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    Green Oak Ranch sold ministry focus remains

    In the 1950s, Arie de Jong would deliver milk from his family’s dairy to a little place called Green Oak Ranch in Vista. Today, de Jong takes the deliveries at Green Oak. On Jan. 30, de Jong assumed the position as owner of Green Oak Ranch.

    De Jong, with his family, his attorney and Carl Fielstra, Green Oak’s general director, organized the de Jong Family Charitable Foundation which officially acquired Green Oak from the Union Rescue Mission of Los Angeles. According to de Jong, they established the foundation to manage any contributions made to Green Oak.

    The acquisition had been seriously considered for about 18 months and both Fielstra and de Jong described it as mutual and agreeable.

    “It was rather simple [to get], which was what I expected,” described de Jong. “The CEO of the Rescue Mission said it was his easiest deal ever.”

    The Rescue Mission started Green Oak in 1950 and, as Fielstra explained, had been looking to sell the 142-acre Christian recovery and restoration ministry for approximately five years.

    “The Mission had wanted to concentrate its efforts along skid row in Los Angeles, and had been looking for the right buyer for some time,” he said. “They only wanted to sell it to someone who would keep the ministry alive.”

    Fielstra assumed his position in October 1992 when five people were involved in the programs. That year he introduced a modified social model which has resulted in its present resident population of 75 adults and children. With the Rescue Mission looking to sell Green Oak for so long, Fielstra explained that it was difficult to expand and develop the programs, although he did it just the same. The new ownership has given Green Oak security and hope.

    “We have brought back a great ministry since 1992,” said Fielstra, “and now we have vision and direction.”

    He expressed admiration of de Jong and hopes that even though de Jong does not desire to run the ranch, he will play an active role as, “…we have a lot to learn from him.”

    De Jong is certainly not one accustomed to owning ministries. His parents immigrated to San Diego from Holland with their 10 kids, and bought their first dairy in Escondido on Center City Parkway and Felicita.

    “There was a little dairy for sale,” recalled de Jong. “My father couldn’t read English so I had to read the sign for him.” From there, they slowly expanded and developed what is now known as Hollandia Dairy.

    Now as the owner of Green Oak, he sees it as his ministry.

    “Having the ranch is my contribution to mankind you might say.”

    With new ownership, new programs and a vision of expanding the children’s and women’s programs, Green Oak Ranch need not be envious of other ministries.

    “He (de Jong) welcomed us into his family,” said Fielstra, “and we are all very happy about this.”

    The ranch is located off Sycamore Avenue in Vista.

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