- About Us
- Our Journey
- Our Dream
- Vision & Purpose
ABOUT US |
Steve and Jamie got married in 1998 and have four children. Steve began ministry as a youth minister in Houston, TX after graduating from Houston Baptist University in Houston with a degree in Art and English. He went on to earn a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. Since then, Steve has served in pastoral ministry in four different churches in Texas.
Jamie earned her Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at Concordia University Texas in Austin and began her career as a middle school math and PE teacher. After 10 years in the trenches as a pastor’s wife and home educator, Jamie went on to obtain an Advanced Counseling Certificate through the Townsend Institute at Concordia University – Irvine, CA.
Steve currently serves as the Director of Strategy and Operations.
Jamie currently serves as the Director of Ministry and Programs.
While these are the basic credentials, they do little to tell you who these people really are. You might be interested to know that Steve and Jamie are both first-born children. For any of you familiar with birth order, you know that means they are reliable and conscientious. They also have a tendency to be driven, perfectionistic, and achievement oriented.
They were both raised in highly active, church-going families, so you can add to the list that they have been trained to look out for the needs of others, be nice, and sacrifice so that others can know the love of God. It’s kind of a funny combination if you think about it – highly driven to be really nice and sacrificial. (It causes a person to have to be somewhat covert about their perfectionism and people pleasing, but that’s another story.)
Somewhere along the journey, life stopped going the way Steve and Jamie thought it should. All their hard work did not seem to produce the results they expected. All their sacrifice began to leave them dry, weary, and if we’re being completely honest, somewhat bitter and resentful.
I see it, too – not a very admirable list of qualities. It might even be that as you read the list, you think these are not the kind of people that you would want speaking into your life and your ministry. But I hope you will stick with me for a little bit longer, because that is not the whole of their story. Part of their journey has led them to identify somewhat with Paul in his second letter to the church in Corinth.
But He said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you,
for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9
One of the things they are coming to terms with in their journey is that as much as they work and as hard as they try, there always seems to be something about themselves or the people around them that crops up and threatens to destroy their image of themselves or their ability to accomplish their goals. While annoying and discouraging at first, at some point they were invited to wonder what God was doing in the middle of that frustration. Why was it that the way of functioning that had always worked for them all of their lives was no longer working?
To make a long story shorter, we will leave out all the ranting, the crying, the counseling, the despair, the anger, the unexpected help, the anxiety, and the depression that were a part of the process of letting go of the old way. It was ugly and painful (and still is some days). Yet, in bits and pieces, Steve and Jamie began to discover that God was wanting to make His love, His grace, and His power known to them in a fresh way. They began to see that His grace really was sufficient for them.
They didn’t have to know it all or do it all just right. In fact, the more they released their tight grip on control, the more they saw that God was actively working with them and for them. They began to experience the truth they had believed in their minds for many years but rarely tasted in reality.
What truth is that? The reality that God really does love people apart from our works. God is not a taskmaster, but rather, patient and kind. The blood of Jesus really does cover over all – failure, sin, shortcomings, mistakes – and has won for His beloved ones the freedom to be childlike again, fulling trusting that the Father knows what tomorrow holds and does not intend for people to spend their lives worrying about it.
Maybe you have heard all those words before. Steve and Jamie had, too. But now they have a personal story to go with each truth. These statements are no longer just words on a page for them, but evidence of a loving and active God who has woven Himself into the fabric of their lives – a God whose ways they often don’t understand, but whose character has captivated their hearts.
So yeah – they aren’t perfect, and it might be easy to pick out their flaws. But they have discovered a grace that is more important than any of that, and they love when they get the opportunity to help others experience that more fully as well.
OUR JOURNEY | By American standards, some might say that the Wiechmans (pronounced wish-mun) had a somewhat dramatic call out of their normal life of ministry. However, their story is not uncommon among followers of Jesus in the Bible and throughout history. Yet when God invited them to leave their life of public ministry behind and follow him on what they termed their “Trust Adventure,” it felt anything but common, even to them.
They were accustomed to doing what was hard, and while they didn’t love the dryness they were experiencing, they chalked it up to the cost of discipleship. In some ways, it is what they thought they had signed up for when they took the call to be leaders in the church.
Imagine their surprise when they began to suspect God might not be demanding that they continue in their current context. Was it possible that He might lead them out for a time of rest and refreshment? Could He be inviting them to a sabbath season of not producing, but instead, relying on the Lord’s provision and direction in a way they had not known before?
