a sanctuary of rest and restoration

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 can even 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.

a place of beauty and exploration

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 to as we experience His rest, His healing, and His playful delight.

a community of life together

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 are looking for a way to reconnect with themselves, with creation, or with God.

As Dietrich Bonhoeffer says in Life Together, the life alone prepares us for the life together and vise versa. We want a place where both are available and can be entered into at each person’s comfort level.

We dream about this property being 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 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.

Texas Bluebonnets & Indian Paintbrush

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. 😉