Over the past 24 years they provided hope and a place that hundreds of abandoned and neglected kids could call home. And now -- Danny and Margaret O'Quinn -- the managers of Still Creek Ranch are saying farewell to the Brazos Valley.
The stories that enter the gates of Still Creek Ranch are impossible to forget -- Many of which begin without hope.
"She said I have five kids; age eight, five, four, three and 16 months -- and the three-year old is driving me crazy -- and if you don't take her I'm going to drop her off in a Wal-Mart parking lot,’ so we said, “We'll take her,” explained Margaret O’Quinn.
“I was born in Moscow, Russia and lived with my grandpa till I was four, and then he put me in an orphanage and I spent four years there," explained 19-year-old Dmitry Branton.
Dmitry would spend the next ten years without a family; but that forever changed when he met Margaret and Danny O'Quinn.
"They're like my mom and dad, and I am the man I am today because of Margaret and Danny,” he added. “Margaret is always there for me, as a mentor, as a mom, and to guide me; Danny taught me how to be a man, how to respect and taught me the definition of work.”
“I’ve learned responsibility and I've learned God is never going to leave me,” said 13-year-old Faith.
Nor will the O'Quinn's. Over the last 24 years, the O’Quinn’s have used compassion, unwavering faith and an open heart to build their legacy – which consequently forever changed the lives of hundreds of abandoned and abused children from all over the world.
“I think it's so important that these kids know that they are loved and they are valuable and God has a purpose for them," said Danny O'Quinn. "God has put kids' in our heart, and we just felt like through the years, this is what we were supposed to do."
Still Creek Ranch relies on financial support from the community.
"We are who we are today because of a community that has loved us and supported us and been there for us every day," said the O'Quinn's.
While they could retire, the couple says their mission is far from over.
"We don't feel like we're finished yet,” said Margaret. “They say that 65 is the age to retire, but I think it's the time to re-fire!"
On Wednesday the O'Quinn's are moving to Folsom, New Mexico to start "Children of Promise;" a summer camp for abused kids.
“I’m sad, but then again I’m happy because at the end of something great, there's always a beginning of something better," said Dmitry.
Keeping the stories from Still Creek at the forefront of their mission -- both are eager for the adventure and new chapter of many more to come.
Houston natives, Steve and Tracy Singleton will be taking over at Still Creek Ranch.
“We are excited for Steve and Tracy to begin and we know they will flourish and we hope the community has faith in them," said Margaret. "At the end of the day, I hope everyone remembers that it's not about the leadership, it's about the kids."
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