What an exciting month this has been! A month ago, we were offered a $10,000 matching challenge by an anonymous donor. God honored both His Name and the faith of that donor! By the last day of the year, we had received $10,058.26! We are thrilled to see how God has provided and we are humbled and grateful to the Lord for it all.
One of the greatest blessings has been the response of several pastors who have been helped by belonging to a John 17:23 Pastors Support Group. Their giving alone has provided $3,000 of what we’ve received. That speaks volumes to the difference this ministry is making in their lives. And I know they too are looking forward to the day when the retreat center is up and running and able to meet their needs and the needs of other pastors.
This fund-raising effort will enable us to clear the cottage sites, carve the road and move the earth to meet the recently completed bridge, create the retention ponds and put in the silt fencing necessary to continue progress on our site plan.
1. Pray for the Lord’s provision to complete our matching challenge for the project.
2. Pray for our trip to Florida mid-January. It will include a reunion Sunday and my preaching at Crystal Cove Community Church in Palm Harbor, the church we founded 20 years ago.
3. Pray for a group leader training we have scheduled for January 24th. We’re asking God to use this training to strengthen our groups and raise up new leaders for future groups.
4. Pray as Sue and I begin to expand our personal support base in January. I’ve come to realize that in all my efforts to raise funds for Grace Valley Ministries we’ve neglected our own financial support.
Pray that God will raise up additional partners who believe in what we’re doing and desire to invest in us for the sake of the kingdom.
Again, we thank you so much for standing with us in prayer through it all.
For those of you who have been following our progress with Grace Valley Ministries as we’re building a retreat center for pastors and ministry leaders, I have some great news! A donor has just stepped up and offered to match any gifts given by the end of 2016 up to ten thousand dollars! Now the big figure of 185 thousand finishes the roadwork, infrastructure and the first complete cottage with furnishings. That seems like an overwhelming figure, but we’re taking this one step at a time as the Lord provides. So if you’ve been thinking about helping us out, now would be a great time. Just visit gracevalleyministries.org or the Grace Valley Ministries Facebook page to send a gift.
Let me tell you why this effort matters. Every now and then we hear about a high profile pastor burning out and quitting, or experiencing personal or moral failure. And while we hear about those, the numbers are just as great in the more humble places we don’t hear about. Is there anything we can do to help? Yes. Is there anything you can do to help your own pastor? Yes. You can help this vision become a reality by investing in the project.
We have a two-pronged approach to helping prevent ministry failure.
1. Providing periods of rest and retreat which is why this project is so important.
2. Connecting them in small groups where they have peer-to-peer safe relationships for support and encouragement. So far 13 have been established in Cherokee, Pickens and Cobb county.
We also want to be here for those who have already hit a wall and are in need of intervention. So the ministry works both ways.
But if you care about the health and resilience of pastors and ministry leaders, especially your own pastor, would you join us in this effort? You can see us online at gracevalleyministries.org or on our Facebook page.
Ministry Update as of February 29, 2016
We are currently developing 11 acres of land into a retreat center that will ultimately provide four welcoming cottages that can be offered free of charge to pastors and ministry leaders.
In this setting individuals or couples will be able to experience refreshment and spiritual renewal. Optional counseling, both pastoral and clinical, will be available while they stay.
We have a site plan pending approval and we’re ready to break ground as soon as God provides.
We invite you to prayerfully consider partnering with us. Your financial investment can make a significant difference in the lives of ministry leaders.
Here are our immediate needs:
|Installation of two timber bridges to cross a flood plain||$40,000|
|Road work/ water supply||$10,000|
|First Cottage (1000 sq. ft.)||$113,000|
|Total Immediate Need||$183,000|
In addition, we just learned that the adjoining 50 acres of land we’ve been praying for may well be coming available. This land will give us a more welcoming entrance into Grace Valley and allow the long term vision for the retreat center to be possible. The price seems very reasonable. More information to follow.
If we can strengthen one Christian leader, we are touching the lives of countless others.
Will you be a part?