From out their dining room window, Dan and Christine enjoy and wonderful view of Morning Star Ranch in the foreground and amazing displays of the surrounding Flint Hills of south central Kansas! Along with that, the sights and sounds of a quiet place away from the noise and distractions of the city remind them that the same call by the Lord to “Come away to a quiet place and get some rest” is as important today as it was 2000 years ago… And in that context, Dan and Christine serve at Morning Star Ranch, World Impact’s urban leadership retreat and camp ministry, less than 60 miles north of Wichita, Kansas.
Along with this, as the Psalmist reminds us that the Lord our Shepherd “leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul,” Dan and Christine desire to provide a place where restoration can take place. The Cottonwood River winds its way through Morning Star Ranch offering many opportunities to pause, reflect, and be renewed. At the same time, Dan and Christine recognize that this is also a place where those who come can be evangelized, equipped, and empowered. People will hear the gospel here and be drawn into a relationship with Christ. Those with a heart to serve will be equipped for the work of the ministry. Teaching and fellowship will empower people with boldness and with joy to be sent out to their neighborhoods and communities to advance God’s Kingdom.
When Dan and Christine joined the work of World Impact in 1997, their understanding of God’s heart for the poor, the fatherless, the outcast, those who often are overlooked, neglected, or otherwise ignored, was growing in a variety of ways. For the next several years as they and their family of three daughters served at World Impact’s West Coast camp, the Smith family saw God cultivate a heart of care and compassion as they built relationships from the West Coast cities as people from the city came to the camp for valuable times of renewal and refreshment.
In the past several months, Dan and Christine have been re-assigned to serve at World Impact’s camp in the Midwest, Morning Star Ranch. That same heart for serving the urban poor that had grown over the years continues to seek meaningful and intentional involvement with people from urban church plants who are being reached with the power of the gospel.
Their roles and responsibilities vary widely and each day is a new adventure. At the same time, their desire to come alongside all who come to Morning Star guides all of their activity. This quiet little ranch provides a valuable opportunity to serve and to allow God to transform communities as people spend time with Him and with each other.