{Update….The Lord has blessed James tremendously since completing the Ranch program, providing him with a full time job, a home, and further restoration with His family. God is truly Awesome}


Hi my name is James Benson. I’ve been at the ranch for a little more than three months. Before I went to the ranch, me and my three kids (2 little girls age 2 and 4 and my son age 6) were living at my mother-in-law’s house, which I would later learn at the ranch that her house was my Egypt. My kids and I just moved there last year, trying to start over after the death of my wife, my kid’s mom. Everything was starting out smoothly, I being a God-fearing man in all ways. I was able to get my son in school and take care of my daughters during the day. Just when I thought I had the steering wheel that controlled my life, I stopped reading my Bible, and the weight of my wife dying was starting to be too much, so I met some people out on one of my personal walks around the block I lived on, and I started using meth to help with my emotions and the loss of my wife, and soon, that was not enough. I got to the point where if I used meth I had to smoke weed too. I managed to get to a point where I truly questioned my faith even to the point of saying and believing there was no God. Shortly after that is when  my sister-in-law called the police on me for being under the influence ( I guess I was showing more than I knew.). Long story short, the cops took my kids and the police arrested me that weekend. I went to the New Hope Community Church for the first time in years and in doing so the Holy Spirit working through others led me to this place called Set Free Men’s Ranch in Phelan. After arriving at the ranch, I truly believe the Lord gave me peace in my heart to stay and give it a chance. At that moment, everyone at the ranch came up to me and welcomed me as though I was family and treated me as such. Over the next few weeks, while I was at the ranch, I started to feel like this place was my new home and my new family while God started to answer prayers and proving that He truly is real. At that point, I started to embrace the call that God was trying to get me to answer and as he made Himself known in my life, the more I grew closer to Him. As I grew closer to  my sixty-day mark, I realized how blessed I was to be led to Set Free where I was able to repair my relationship with God, and to learn a much better way of living through the functions they have there. The closer I got to God, the more I grew closer to the people at Set Free. At that point, God truly was teaching me how much He loved me and in doing so He taught me how to truly love others. At that point, I believe that I found my purpose in life. A little after my sixty-days, Set Free started some outreaches which by the grace of God, I was allowed to go out and even through those outreaches God taught me where I came from and even how to love others more. Now through all this I won’t lie, I was being attacked from all angles not only because of my wife and kids, but also because I wanted to quit smoking and the evil one did not want that at all. I believe that’s when God allowed me to learn another important lesson and that lesson was “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” As time went on and I went through my first couple of court dates to fight to get my kids back, I started to see how God was working in the background. It seemed as though it was time to let go and let God. So as I grew closer to God through the help of many overseers and the functions at the ranch, I truly believe God started to reveal many mysteries about my life while I built up my foundation. As my foundation was being built, it was tested and tried to make sure that the faith I was building up would stand. Around my ninety day mark, by the grace of God, I started to be allowed to have visits with my children. Not only that but God also restored my relationship with my parents. At this point in my walk with Jesus Christ, I now love my life and my relationship with God. A little past 90 days at the ranch, I truly wake up everyday thanking God through Jesus for everything—from another day at the ranch and all the overseers knowing that God still has a bigger picture for me and even thought I am still at the ranch, it is only a matter of time before God gives me my life back. So with that said, all glory to God and thank you Jesus! -James Benson