OUR CALL – A Brief History of The Lord’s Ranch

My Walk in Faith

Years ago in the late 1980’s, the Lord showed me a vision of a large area of land with a community of people dedicated for his service. At this time, I was working in an oil company, an ordinary worker and being able to set up such a project that the Lord showed me in the vision was beyond my means. Nevertheless, the vision went on and whenever I went, I looked for some land which I might be able to afford. The First piece of land which I thought could be used for the Lord’s purpose was declared bird sanctuary two weeks before the final documents could be served. The search continued with constant cry from my lips. “Lord, show me the way, enlighten my path. The vision grew as the Lord’s assurance was clear: “Do not fear, I am with you” As my service for the Lord continued, I began to share this vision with others specially those that the Lord led me to. Everyone I spoke to felt that it was impossible dream. The first group were close friends also in the service of the Lord. They too, like me, could not humanly figure out how the skeleton vision of the Lord’s project could start operating. However, they began to pray. At the Bible Faith Sharing Ministry, I shared this vision with those who were a part of the spiritual growth programme. The intercessory team that met daily from 2:30 – 3:30 pm started praying. One evening at a prayer session, I met a certain person, who owned a real estate company back in India, with their headquarters in Pune. I shared my vision with them. They promised to help to locate some land. In those days, I was in constant consultation with the Lord – I had never dabbled with real estate agents nor was I even remotely knowledgeable about large scale land business and what its development would entail. I put the Lord’s project totally in his capable hands, reminding myself of His assurance “When you are weak, I am strong”. Within a couple of weeks so much was happening… Firstly, one of the directors of this real estate company I mentioned met with me and told me that they were going through a critical state and that the company is about to collapse. One of the directors was leaving the company and they wanted me to join them – they required funds – that would mean investing all I, and my wife ever had and could raise. With this unexpected turn of events, I was quite shaken up. As was my practice. I was at the feet of the Lord asking Him what to do. The Lord’s message was clear – You have to save this company, without this company, there will not be The Lord’s Ranch.

Those who trust in the Lord shall not be put to shame say Ps 34:22. And so I, at the Lord’s command, became one of the directors of this company. True to their promise, the company procured the land and we got around 150 acres of land. And there was a block – we could not get any more land. The area was declared hill station and the prices began soaring. The project “Lavasa” took up practically all available land in the area.

The Lord’s reply to all my anxious queries what next Lord? Was “Be still and know I am God I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth”. (Ps. 46:10). And then out of nowhere comes a real estate agent to me and says he had 500 acres of land on the hill far opposite the area where the original land was purchased at a much lesser cost. The Lord’s instructions were clear – Go with the man. And here I was at the foot of the mountains eager to see the promised land. The man then points out to the hill and says “there is the land” – there was no road to reach it.

Amazed, I was once again asking the Lord what was the meaning of all this and the Lord replied – Take it – That is the Land.

And so within a couple of weeks, the purchase procedures began. The Real Estate Company helped me with the formalities of purchasing the land, construction of road and move on with the first phase of construction.  Without their help, I can’t imagine what I would do.

“With God’s help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes.” (Psalm 60:12)

David could say this in the face of an uncertain battle. All I could ask the Lord was to do this mighty task he was asking me to do in this world.

“To God belongs wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.” (Job 12:13) In the year 2000, finally the land was being bought. The formalities were mind boggling. I had so much to learn. I needed His wisdom. Day by Day in each new situation and circumstance I faced, He was there teaching me and showing me the way.

“He has showered down upon us the richness of His grace – for how well He understands us and knows what is best for us at all times” (Ep.1:8) The Lord’s hand was at work in ways beyond my comprehension. As a human being, I did not allow myself even to think of the enormity of what I was doing. I had my eyes, my mind and all my focus totally and completely on the Lord. And He took complete and absolute charge.

Purchasing the Land was not enough. Building and maintenance would indeed be a huge investment. The road to the plateau from the foot of the mountains had to be constructed through the mountains, where the first phase of construction began. Each step of the way seemed to be come steeper but the Lord’s mighty hand held me strongly with His grip.

The process of construction that began was a living nightmare. The construction material to reach up was extremely difficult. Contractors kept giving up. Unable to keep the construction work going, The word of the Lord was my only strength and I told myself again and again – the task He began, He will complete.

2 Peter 1:10 tells us “Work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Doing this you will never stumble or fall away.” I was aware that the walk with Christ demanded diligent hard work and decision that is not afraid of sacrifice. God has blessed me with a gift of strong faith in Him. The experience that I was going through required that mountain-moving faith, that can come only from the Lord, the author and finisher of all faith. True to his promise: “ I will never leave you nor forsake you: (Heb. 13:5), the Lord was always there in the midst of tears, frustrations and struggles. I learned through it all to rejoice in the Lord always and again I say Rejoice.

Because of the innumerable problems, change of contractors, the cost of construction went above the estimated costs. I was at the Lord’s feet for the next step to be taken. There were times when the work on the ranch had to halt because there were no funds flowing at the expected pace since my income was no longer sufficient. I asked the Lord if I should be borrowing or selling a part of the land to friends to raise the funds, The Lord’s answer was: Empty out everything and I will take over.

True to His promise when there was nothing left came God’s provision to support the work of the Ranch. The first piece of land that was altogether 150 acres at the present “Lavasa” had appreciated greatly due to the new development there. The Lord directed it to be sold and the amount to be used to complete the first phase of construction work of the Lord’s Ranch.

Who can fathom God’s wisdom? As I mentioned earlier, I could never fulfill God’s plan, but His word tells us that His grace is sufficient at all times to carry out the work that the Lord gives us. All I did was to place the small resources I was given by Him and my will to carry out his instructions. The Lord multiplied them to create the dream of the Lord’s Ranch Holding.

The Lord’s Ranch opened its gates on 31st Dec. 2006 (link invitation / Inauguration Photo Gallery). By His Lordship Lourdes Daniel, the present Bishop of Nasik.

The statue of Our Lady that miraculously came to the ranch when there was nothing much there except a rough road and the very first cottage was now placed in the Grotto on the evening of 30th December  2006, and blessed on the Inauguration Day along with the first phase of the construction of the Homes for the Retired and the entire area comprising the entire Lord’s Ranch.

What is impossible with man is possible with God. The Lord’s Ranch is nothing but the work of God from its inception all the way that it is today. Fr. Berty who was present at the first presentation of the project report (Plan for the Lord’s Ranch) presented at the meeting of Council of Priests at the Bishop’s House Pune on 14th November 2002 remarked on his visit to the Lord’s Ranch in a homily during a youth retreat at the Lord’s Ranch Retreat Centre. “The Lord’s Ranch is not a work of human hands but the work of the Holy Spirit”.

The story of the Lord’s ranch continues, with God opening new doors, flowing amazing graces and making great and mighty provisions for moving forwards His work on the Ranch.