by Megan Troise
After spending an afternoon at a llama exhibition at the Ohio State Fair, Tom Ross was fascinated and he saw these creatures as a sign. He always felt like he and his wife, Judy, should be doing something more with their lives, so he decided to buy some llamas. Judy was skeptical, but when she saw how these animals helped others, it not only changed her view but their lives as well. Read the full story about the Good News Llamas ministry and find more stories like this in All Creatures magazine.
Tom always knew llamas were special. He was captivated after visiting his first exhibition at the Ohio State Fair. It took Judy some convincing when it came to caring for their own llamas, but she came around.
After bringing home their first two llamas, Emily and Fabian, Judy says something took hold of her. She stared at them and realized how beautiful these creatures are. Was God trying to tell her something?
At first, Tom and Judy thought they’d breed the llamas, but every time a new baby was born, they couldn’t let it go. Instead, they created a ministry, bringing their llamas to schools, nursing homes and other places to connect with folks in their community.
People are drawn to the llamas, says Judy. They love to pet them—one boy held tight to one of the animals for nearly 20 minutes.
They now have a herd of 18 llamas that not only bring joy to those in their community, but also to Tom and Judy, who never expected a retirement quite like this one.
People have misconceptions about llamas, but they are as gentle as can be—ideal for visiting seniors and children who need some joy and laughter in their lives.
Judy heard about the many uses for llama fiber and learned to spin the fiber into yarn. She started teaching spinning, dyeing and felting.
They sell the yarn and use the money to buy inspirational literature to share with others. Such a colorful ministry! Good News Llamas is spreading the word about these magnificent creatures while spreading God’s love.
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