wisconsin for two weeks before he died. All of our children were able to say goodbye as well, either through video chat, or by way of a last minute whirlwind trip to Wisconsin. Sandy and Kyle had the privilege of being with her dad during his final minutes here on earth. He was at total peace, knowing he was soon to see his Savior face to face.
We are one month into our new school year. We have 3 second years, and 11 first year students. Our enrollment is low this year, possible due to Covid-19, but we are excited regardless. Fewer students means more one on one involvement. Though our numbers are low, we do have two international students this year, one from Chili and one from Germany, the rest of the students range from Texas, Maine and Arkansas, to Pennsylvania and our surrounding states. Our student, Hunter, who we are mentoring this year, is from Pennsylvania. She was 3 years into college when she decided to take a year off to strengthen her relationship with the Lord. Already, God has been challenging her in several different areas of her life. Darci Hatley, who was one of our students 20 years ago, is co-advising with us this year.
We look forward to the next few months. With our retreat program coming to a close, we can concentrate fully on our students. We are also very grateful that we, as well as the rest of the staff and students, have remained healthy!
A quick update on our family: all have been healthy and COVID-free. Michelle is still teaching Preschool, this year with four year olds. Tim, Sam, and Kyle are enjoying living in Montana. We were able to have Sam and the kids with us for several weeks when she came home due to her grandma’s failing health, and then again for a wedding. Chris and Sarah are still in Florida, both are working from home. Matthew is enjoying his position here at the Ranch as a part of our barn/horse staff. Shawn was probably the most affected by COVID. He was let go from his temp job and several of the weddings he was scheduled to video were postponed or happened without a videographer. He has however, been keeping busy helping out around the Ranch.
Due to a shortened summer camp schedule, we were able to squeeze in a quick trip to Montana.
Thanks for your love and support,
Chip and Sandy