We have a new addition to Hope Remains Ministry… Two days before Christmas Tucker arrived on the farm. Below is a story written by our dear friend Andrea Mason, sharing the faithfulness and tender mercies of God… 

It was early May and I decided on a whim to try and spend the day JUST with my dad. Since my husband and I lived about an hour away from my family at that time, it was a rarity to be able to make surprise visits whenever we could! My pops & I spent the morning at the local cafe, the Bluebird (his FAVORITE restaurant) and spent the afternoon going for a ride on his brand new motorcycle. During our ride, we decided to stop and visit my big brother Brent while he worked in the fields. I never would have thought that this visit would be my last visit with my dear brother.

While we visited and rode around in the tractor together, I was reminded that I had never met Brent’s new horse, Tucker. It wasn’t a coincidence that where Brent was working was right down the road from where Tucker was boarded. SO, of course, we borrowed my dad’s bike and rode down to the farm where Tucker was. Spending time with Tucker & Brent was such a beautiful moment that left a mark on my memory. Brent was SO proud of his horse who had brought such joy to his life. I think, too, that Brent knew that Tucker represented more than just a horse and ‘pet’ – Tucker represented freedom, strength, unconditional love, adventure and healing to his heart. We spent some time talking with the family that lived on the farm and then headed back to the field where he could get more work done. We hugged goodbye & I made sure Brent knew how much I LOVED Tucker and how proud of him I was.

Two months later, one morning in July, my families world was flipped upside down as we got the news that Brent had been in a fatal motor vehicle accident. With so many emotions going on, my parents were forced to make many decisions regarding Brent and his property, vehicles and such- including the decision of what to do with Tucker. That November, my parents decided that selling Tucker was the only thing we could do at that time. Hearing the news, I was absolutely devastated and felt, yet again another sense of loss. There was something about Tucker that was different – an intimate connection that Brent had that represented more than just a horse, but a way that HE also connected with Brent. My brother was touched by the Father’s love through Tucker. Where relationships with friends and family had been hurtful many times to him in the past, this relationship with Tucker represented acceptance & love.

This past July, the Lord opened the door to reconnect with Kirk & Kathy Spence by placing Kirk & I at the same gas station at the same time – small world? I don’t think so! Later that week Kathy & I were able to meet over coffee and were both so refreshed and thankful that God was so KIND and purposeful in placing us in each others lives yet again. During our time together, Kathy & I caught up on life – it had been six years since we had seen each other and there was much to discuss, including Brent. During this time I had shared with her my sadness of course over the death of my brother, but also the sadness over losing something so precious and symbolic to him – Tucker. Kathy & I wept before the Lord and spent some time in prayer, asking Him to allow and open the door for me to some day, some how purchase Tucker back. Kathy & Kirk graciously communicated that when the Lord would allow this to happen and when we would have an open door, that Tucker could be boarded on their property. What a blessing!

That afternoon back in July has since changed the course of my life in a sense. After spending the afternoon with Kathy, I was able to get in touch with Tuckers owners at the time and communicated to them that if they ever wanted to sell Tucker, to PLEASE consider selling him to my husband and I, first. Low and behold about five months later, three weeks before Christmas, I received a phone call  from Tucker’s previous owners letting us know that they would like to sell him back to us. I could not believe that this was ACTUALLY happening! This had been a dream that was now a reality. Throughout the next few weeks, everything went extremely smoothly and we were able to purchase him back without any issues or problems. Aaron, my husband and I have since donated Tucker to Hope Remains Ministries with the longing and belief that the Lord has a purpose to work in and through Tucker, to continue to set people free and show HIS unconditional love for people through this beautiful horse, and story of redemption.

