Pam is easy to spot during sessions at Hope Reins. Her wide grin and genuinely warm nature disarms even the most timid of newcomers to the ranch. She plays tag, baits fishing hooks with unruly worms and happily forks manure into wheelbarrows.
“Pam is always full throttle at the ranch,” says Hope Reins Founder and CEO, Kim Tschirett. “She loves the kids. And, they love her.”
Successful business owner, accomplished equestrian, mother and grandmother, Pam Winters wasn’t looking for another passion when she discovered Hope Reins. But she says, “I’m never too busy for things that are important to me.” And for Pam, she knows the importance of recovering from trauma. “I was sexually abused when I was 8 and raped at 12,” says Pam. “I was told to never talk about it. Just sweep it under the rug. But it caught up with me in college.” According to Pam, she shoplifted, took drugs and lived a promiscuous life at Campbell University. After becoming pregnant, she gave the baby up for adoption. “Even though I was raised in a Christian household, I didn’t understand how to have a relationship with Jesus. Or what forgiveness looked like.”
Then, she met her husband, Larry. “He was my one. He helped me start down a path of restoration and recovery.” Together, they raised a beautiful family and built a successful network of businesses.
And when invited four years ago to volunteer as a session leader, Pam jumped at the opportunity to use her love of horses to help kids heal. But she found healing, too. “I realized I’d never really let go of my shame,” says Pam. “I thought, ‘how can I ask kids to forge a relationship with Jesus and leave the past behind when I hadn’t?’”
Pam began a path of self-discovery, praying, immersing herself in God’s word and seeking the counsel of family and close friends. She also began sharing her past with others without fear of repercussions. “My family is so supportive of me. They know I’m healing and also able to help others with my story.” “God can take the most painful times in our lives and use them for His good,” says Pam. “Like He’s done with me.”