1st NLT Youth Volunteer Thank You Event

Someone is always at The Trails. Come rain or shine, snow or heat, the animals have to be cared for daily, with the majority of them twice a day. They need feed, water and general upkeep, from receiving preventative medicine to having their hooves trimmed or caring for any injuries or special needs. It’s truly amazing the amount of time it can take. If your are alone, 2 hours in the morning and 1 hour in the evening is the care time. Now, if you happen to notice an animal is in the wrong pasture, or has knocked down or just jumped over a fence, that will add to your time. You’ll have to find the hole (the place they got through). It’s amazing how many place they can get out. Then, bring wire and tools and maybe even, an extra portion of fence to patch it. It all seems do-able, right? Well, multiple those issues by the 40+ animals we keep during the winter. You can imagine how impossible this becomes. Now, if you add events with the preparation time, building fences to hold them, transportation, it gets a little crazy. Also, add any trips we take the animals on to visit a school or nursing home. All of this said, we could not function with out the vital resource we have received in the youth of Ponca City.

This year we asked the local business, fast food restaurants, and diners to help us show  just what these kids mean to us. We were able to give them sundae tokens, chicken dinners tickets, free pizza certificates, tacos and even a full size pie ticket. You should have seen their eyes light up when they knew the businesses of Ponca City appreciated the help/work they did at New Life Trails.

Our CEO/Founder, Deborah(Renee) Spears was amazed when she started compiling the list of kids who have helped. When she reached 30, it seemed like she was missing a few. Around 50, she felt like she got most of them. As she continued to search her phone, there were close to 75 kids who have helped out. Does anyone have a spare youth pastor? Here is your flock! These kids come willingly, worked hard and aren’t afraid to get a little dirty. All in all, after she sent out the info for the party, we had 28 kids show up. Pretty good percentage as anyone who works with kids should know. We had LOTS of food, soda, and games. Because this was the first function of this type for us, most of these kids didn’t know who else volunteered. The games were set up to change participants for each activity. So it was a time to get to know each other.

At about 8:30 we called it quits because we were scheduled from 6-8. The next day during morning chores 5 of those teenagers showed up to help with whatever we needed. And you know what the biggest complaint was…”We didn’t get to play all the games.” We know it was a success and plan to have another get-together in the spring.


School helps fund NLT

Lutheran school, first grade and below, has decided to make New Life Trails the charity for the quarter. All offerings received from this class will go to help feed the animals.The staff at NLT would like to say thank you and God bless you for teaching the young the importance of our nonprofits and giving

Ponca City community meets need…

In 2017 the Ponca City paper wrote a front page article on New Life Trails need for an office/class room. Through that appeal and North East Baptist Church’s assistance in 2017 we saw a completion of the building.

In 2018 the paper did a follow up for our goal for this year. We told them about our bathroom dilemma. Within a week the community reached out to us to meet that need financially. Now we are working on contacting the local company to set up and service a bathroom.

Thank you, Ponca City for listening to our need and responding with such enthusiasm. We look forward to offering this service during visits.

Live Interactive Nativity


Tractor Supply gave large candy canes donated by customers to each child. New Life Trails gave out about 150 coloring books, crayons and a letter to parents. KLVV provided music, Between horse rides, trinity hot rolls, New Life Trails mix, and Christmas ornaments we received enough donations to feed all 50+ animals for a month, 3xs the amount we have received at any other event.


Cow Hope

Where do you go for comfort? a bag of potato chips, a friend, shopping, ect…? When Brownie and Red were orphaned, they went to each other. Specifically, each others belly buttons. Although they were fed with a bottle, they needed extra nurturing and they went to the natural thing(ha!). Because of this early nurturing habit, they have droopy belly button. So much so, that they look like boys instead of girls at first glance. I have often been met with strange looks when I mention that I can’t wait until Brownie is big enough to have a calf. Visitors will glance Brownie and then give me an eyebrows down look.

