I returned from my retreat with Jesus that November, and shared all God had poured into me while away. “But how? What do we do, Lord?” Crickets… We sat on it for a few months.
January, 2021: It was a new year and with it came hope. Even with this new understanding and knowledge, we still had no idea how to move forward. The logical side of my husband kicked in and he suggested “Why don’t we just do what we CAN do. Let’s be responsible with what we know and not worry about what we don’t know. We know we will need a website. Let’s go ahead and build it.” So, in February, 2021, that is what we did.
Although we had the name to our ministry and some ideas, we still felt we were trudging through the dark with only a dim glow directly in front of us. Imagine answering questions when people ask about your ministry and you just don’t have many answers…
“What is Sixty-One Acres all about?”
“Umm, I’m not really sure. But it is based on Isaiah 61. Hear, Heal, Grow, Give. That’s all we’ve got.”
“So, do you have land? 61 Acres?”
“Where do you plan to have the ministry?”
“Not sure. Maybe Costa Rica? Or perhaps Florida? I mean, really just anywhere would be fine.”
“Do you plan on purchasing land?”
“We don’t have the money for that.”
Awkward! But when you KNOW God has spoken something to you, awkward is a very small price to pay for the expectancy and knowing in your spirit that God will figure it all out!
And figure it out He has, and is, and will continue to! Although we had no idea what Sixty-One Acres would fully look like initially, God continued to develop the ideas He poured into me back in November identifying different retreats that the ministry would offer. Sixty-One Acres would be a retreat-based ministry. Exciting, since I had already been leading one women’s retreat called Beauty For Ashes! But now the blaring issue was WHERE would these retreats be held? This question had the potential to haunt me, causing fear and doubt, unless I routinely released it to the Lord. I practiced releasing, trusting, and resting in His plans and timing. And I would continue practicing this for the next 7 months.
August, 2021: I received a message from a past retreat attendee whom I had not talked to in over a year. She had read an article in a small magazine in a doctor’s office about a retreat center that a Christian couple 2 hours from us were opening. She sent a photo of the article, I read it, and my heart leapt! My chest was pounding as I repeatedly read the article trying to find the reason why I should not contact them. I couldn’t find one! At 11pm on a Monday night, I poured my heart and soul out in an email to a stranger named Jennifer. Tuesday at noon we spoke on the phone. Through tears, she shared how God had led them to turn their ranch property into a retreat center not knowing who would want to use it. I was an answer to her prayer, she was an answer to mine. Wednesday, I was on my way for a visit. As I pulled down the long Oak-lined drive, the tears welled up in my eyes. I was seeing God’s Promises being fulfilled right before me. As I parked the car, Jennifer stepped outside and we met with an embrace and more tears. It seemed I had always known her. Only God can do that- bring two complete strangers together who feel like family before you’ve spoken a word. I spent the entire day with her and her husband as we ate together, talked, shared stories, and prayed. I felt like I was home.
We have since held two retreats at Spacious Place Ministries and Jennifer is truly like a family member. It is a beautiful partnership- one I do not take for granted for one second! While on my most recent retreat, I asked my retreat partner to let me out of the car as we drove down that long oak-lined drive. I wanted to bask in His presence, I wanted to remember what He has done, I wanted to praise Him and offer my thanks to Him for working exceedingly abundantly above anything I could ever ask, think, or imagine! As I walked, the breeze blew through the trees, and I listened for my Savior’s Voice. He spoke. “Christi, it isn’t over yet. Look out there. Do you see those cows? Remember, I own the cattle on 1,000 hills. There is more.” His words overwhelmed me. I had no words. I still have no words. I can’t imagine more! I can’t fathom Him doing more than He already has. He has been so faithful. He is trustworthy. I can rest in Him because He always, always, always fulfills His Promises. I can’t imagine it, but I can rest in the fact that the best is yet to come!
Would you like to attend a Sixty-One Acres retreat? Click on the link below to sign up for our next retreat!