I guess I should start by apologizing for the lapse in time since the last posting. CJ and I were so busy trying to get things in order for the big move that we didn’t have a lot of extra time for blogging. However, we’re hoping to get completely caught up in the next couple weeks and promise to be more diligent in updating on a more regular basis in the future!! Not only do we want to keep you guys in the loop, but we’ve found that in our updates, we are continually reminded of God’s goodness and sovereignty. We’re still amazed to see how He’s been working in and through us and we’re so glad you’re along with us for this journey.
Highlights from March
So we continued to work on getting the house ready to sell, completing projects both inside and out. But despite the immensity of that task, it did not completely distract us from our work on SWR. God, through the unlikeliest of sources, connected us to the leaders of two existing Christian retreats. A friend of ours, Bridget, happens to work at a youth camp along Lake Travis in Lago Vista, got us introduced to Don Barr, the President and Program Director of Candlelight Ranch. I spent some time with Don discussing the camps’ property arrangement, the phasing of their infrastructure and general operations. It’s always nice to hear others’ stories and to see how God has worked in their lives! A few days later we got a call from our friend, Judith, who was living in Washington at the time. In talking to a friend of a friend, she mentioned SWR. The gentleman that she was in conversation with mentioned that he had a friend that runs a Christian retreat in Twin Lakes, Colorado, which is be about 45 minutes to an hour north of the area in which we expect SWR will be located. Funny thing is, she gave us his phone number and it turns out that he actually lives in Austin during the off-months….how crazy is that? So I called Jerry James, the president of Majestic Mountain Ministries and spent the time discussing our ideas about SWR as well as how they handle their operations and property / infrastructure arrangement. Although there was a similar vision, it turns out that their facility only operates from May to September (it’s not located near a ski resort or other winter sport area) and is focused more towards church staff retreats. Jerry invited us to visit their retreat and we look forward to that at some point in the near future. After all, the more we get the feel for other retreats and how they do things, the better educated we will be on how to manage SWR. So in the end, both conversations were very informative and totally God ordained. We just love the way He connects us all!!
In March, we also continued to work on the 501(c)3 application, a very dry and tedious job indeed! I was able to develop the preliminary budget forecast and retreat phasing spreadsheets, adding some great search features with CJ’s excel expertise. CJ and I also refined the retreat’s mission statement / goals as well as creating the SWR faith statement, which illustrates the retreat’s core spiritual beliefs. And finally, we were able to sell our Suzuki (Lil’ Blue), so we were back down to two vehicles and one less worry on our plate.
So that’s pretty much March in a nutshell. As always, we find ourselves continually amazed by God. One of the major insights that He’s recently given us is the importance of putting ourselves out there and networking. God has laid this vision on our hearts, but it’s definitely not the Lance and CJ show and we sure don’t have a lot of answers. We definitely feel that He’s calling us to continue to reach out, bring others into this and depend on Him for all the answers. We can’t wait to see where He leads us next. This is very much a God thing and He will get all the glory! We will be posting more updates for the months of April – June through out the next couple weeks.