“I’ve always felt confident that there was an audience in America for rural progarming that was being ignored by urban broadcasters,” said Patrick Gottsch, the […]
Testimony of Karen Vold: God is Faithful
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Don’t expect to be treated fairly in life. Some people will say and do hurtful things that you don’t deserve.
After leasing our part of the ranch for 10 years we went through another heart wrenching experience. The owner sold the whole ranch to a man in Oregon. Harry had a meeting with the new owner and he agreed to sell us the part we had been leasing. He told us to go do our winter rodeos in Texas and we would finalize the deal when we returned the 14th of February. On the 15th of February, the fire marshal, and the foreman of an outfit from Louisiana, came to the ranch and asked if Harry had found another place yet. He told us we had 30 days to get out. The man from Oregon had sold the entire ranch to a developing outfit that went all over the country buying up land.
Several years earlier, Harry and his brother bought some property in Ponoka, Alberta. Eventually a gas line from Alaska was installed past it and an interstate was built next to it, so it became very valuable. Harry’s younger brother—whom he had been partners with in an auction market before moving to the States—built a very elite golf course on his half. That, in turn, made Harry’s half more valuable to build houses around the golf course.
During this time in March we would go up to Edmonton and put their rodeo on. The guys from Louisiana finally dealt with Harry and many prayers later traded the ranch we leased for the land around the golf course, as things were really hopping in Canada that year in construction. It was truly a miracle! “The things that are impossible with man are possible with God” (Matthew 19:26).
Sometime later, the army at Ft. Carson was looking for land to expand for training and they thought they wanted our ranch along with the rest of the Red Top. The people of Pueblo put up such a fuss, as they didn’t want the army trucks, etc., all going through Pueblo to get to the training base. Many more prayers later, the army went farther south to Highway 10 and took those ranches. Some had been in families for several generations. Scriptures we stood on at this time were Romans 8:31, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” and Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
In 2004, on a Cheyenne parade morning, while I was trying to keep a saddle horse on his feet that was colicing, I was kicked hard and landed 15 feet away.
It required two surgeries, and 12 months to completely recover from this accident. When I was taken to the emergency room, the parade committee chairman came to see me. I was told later that the announcer asked the entire audience to pray for me. That too was a humbling experience.
Another example of God’s faithfulness in spite of undeserved treatment came in 2011, after we had put on the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo for 36 years. They told Harry they decided to change stock contractors, and didn’t need him anymore. Harry was extremely hurt over it because he thought you didn’t lose a rodeo unless you did something wrong, and we had worked just as hard the 36th year as we did in 1976, the bicentennial year and our first year.
I will admit that all of the family was pretty upset about the way they went about it. They could have handled it in a less hurtful way after 36 years but it had nothing to do with the people of Cheyenne. Many of them were always wonderful and we made a lot of good friends over those years.
Sometimes God’s plans are different than your plans. Cheyenne was very hard work and required additional horses, and equipment only needed for their rodeo. It costs a lot to feed that extra livestock all year, for one rodeo. At this point in life I’m glad not to have to work that hard, so it turned out for the best in the long run.
After Harry and I married we became a blended family. He had four children and I had one. His two daughters married and moved to the States, living in Casper, Wyoming and Greeley, Colorado. His two sons both stayed and still live in Canada, and my daughter Nancy married and moved to Texas. Kirsten, our daughter, was born in 1973 and was raised on the ranch we still live on.
All the children were and still are involved in the rodeo business. Nancy died of diabetes when she was 48. There was no background of diabetes on either side of the family but her doctor indicated it was brought on by stress. I had a hard time believing that and it is very painful to lose a child at any age. No one expects that to happen. But let that be a warning to you not to allow stress to cause you to get a serious illness.
Harry passed away in 2017 and Kirsten has taken over running our rodeo and ranch company. She had been the foreman for her dad for many years and is trying to keep the legacy going. Thank you, Lord, for all those who stepped in when I couldn’t do it alone. Now let me be the one to reach out to others. I am very blessed to have a good relationship with all our children and the rodeo business is still our common bond.
I was fortunate to be in rodeo when they formed the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys, and also blessed to be at Colorado Springs when my dad got saved during a church service. His friend, Wilbur Plaugher, another rodeo clown, and one of the original seven that formed the FCC, did the service that day.
Jesus is a gentleman. He stands at the door and knocks. You must choose to invite Him into your heart and life, unlike Satan, who barges into your life and tries to steal your health and finances, and destroys relationships and families. God created us but gives us the freedom to choose Jesus and His gift of eternal life, or Satan and his path, which leads to hell and horror. John 10:10, “Jesus said, ‘The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.” Remember, no matter what the challenges are that we face in life, the Lord loves you and wants you in his family.
Jesus has been my rock, my shield, my refuge, and my strength through all our challenging ordeals. He promised he would never leave those who believed in him. And he has kept his word throughout my life and he will in yours.
If you don’t already know him, I urge you to make the choice to accept his free gift of forgiveness and salvation. He wants to be your best friend and will never leave you or disappoint you as your family or friends or other people you deal with might do at times. Psalms 18:30 says “As for God His way is perfect, the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him”