Brownie came to New Life Trails when she was 8 weeks old. While I was never able to teach her to lead, she has been a delight. We do prod her along by pulling her tail forward. Filling our lives with brushing, petting, and even riding her when she was smaller, she is a major part of the work that we do with students at New Life Trails. We often here children say, ” I’ve never touched a cow before!”

Well, Brownie has entered a new chapter in her life. She is going to be a mom. We aren’t sure the date, because she was pasture bred, but we fill confident that it won’t be too long. Since she was a baby, I’ve petted her from top to bottom because I wanted her to be used to touch. As she got older, I would pretend milk her so that she will allow us to milk her when she has her calf. Not much, just enough so that she is familiar with the feel. As her milk bag has started to drop preparing for the calf, I have done it more often. Yes, I get a really hard time about it! First, she is an angus, and I am continually told that you don’t milk or mess with an angus,especially when they have a calf. We were also told that we couldn’t even do what we are doing now with her.

Our journey at New Life Trails has been one miracle after another. Yes, Brownie is one of those miracles. From the beginning we have claimed the scripture Romans 4:17 – (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, [even] God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Yes, we live by calling those things that are not, as though they are in Jesus name and according to His will. We do not ask the things that we do for our own pleasure , but that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13

As a teacher, each year we took the kids to a family farm and they were able to milk a cow. They were elated by the experience. Consistent with our goal to get the heart, so we can work with the minds of children. This emulates are goal!

As many things in my life relate to New Life Trails, I find that they often translate to my personal life. What in my life do I need to “in faith” call it to be even though I don’t see it immediately: my children’s and grandchildren’s walk with God, personal goals that I haven’t met, unsaved friends and family, my relationship with my spouse, fruit of the Spirit in my life, peace, patience, joy?

I send personalized Bible promises to my family members, friends, and those who need a Word from God. There are a lot of bad things going on with phones and in this world, but Jesus said to not be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good Romans 12:21.

So, as you see in the picture that I am pretend milking Brownie. I am calling those things that are not(yet!), as though they are.



Eggs out of the Nest!

Last night when I went to feed, I saw that the chicken’s egg were all over the chicken pen. As I scanned the pen, I noticed that the door to the nest area was shut. I was sure that it was the storm the night before that was the culprit. The hens were used to laying their eggs in a specified area. When that protocol was disturbed, it was chaos at egg laying time.

As I reflected back upon this moment, I thought how this is so true of my own life. I know that when God is at the center of my life then everything else is in it’s place: family, spouse, children, job, hobby, friends, church, animals, and rest. However, when God is closed out of His rightful place, then it is chaos in my world. I’m trying to have my spouse meet needs that only God can meet in my life. I’m using church to meet my needs, instead of looking to meet others needs there. My hobbies take over my life, as my focus becomes about me instead of God. I expect perfection from my children for my self esteem instead of drawing my significance from God. I find that my body, mind, and spirit are exhausted because I am trying to control the outcomes in my life instead of trusting God to complete the work that He began. Philippians 1:6

When all is said and done, it is worth taking the time each morning to make sure that I am in alignment with God for that day, so that all the other things in my life will be where they are suppose to be.

While “Giving Tuesday” has come and gone, we will still be taking contributions via our donate button on facebook and our website. We were able to raise $180 and we are so thankful. We are still short $1080. If you need an end of the year place to contribute or would like to support the work that we do at New Life Trails, we appreciate any thing that you can give.

Newsletter for November 2017

New Life Trails News Letter

Dear Ones,

Going to the Trails today, I noticed something peculiar about some of the animals….! I have seen it before, but never to this magnitude!! As I looked at the hair of some of the animal, they appeared to have lick marks on them! even the cow!!!!

Who could be this mysterious licker?