This Christmas season has been such a representation of Christ’s love, care & provision for us. He has used Tucker to represent such a powerful aspect of how HE showed and revealed himself to Brent, in which I pray that He continues to do with anyone that encounters Tucker. There is absolutely no sense of loss this season, only a sense of hope, healing and expectancy of what HE has in store. Regardless of what happens, regardless of what the enemy tries to throw our way, the truth of the matter is that God is good, kind and faithful and that His plans and thoughts towards us lead us towards LIFE and life more abundantly.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. – Sir Winston Churchill

 After moving back to Michigan, Kirk and I have talked about different possibilities and things we could do on our five little acres of land.  One of the things Kirk has always wanted to do is to own and learn to drive a team of draft horses, and name them “Benny and the Jet.” Our opportunity came one day while talking to my Amish friend Katie.  She was telling me they were taking their Belgian mare, Penny, to the “auction.”  Her feet were tired after fifteen years of working the fields and they had to retire her,  she simply couldn’t keep up.  They called her the “babysitter” as she trained every young horse they put by her side.  This family loved Penny, but they did not have the luxury of keeping her for a family pet with the soon to be nine memebers in their family.

I asked if I could come and take a look at Penny…The minute I laid eyes on her, I knew that I wanted to take her home to the farm.  Standing next to her I couldn’t believe how big she was…I mean Big!!   As I looked her over I was drawn in by her soft brown eyes, so beautiful and tired.  She was also very thin, it had been a long hard winter and between seven other horses all eating from the same round bale of hay, Penny was losing her will to live…

A few days later Kirk and I went back to talk to our friends about Penny.  Katie’s husband told us they were taking Penny to the auction soon.  He hated to do that because usually when a horse is used up they go to the “kill pen,” but he said he felt as though he had no choice.  We told him we would like to buy Penny.  We figured if nothing else she could live out the rest of her days with us on the farm, but we had a pretty good idea that if we packed some weight on her she would have a good chance for survival.  Kirk asked if we could also buy her harness… and we did.

On a chilly spring evening we went to pick Penny up.  Katherine who is eight(and named after me)=) walked out into the pasture with no shoes on, went right up to Penny with a piece of binder twine, tied it to her halter, and lead her right into the trailer.  It was amazing to watch.

Penny has adjusted extremely well and has gained well over three hundred pounds.  Our old horse Doc is happy to have a new companion and you will find them most days standing side by side under the shade trees.  When I go out to feed them in the morning I remind Penny that she is now home.  It feels good to have rescued her and watch as she becomes strong and healthy with each passing day.  As I write this I am watching her eat and wondering if she is getting a little chunky…?  She is beautiful!  Soon we will be able to harness her up to work, pulling our wagon and sleigh.  She will be doing what she loves most and what she was born to do.

Now there is something that feels very authentic about having a horse used by the Amish on our land.  She comes with a rich heritage of hard work the old fashioned way.  It takes you back to a time when life was more simple, I like that…

Did I mention the harness we have for Penny is a double work harness?  So we are now on the look out for “The Jet”  another Belgian to complete our team. 

We are looking forward to putting her to work.  We will keep you updated on our progress.

As Always,

Hope Remains!!


Doc and Penny

My grandkids-Brooke Riley and Jackson

Today, I decided to rearrange our living room. I do that quite
frequently…I like change. As I took a studded leather piece of art
down from the wall, I noticed the hand written words from the artist
that read, “Keep the West Alive,” I was undone by those words.
Something in my heart was stirred…I let the tears flow.
Now these were not tears of sadness, but rather a deep sense that God
was at work…I felt a deep appreciation for the years we spent in the
West. Kirk and I both loved so many things about Colorado…
The mountains,  the rivers, the piercing blue sky, the ranches, the wild flowers, the friends, the dream…
I am still processing what this means, but gratitude seems to come to
my mind as I am reminded of God’s faithfulness.

As I look out my kitchen window, I’m watching our two horses standing
side by side.  Doc is now back at our place grazing in the pasture
with his new friend Penny, a fifteen year old Belgian mare. (more
about Penny in our next blog). The grass is so green, the wild flowers
are starting to come up, our garden is freshly tilled waiting to be
planted… We have gatherings in our home with family and friends, and in my heart…I still have my dream!

My heart is at rest and I am at peace. I will forever be “Keeping the
West Alive” today and always, as it is part of our journey and part of
God’s plan.

As always,

Hope Remains!


” We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” T.S. Elliot


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