Who We Are
Where Hearts and Hooves Collide
Hope for Hooves Rescue is an Equine Ministry conveniently located in N. Augusta, SC along the Savannah River in the Augusta/Aiken Metropolitan area.
Hope for Hooves Rescue exists to rescue and rehabilitate equines and help restore faith and rebuild broken spirits in children.
To provide a sanctuary where children facing life’s difficulties can discover the power of healing and hope through Jesus Christ.
To encourage positive behaviors and help reduce risk behaviors in order to help the children make healthy life choices and reach their full potential. This is achieved by teaching them the foundation of the Word of God.
The Founders, Board of Directors, Staff, core Volunteers and Mentors of Hope for Hooves Rescue (Youth Ranch) believe that the Bible is God inspired, written by man by the leading of the Holy Spirit. We believe Jesus Christ is the one and only Son of God, our Savior, our Redeemer, and coming King. We believe in the Trinity: God exists as one in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We believe the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, provides the only way of salvation through the forgiveness of sin. We believe that one of our greatest callings is to serve the Father by the demonstration of our faith through action by being the hands and feet of Jesus. We believe in serving children and families of all backgrounds with the same loving grace that has so freely been given to us. We believe in operating under the principles taught in scripture and conducting ourselves in accordance with the Word.
We are not a certified counseling agency and we are not here to counsel anyone. Our mentors are all volunteers who have the same beliefs as the Founder of Hope for Hooves Rescue. Our intent is to lead others to the only one who has the ability to heal, Jesus Christ.
We do believe that counseling and/or therapy are important for those who have experienced trauma and encourage them to pursue one or both of those avenues.
Founder, Michelle Derrick, with husband Daniel.
Founder, Michelle Derrick, with Cora the donkey.
Hope Created a Miracle
A Donkey Saved My Life
She Gave Me Hope. Hope Brought Forth My Miraculous Healing.
It was in May of 2013, at the age of 42 years old, that I, Founder/CEO of Hope for Hooves Rescue, was given the news by my oncologist that my recent biopsy came back as Stage 2 breast cancer. As the world seemed to suddenly stop for a brief moment, I was able to gather my thoughts and focus on the only one that could help save me, Jesus. I grew up in church and I have seen many miracles take place. I never dreamt that one day I would be believing for my own. My faith was strong so I knew that somehow, some way, God was going to take care of me, but that didn’t stop the enemy from trying to instill fear and doubt in my mind. After months of praying and seeking the Lord, and against the doctor’s wishes, I chose to have a mastectomy, declining chemo and radiation. Unfortunately, I had several complications which required countless surgeries. Through it all, I never lost my faith in God. In November of 2014 I was declared cancer free!
In May of 2017, after 2 ½ years of being in remission, I went to the doctor for a routine checkup. It was while waiting on the doctor that I discovered another tumor on the same side that I had my breast removed years prior. After receiving the results from a routine biopsy I would learn that the cancer had indeed returned and already progressed to stage 3. Being told by multiple doctors that surgery was out of the question and that it was urgent that I begin chemotherapy, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, I once ag1ain declined. Instead, I began a treatment that consisted of immunotherapy and hormonal therapy infusions. The treatment shrunk the tumor significantly within the first two years then suddenly it stopped shrinking. However, my faith remained strong.
In August of 2018 the Holy Spirit began to nudge me about purchasing a donkey. Shortly after, God led me to Cora, the donkey that saved my life. Without a pasture for her to reside in she lived on borrowed land until January 2019 when her pasture was complete and she was able to come home.
On April 17, 2019 I went to the doctor for the results of my recent bone scan. I went by myself because I had no reason to believe that I would receive anything other than good news. After all, the scans were required every 3 months and thus far nothing had changed. To my disbelief I was told that day that the cancer had spread to my bones and that I had approximately 3 short months to live! I literally almost passed out as I began to get dizzy. Everything he said after that was just muffled noise as my whirling thoughts began to drown out his voice. I remember one tear rolling down my cheek and before it had a chance to multiply, I quickly wiped it away as I reminded myself of who I am, A CHILD OF THE KING! I then asked the doctor to step out of the room for a few minutes so I could be alone. As soon as I heard the door close behind him I turned to God and said, ‘So, where do we go from here?’ Immediately He said to me, ‘Grab a pen and write down these words.’ I quickly pulled a pen from my purse and used the back side of the paper from my test results to jot down His words:
‘I will keep you. I will protect you. Fear not, for it is the enemy that has brought this destruction. I will make a way where there seems to be no way. I will do something that will blow their minds. They will see things they’ve never seen before. Stand strong, stare adversity in the face, just like the donkey. Do not move until you’ve heard from me. I will let you know when it’s safe to move. Others will not understand, that’s why I’ve asked you to stay silent. They love you and want what’s best for you, but they will not understand. And it’s not for them to understand. This is your journey and I am your guide. Stay close to me. Do not wander or else you’ll get lost. Listen for my directions.’
I had just been told that I had 3 short months to live and God instructed me not to tell anyone!! Whew! Talk about walking by faith! I was obedient and told no one!! That didn’t mean that I didn’t have doubts or worry creep in though. One night I was really struggling with my emotions so I went out into the run-in shed to sit in my camping chair to pray, and cry. I had both hands covering my face when suddenly I felt a little nudge on my forehead. I looked up to see a white nose and two big brown eyes staring at me. I shouted, ‘What do you want from me?? I have nothing to give you right now!’ And that’s when Cora spoke to me. She said,’Mama, you’re going to be OK. Everything is going to be just fine.’ I literally couldn’t believe what just happened. Her lips didn’t move and it wasn’t an audible voice. It was more like spirit to spirit. It was that very moment that I realized the healing nature that animals can provide.
I won’t go into all of the other details in between (I’ll save those for the book) but fast forward to May 6, 2021….I WAS DECLARED CANCER FREE!!!
Meet our Tribe
I wear many hats but the most important is being the mom to Jackson, my son, who has different needs! I am so thankful for my experience as a special needs mom because it fuels my passion to help other families. I currently work at Westabou Montessori School and The RECing Crew, an organization which provides sports and leisure opportunities to disabled people of all ages. I volunteer with Friends of North Augusta Animals to help rescue dogs. I'm also a part of the Partners in Policymaking program through the SC Developmental Disabilities Council. I have worked with special needs families, children, and adults for nearly 10 years in varying capacities. I have worked as a life skills specialist, respite worker, in special needs ministry, and in schools with special needs children. I'm currently pursuing a degree in Special Education.
My name is Key Showman, yes like a key. I am a Recreational Therapist born and raised in Augusta, GA. I have been a Recreational Therapist for almost 6 years, working with all types of populations including those with developmental delays and emotional and behavioral disturbances. I moved to Atlanta in 2017 following graduation from Georgia Southern University, and just recently moved back to Augusta. I have a passion for serving others and I can't wait to minister to others through Hope For Hooves.