Actually…., I know, but I have never seen him do it to so many of the animals. Damien is our oldest horse. He is 31. We have used him with the children for years. When time lends itself to me, I love to sit and watch the animals. It won’t be long, and I will see Damien walk over to one of the horses and start licking them on the shoulder. I first thought this action had it roots in the need for salt. However, we have salt blocks out for all the animal. Surmising that it was affection, a warm gentle smile snuck its way to my face; followed by,”That’s so sweet!” He is showing his affection to them, affirming, revealing their place in the herd,and their importance, As the oldest, I’m sure he sees himself as the caretaker of them.

Thinking to myself, I wondered how many of the individuals in my circle feel that sense of belonging, importance, and affirmation. I wondered if someone observed my husband, my children, my friends, my Sunday School class, my church, my neighbors, or the ministry that God has called me too would they see the mark of my love upon them. Even greater, would they see the mark of God’s love upon them through me?

Doug talked in service today about realizing the love, the relationship, the privilege that God has given to us through Christ. When we grasp it, then we can’t help but share it. My heart was convicted and moved to do a daily check. I could call it a “Lick Check!” Today, do I embrace the concept of God’s great love to it’s fullest?

We are God workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works(to make lick marks in our circle). Ephesians 2;10

Do you know the rubric by which to evaluate such a question? How much do I show God’s unconditional love to those in my circle? Do they have lick marks on them? unconditional is the key word

How much I receive it, is how much I will release it!

Comparatively, last week my husband left 5 yellow roses in a vase on the table for me. One might say,”What did you do to deserve that?” The answer would be that I left a pile of unfolded clothes on the couch, dishes unwashed, supper uncooked, bills unpaid, and words unsaid. The roses weren’t a statement of what I had done to deserve his love, but that he loved me regardless of the things that I did. He loved me just because I am me; pretty good lick mark, huh?…..God’s unconditional love!

Also, today (Tuesday) is “Giving Tuesday,” for non-profits. Please be faithful to support the non-profit that God has called you to. They will receive 100% of the money donated that day to their need. They can not function without support from communities. New Life Trails will be raising money for a “tutoring building.” I can’t be two places at one time. For our personnel finances, I need to be able to do private tutoring, but I also need to have the Trails open for community service workers and others that call daily to visit the animals. A small building there would allow me to do both. If you would like to donate $20 in a child’s or someone special’s name, we will be putting that name on a plaque on the building. Everyone that makes a donation will receive a calendar with New Life Trails’ animals and 12 promises from God’s Word. One to memorize each month. It will be sent or it can be picked up at the Trails.Estimated cost of the building will be $1200. You can go to facebook and donate or newlifetrails.com We have a donate button now.

Love you all in Jesus,


Donate to New Life Trails for Giving Tuesday, November 28th 2017

Giving Tuesday is a day to give back during the season of giving! This year Giving Tuesday is on Tuesday, November 28th 2017! New Life Trail’s is in desperate need of a shed and will be giving all proceeds and donations to that cause this Giving Tuesday. If you choose to donate to New Life Trails, we would love to have $20.00 donations in a child’s name to place on a plaque on the shed, and for $100.00 donations, a New Life Trail’s calendar will be given! Please take New Life Trail’s Ministries into consideration this Giving Tuesday! You can find our donate button on our Facebook Page, or our website at www.newlifetrails.com Giving-Tuesday-2017

New Life Trails visits KLVV Christian Radio on Kids DJ Day

On September 30th New Life Trails visited KLVV Christian Radio on Kids DJ Day with horses, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits, and a pig. It was an amazing day of fellowship and fun for the animals and participants. Special thank to Garry and Debbie Deweese for transporting, organizing, and supervising the event. Also, thanks to the student volunteers.








New Life Trails Academic Curriculum, New Life Learning, is Being Used By Title 1 Teacher for Kindergarten and First Grade at Lutheran School

Deborah Spears, Title 1 teacher for Ponca City Public Schools, services Lutheran School with New Life Trails Academic Curriculum, New Life Learning. New Life Learning is a Pre-K through 12th grade foundational curriculum. It does not replace an academic curriculum of the school, but reinforces and solidifies the Lutheran curriculum. Each page is put inside a page protector, where a student can write, erase, and rewrite the material over and over again. The repeated practice on the same page, and same problem, helps a student develop and deepen a file within the mind for that curriculum. IMG_20170921_141951305

New Life Trails Joins Librarian/Assistant Principal at McCord School in Integrating New Life Learning Academic Material Funded by N.O.A.T.F.

