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 is the Buckboard Store Manager and assists in the horse program. They have six children and have served at Miracle Mountain Ranch since 1988.
Hungerford’s March 2023 Newsletter
We are both sad and excited to inform you of a new ministry opportunity and adventure that we believe the Lord is calling us to. When we first came to the Miracle Mountain Ranch, almost 35 years ago, we came with a two year commitment. The thought of raising and living on support was a little overwhelming, so by making just a two year commitment, we had a way out if things started to get tough. During those first two years, the Lord challenged us with our lack of truly trusting Him for our every need. We then made a commitment to the Lord that we would stay at the Ranch until He clearly called us elsewhere. So as the years have gone by, people have started to ask us if we plan on retiring anytime soon. Our answer has always been, we are here until the Lord moves us elsewhere. The Ranch has been our home, where we raised all our kids, where we have made so many memories and received so many blessings. It has been our ministry, where we have had the opportunities and blessing of being a part of and sharing in so many people’s lives and seeing the work that God has done in the lives of others as well as our own. So as we share what we believe the Lord is leading us to, we do it with both excitement and sadness. Change is often difficult, but if the Lord is in it, it is good.
In early December, Chip was approached by the directors of Children’s Bible Ministries (CBM) about a position of bookkeeper, at their headquarters at Tuckaleechee Retreat Center in Townsend, TN, and wanted to know if we had any interest. Our connection to this ministry is through Jim and Peggy Steele, who were Sandy’s advisors when she was an apprentice at the Ranch back in 84 – 85, they are currently serving on staff with CBM . We told them at that time that we would pray about that possibility and have been doing so ever since. (We have included information about CBM at the end as well as an informational pamphlet)
In mid-February, we went down to visit and to talk to the Directors, meet the other staff, and to see what our positions and ministry opportunities might be. We were excited to see the vision of the ministry and also the various ministry opportunities that we could have there. Our main responsibilities would be in a support role. Chip’s main role would be the Bookkeeper/Business manager, and Sandy’s would possibly be Guest Services/Office/Gift Shop Manager. We would also be involved with working with their Internship program. Currently they have three young adult interns with the hopes of having around six each year. The internship is set up to train the interns for full time Christian ministry, either as CBM missionaries or with another ministry. In early March we were officially offered these positions and have accepted their offer. Our plan is to start at CBM in mid to late August, after training our replacements, wrapping up our duties with summer camp, and seeing our students at the Ranch graduate.
We are still excited about the Ranch ministry and for the growth they have had and are continuing to experience. We believe that the Lord is moving us in this direction. Though CBM camps have been in existence since the thirties, some of the ministries, like the internship, are reasonably new. We feel that we have much to offer as they continue developing new ministry opportunities at their headquarters.
This opportunity has been both exciting, but also a little scary. There have been many concerns, emotions, and questions during this time: who will replace us at the Ranch? How will we fit in this new ministry? How hard will making a change like this be? Will we lose supporters? However, some of these have already been answered and we know that the Lord will take care of all the rest. We are confident that the Lord is leading us to this new ministry and where He leads He will also provide what is needed.
CBM is a missions support ministry, which means we will continue being on missions support. CBM requires their staff to have at least 75 percent of their support before they start. We are so thankful for all of you who have faithfully supported us over the years at MMR, and are asking if you would prayerfully consider continuing to support us in this new ministry. We certainly will understand if you are unable to continue your support. We will be sending out further information in June on how you can do this. If possible, please let us know if you will be continuing your support or if you would like to start supporting us, that way we can know where we are in this process. You can email us at [email protected]. Most of all, we covet your prayers that we will be effective and obedient servants of Christ.
Please pray for:
- A smooth transition for the Ranch as they seek people to fill the positions we will be leaving vacant.
- Transition for us as we document, in detail, and train others in what we do.
- Change over contact info, passwords and logins (that tended to be personal) and a myriad of other things that have been connected to us.
- Sort through and cull 35 years of “stuff”, what to take, what to get rid of, what to pass on?
- Ending strong to the last day, giving as if we were never leaving
We are so grateful for all of you and for the Lord’s faithfulness over all these years at the Ranch. Yet the story isn’t over yet and we look forward to the chapters yet to come!
Chip & Sandy
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