Horse ministry provides hope to children, communities in eastern Illinois
When God prompted Stan and Mary Remole to hang on to their horses, they didn’t quite see the vision of what was to come for them and their facilities. Now, their budding ministry has helped many in eastern Illinois, and their plans for growth are expanding beyond just horses.
Stan and Mary Remole started Hooves of Hope, a Nazarene Compassionate Ministry Center in Potomac, Illinois, 10 years ago.
“We had our son Michael, and we had show-horses,” said Mary Remole. “They would go do shows, and it was a father and son bonding thing. After Michael went to college, Stan was out at the barn and was praying and asking the Lord, ‘What should I do with the horses?’ And the Lord spoke to him and said, ‘I want you to keep them, and we are going to use them.’ I never realized it would have been to this extent.”
It began as just bringing some kids from the local church down to the farm. But from there, it blossomed to a much larger scale than they were imagining.
“Now we’re having church in the barn here,” Remole said.
Their facility is specifically used as a way to help troubled youth in their community and the surrounding communities as well. As part of their program, children sign up for courses and learn everything from feeding and cleaning stalls to leading the horses and riding them. They also have lessons on their virtue of the year (in 2019 it is courage) through Bible lessons.
The classes aren’t the only thing Hooves of Hope offers. They recently started a Saturday night church service in their barn and have mini-horses that they take to schools, nursing homes, and hospitals nearby.
Every step of the way, they say God has provided for them, especially when they wanted to add on a horse arena.
“We didn’t have dirt,” Remole said. “We purchased our family’s farm and wanted to build a horse arena, and we started praying for dirt. We’ve added on twice now and have gotten 750 semi-loads free.”
Next month, Hooves of Hope will put on a children’s rodeo to raise funds to expand. The couple hopes to build a 2,000 square foot classroom space that includes a kitchen for cooking lessons, a woodworking shop, and a space for sewing and knitting lessons, so they can offer classes in life skills to troubled kids as well.
Above all else, the Remoles want to help people in a way that leads them to Christ.