"We prayed for Mays Farm to be bought by Christians, when it went on the market a couple of years ago," Jan says to me this morning. "Di and I, we really wanted it to be a place where there was a Christian presence." "What made you think of that?" I ask.
"Because when my husband and I moved into the village 20 years ago, people were talking about a prophecy. A prophecy that one day Mays Farm would be a Christian place, something special like a retreat centre. So, two years ago when it was up for sale after the very elderly farmer died, Di and I decided to meet regularly and pray that the prophecy would come true."
She pulls a face. "But it didn't. The whole farm was bought by someone who obviously wasn't going to do that.
So we stopped praying."
Jan laughs. "But then of course last year he puts the farmhouse and gardens back on the market and keeps the farmyard and barn. And you bought it. And it seems the prophecy is coming to fruition."
All those years ago.
A prophecy about this place. To be a Christian presence in the village, somewhere special like a retreat centre.
I feel the goosebumps.
God knew, all along.
Well of course He did.
But He let others know too.
* * * *
At the Open Day, there was a short service of dedication in the Chapel, to pray for the house and the Chapel and for those who live here and those who visit here. We'd given a general invite to local people to come and see and join us.
Afterwards, a lovely older couple from the village introduce themselves. They attend the Mount Zion Chapel in the village, we discover. "We've been praying for this farm. But we could never have imagined that there would be worship here like this."
Surely God is in this place.
Surely God meant for all this to happen.
* * * *
And in the hard times, in the times when there's too much month left at the end of the money (is it REALLY only halfway through October?), in the times when it feels as though it 's a moment of madness to be doing this, God gives something special.
This time it's the assurance that this is what He intended all along.
A 20 year old prophecy.
People praying for this place.
* * * *
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
* * * *
Come and be part of this prophecy.
Come on retreat to Mays Farm; enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this place of spiritual sanctuary; spend time with the Lord; and even have breakfast in bed! Oh, and there's a wood burner to keep you cosy as you sit and read or pray after a refreshing glorious country walk; plenty of space to BE.