In an unfamiliar demonstration of childlike trust, they jumped, hoping that the Father’s arms would catch them. Steve resigned from his job, giving up a regular paycheck, health insurance, and participation in a retirement saving fund. In so doing, he gave up his reputation as someone reliable and responsible, and even began the process of surrendering his confidence in his own ability to provide all good things for himself and placing that confidence in God instead.
Jamie gave up her nice house, her beautiful possessions, and her identity as a diligent homeschooling mom and began the process of seeing herself as a beloved child of God, learning to trust Him to take responsibility for her children and their well-being (as promised in Isaiah 54:13).
They sold their house, gave away most of their possessions, and packed what they had left in a 10-foot cargo trailer to be towed behind their Suburban. They hit the road with their four children on a journey to discover the gifts of God in an unconventional way. You can read more of their story here, at the blog they kept during that time. This links you to their original announcement, where they let people know about the new journey God was inviting them to begin.
OUR DREAM | This page is a little bit tougher for me (Jamie) to share than the other pages on our website. Have you ever noticed that it can be harder to vulnerably share of our dreams than it is to share of our weaknesses? (And the challenge of sharing weaknesses is already significant!)
Having the courage to give voice to a dream is especially difficult when the dream has taken many hits. We sometimes tell ourselves that it’s ridiculous to desire something like this; yet God seems to have a special affinity for those dreams that He Himself planted in our hearts. They can get hammered, abused, and forgotten. You can even try to leave them in some dumpster along the side of the road as you declare that you quit. You’re done dreaming. But those God-dreams – somehow they just won’t die. On second thought, maybe they do die, and then He goes about resurrecting them.
That being said, I will now risk sharing our dream. First of all, place matters to us. One of the key things we do in our ministry is to cultivate sacred space. In our experience, disconnecting from pressure and encountering safety and rest is often easier for people when their physical surroundings communicate beauty, spaciousness, and an invitation to explore.
We imagine Breathe Life Ministries on a piece of property with trees and trails, some sort of water – such as a pond or a creek, and plenty of space to get away from the bustle of life and people. We want the external environment to give a picture of the internal environment God invites His people into as we experience His rest, His healing, and His playful delight.
In addition to providing a place to get away, we also see this property as a place to gather. Many leaders are lonely and isolated in their regular lives. They long for the simplicity of connecting over a cup of coffee, a good meal, a game of horseshoes, or quiet fishing in the pond. Sometimes people want to connect with others, but sometimes they looking for a way to reconnect with themselves, with creation, or with God.
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, the life alone prepares us for the life together and vise versa. We want Breathe Life to be a place where both are available and can be entered into at each person’s comfort level.
We dream about this property as a place where some people live and work, and where others come frequently as a regular part of the community. In the book of Acts, the believers gathered regularly in each other’s homes to eat, pray, worship, encourage each other, and share of their gifts and their needs. We would like the opportunity to experiment with what this might look like in the 21st century.
We like the idea of hosting larger gatherings at times for groups to come and experience the gifts and values of our community. We also see this as a hub of ministry life, where people come for a time to be refreshed, but then are sent back to live out their calling in whatever context the Lord has for them.
We imagine ourselves living in this space only part of the time, as somewhat of a home base. We have a heart to go to some people where they are and walk alongside them in their ministry context. Maybe we would even have an RV someday to make this possible. We believe God may have ministry partners for us in multiple locations where we visit regularly – a home away from home for us.
If you pressed me for specifics, I would say we’re looking for our primary property to be in Texas – specifically somewhere northwest of Houston between Tomball and College Station. Though we would prayerfully entertain any other offer as well. We’re also curious about partner ministries and properties in other parts of the country (and world?).
As with some faith dreams, we’re not sure what to do with this. I’ll admit that the dream has already died and been resurrected once or twice. For now, we allow it to rest safely in the Lord’s hands, trusting that when the time is right, He’ll show us what to do. I doubt we’re the only ones with this kind of vision. It strikes me as being somewhat heaven-like. My heart cannot deny my longing for it, so I guess the most faithful response I know of right now is simply to believe. And to tell you.
VISION & PURPOSE
- VISION | Every church a sacred space where real people with real needs, challenges, and dreams receive real help through the close friendship of God and His people.
- PURPOSE | We cultivate space where the Holy Spirit sets the Father’s beloved free so they can live in fullness with Jesus.