Prayer & Patience
A ndy and Rita Kay Isaacs don’t consider t hemselves visionaries, just loyal stewards of God and his grace. The couple, who have been married 26 years, began their lives together in the Dallas area after survivng divorces and raising Rita’s four children. Through prayers and following the directions of their faith they have ended up in Milam County.
The Isaacs have opened the gate to their 166-acre Morning Star Ranch, along with their hearts to youth from all over Central Texas and welcomed them to their home located off of County Road 328 southwest of Milano. Recently, Andy was elected Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace in Milam County.
‘HE HASN’T RANG MY PHONE’–The ranch is their main focus of ministry and it came about it such an anointed way.
“I was astounded at how God called these missionaries to work,” she said. “I asked Andy if he ever felt like God was calling him into missionary work.”
“In his Andy way he told me ‘He hasn’t rang my phone yet’,” Rita said.
Around a year later, Andy got involved in a bible study at the church on the book of Revelations. God rang his phone that time.
“He turned over in the bed one night and said ‘we are suppose to be in the country and be responsible to feed a large amount of people’,” Rita said.
“We didn’t know if we were suppose to feed their mouths or their souls,” Rita said. It ended up being both.
GAV E IT A LL UP–The Isaacs both had careers in the Dallas suburbs, Rita a Beauty Control consultant for several years and Andy at Chaparral Steel Midlothian. The couple sold their home about 16 years ago, paid off all their debt and even gave away their furniture. They moved to Lampasas to work at a ranch/camp there for a year and then made the move to Milam County.
When they came to Milano they had $10,000 to their name, period.
The couple lived in Chriesman community while working out some legal snags on the paperwork with purchasing the land. They had seen the land three years earlier, but could not afford it, Rita said.
The 14th anniversary of the day the Isaacs’ unlocked the gate to Morning Star Ranch was this past Dec. 20. With what started out as 166-acres, a pole barn, a hog trap and two faithful hearts, has evolved into a place for horse lovers, leadership programs, weekend retreats and a place where God’s love shines bright.
CAMPER OPPORTUNITIES– During the spring and summer months, the camp is open to more than 100 teens, seventh grade and up, with programs such as Ranch Ranger, STAR Camp and Equestrian Camp coming through the ranch gates.
The Ranch Ranger program was created as a faith-based leadership training program that a lucky 25 kids get to participate in during their spring break from school. It is for grades seventh and up. STAR program was created to provide financially challenged teens the opportunity to attend a unique camp experience to develop confidence and leadership skills and is for students going into the seventh or eighth grades.
The camp is of fered to 75 students and runs Wednesday through Saturday three weeks each summer.
The kids who attend this camp learn work ethic and get to learn different riding techniques and such with horses. Most of the time it is the camper’s first experience with horses and first time away from home.
“Our goal is to make a difference. We try to give young people insight as to being an adult and being successful,” Andy said. “That they can overcome their circumstances and be successful.”
Attendees are sponsored through scholarships from local church, civic and community organizations throughout the area.
“ We’ve had an incredible response from the community,” Rita said.
An equestrian camp is held in July and the Isaacs recruit B.F. Yates to help with instruction. Yates is a member of the American Quarterhorse Association’s Hall of Fame and been instrumental in the success of Texas A& M University’s equestrian team.
ACROSS STATE LINES– Campers are mostly from Texas, but groups have come from as far away as Michigan, Virginia and Arkansas who enjoy the ranch, but also volunteer to help fix up the place.
The ministry is not funded by any major church but God has blessed them when needed.
“I used to not know why God brought us to the country,” Rita said. But after the Bible studies and prayer time during the camps, the Isaacs are reminded at what type of foundation they are helping lay in those children’s lives.
From help in getting water lines to the property to moving a house given to the ranch for renovation, God has always provided.
“Many times I’ve thought there is no way we will be able to do this, then there is God,” Rita said. “When you are out there and don’t see how this is humanly possible, then there God is again.”
“Praise God that all of this has worked out,” she added.
GOD’S PLAN–The couple, who attend Grace Church in Cameron, know that this is where God wants them and he will use them in whatever direction he intends for their ministry to go.
However, they both know that God wants them to teach his love.
“We hope the kids learn that God loves them unconditionally and has a plan for each of them,” Andy said. “They just have to be patient and listen.”
For more information on the ranch, contact the Isaacs at 512- 455-2552 or at msrministries.org.
“ I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you.”
~Leviticus 26:9, NIV