When we first stepped out of the car and onto the property, we felt saturated in prayer. People have been praying here for decades. There are wells of revival here. We knew God was doing something, and it didn’t make much sense to be honest, because we didn’t have the money to purchase the property. God simply whispered, “Trust Me.”
The Story of Crestview
Crestview Glory House
The Dream Eight Months Earlier (October 2018)
I had a dream where Bob and I walked into a cottage that was for sale. The cabinets were full of catering supplies. My overall impression was, “Whoever lived here really cared for people.”
We walked back outside of the house and circled down a little path that led to a little teal door underneath the house. I was shocked at what I saw as we entered a massive room. We found ourselves standing on the center stage of what seemed to be an extremely large university lecture hall. The layout was an inverted arena where the stage was elevated and the seats cascaded down and away from the stage. If you can imagine this setup, the students would be facing the outside walls with their backs toward the stage. Around the entire rim of the stage, there were several designated “teaching spots” for a professor or teacher to stand at each one. Each spot was equipped with a projector and coordinating screen on the opposite wall. It was clear that the teachers would be casting their content out to the walls for all of the students in that section to learn from.
Looking at the thousands of empty seats and missing teachers, the call to purchase this property landed firmly in my heart. My insides filled with purpose and urgency. I knew that this was where the saints would be equipped for the work of the ministry.
Then, we looked up to the ceiling and saw canoes, thousands of them, stacked in rafters. They were covered in dust, rust, and weeds and it was obvious they had been neglected of use. With space to hold two people in each canoe, we knew they were there for the purpose of sending students out into the world to give away what they had been taught. (Boats speak of salvation and canoes imply personal ministries.)
In the dream, I knew what we were being asked to do:
- Nurture people and care deeply for them (the cottage)
- Equip the saints and send them out into their personal mission field (under the house)
But there was a problem and I felt a great tension: the condition of the canoes would require Bob and I to take down and clean each one, one at a time. The gravity of the job at hand overwhelmed us. We felt the weight of a huge undertaking.
Bob looked at the sea of canoes and said, “Do you know how much work this is going to be?” I admitted I didn’t know. I knew he would play a very big role in the grind and that we’d have to ask people to help because no single person could ever clean all these canoes.
We knew we had one other option that would alleviate the burden: take down one single canoe, clean it, get in it ourselves and paddle our way out of this assignment.
The dream ended with a decision: “We can’t leave. We must open up this equipping center.”
IT’S A REAL PLACE
In the next few months following the dream, we received two prophetic words from two different sources, saying we would open an actual equipping center. At first, this was difficult to believe because we ran a very large business of twenty years. Our responsibilities in our business wouldn’t accommodate the love and care that it would require to run a physical building. We assumed the prophecies and the dream were symbolic of what we were currently doing in ministry.
However, our story dramatically changed on May 17, 2019. We received a notice from corporate headquarters that a dramatic restructure would be taking place and force us to lose our organization. We were shocked, grieved and excited all at the same time. God, what are you up to?
A few weeks after this notice, my friend, Ann Hammock, text me the listing of the property. “What do you think of this?” Out of pure curiosity, we set up a visit. Honestly, because my world had been flipped upside down, I had forgotten about the dream and the prophecies, but when I took one step out of the van onto the property, I stepped back into my dream. I walked up to the teal front door of the manor; the door in my dream.
Oh Lord, I can feel this is ours.
But this is crazy! We lose our company and purchase a retreat center. This makes no sense in the natural and total sense in the Kingdom. If God really wants us to do this, He’ll have to provide. This would be a miracle in every way.
We knew that it would cost us everything we had, including money, our current home, all of our possessions, and even more frightening, it would cost us our comfort. Okay, “Yes, God. We say Yes.”
Over the next five months a series of miracles unfolded. The owners graciously accepted our offer, families came from all over the United States, and the down payment was miraculously donated within twenty-four hours of the due date for acceptance of the purchase. We literally cried all day. God did this!
The Vision and Provision
Now, to get very practical! We immediately saw that the rooms and spaces would need some TLC! Paint, flooring, walking paths and decor needed to be updated to fit the vision that was in our hearts: our vision to create a REST RANCH; a place of 100% rest in the spirit and in the natural.
Rather than asking people to come with their sleeping bags to a “camping” type environment, we envisioned farmhouse-like decor, warm interiors, cottage-style beds, down comforters and outdoor swings gathered around campfires.
Bob particularly loves remodeling and designing spaces that make people want to sink into comfort in an atmosphere of excellence. We want our guests to feel like they have space to rest, nap, recover from a challenging season and feel God’s presence without the inconvenience of packing their own bedding. We want our space to invite guests into warmth and comfort! It is our heart’s desire! We want every space to feel like REST, look like REST, and breathe REST.
Called to the Mission
God sent the call to nine families who would leave their homes, cities, and comforts to live on-site and serve the ministry to make this dream a reality. The group of people living on site is doing everything from making graphics to green beans! We meet each weekday for corporate prayer and ask God to grace us with the ability and resources to “clean canoes and equip the saints.” Our onsite volunteers pay rent to live on the property and volunteer their service. Our heart and vision is to be able to provide food, salaries, and lots of love for their service!
In addition, we have friends serving the vision all over the nation whom we are so grateful for! They care deeply about the mission and have given their gifts and resources to this vision.
But there is still so much room for more! Would you join us?
Thank you for reading about our vision. We can’t wait for you to come to Crestview and enter the space of REST. We know you will be invigorated by the Holy Spirit and power when you leave. It will change your life forever and it will change ours to serve you!
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