In September 2017, New Life Trails president Deborah Spears spent three days at McCord School Library. There, she worked with Librarian/Assistant Principal, Ginger Henley to implement New Life Learning kindergarten academic materials funded by N.O.A.T.F. Three classes of kindergarteners, sixty plus students, will be using New Life Learning academic books to review, build, and reinforce consonants, vowels, sight words, and 039040sounds.

2017 Math, Science, and Character Camp

Upon completion of a 2 week camp that ran from Monday through Friday 9-12, New Life Trails was excited to have been a part of Northern Oklahoma Academic Tutoring Foundation’s effort. They averaged thirty-four students a day. With a pre and post test, the students increased their knowledge base by 58%. New Life Trails provided the academic material funded by N.O.A.T.F. Also, New Life Trails provided an animal each day to encourage the student attendance. N.O.A.T.F. had 95% attendance during the camp. The students also learned ten character traits with material from New Life Trails character program. Posted below are photos of the animals from New Life Trails that participated in the 2017 Math, Science, and Character Camp. july2017 062july2017 063july2017 064july2017 065july2017 066july2017 067july2017 068july2017 069july2017 070july2017 071july2017 072july2017 058july2017 059july2017 060july2017 061

2015 mentor/tutoring end of year

We ended the 1st semester of mentor/tutoring with 15 students and 18 workers. It has been a great semester of new animals, new adventures, new friends, new math, and learning 8 elements on the periodic table of elements. We were visited by a chinchilla, rabbits, chickens, sheep, kittens, a guinea pig, a duck, love birds, crabs, and a fish. We learned about turkeys, dove, teal, mallards, pheasant and got to collect a feather from each of them. We even ate pheasant meat. We are looking forward to 2016. We will have lots of new animals to meet, and we have real scientist coming to show us chemical equations!

Fall/spring mentor/tutoring 2015/1016

Every Tuesday and Thursday, 17 students, and 10 mentor/tutors meet for 1 1/2 hours for science, math, reading, art, and visiting a special animal.

Science-teaching the Periodic Table of Elements

Science-teaching the Periodic Table of Elements

We had two special visitors come to tutoring today!

We had two special visitors come to tutoring today!


Our special cooks get us started each day!

Our special cooks get us started each day!

Mrs. Inskeep and  her student

Mrs. Inskeep and her student

Mrs. Spena and her student

Mrs. Spena and her student

Our youth working with our younger students.

Our youth working with our younger students.

Mrs. Spears working with her student.

Mrs. Spears working with her student.

Diligence-one of our character traits!

Diligence-one of our character traits!

Our animal for the day!

Our animal for the day!

Boren Mentoring Initiative article on Math and Science Camp results (2014)

New Life Trails partnered with Northern Oklahoma Academic Tutoring Foundation(NOATF) for a two week academic camp.  The results were astounding! The first year the students showed a 35% increase in curriculum retention via pre and post test. The second year the students showed a 65% increase in curriculum retention via pre and post test. The camp used material developed by New Life Trail’s president and author, Deborah Spears and co-author, Ginger Henley.

Click HERE to view article.

New Life Trails publishes new curriculum books

Untitled renaissance learning

New Life Trails partnered with NOATF to do a two week camp in August to get 3rd graders ready for a new school year.  Deborah Spears and Ginger Henley have 46 years of teaching experience and decided to write a curriculum specifically for tutoring to maximize learning during a two week time period.  They opted to use a pre and post test to evaluate the results. They found a 35% increase in curriculum retention with the new material.  Based upon the results they made the decision to publish the material to be used in an afterschool, in-school, home, and tutoring program.