..... this chapter is ending; the next beginning.
The next Chapter in the story is about to begin; maybe it’s YOUR chapter!
After much prayer and thought, and discussion with the Board of Trustees of 'Ministries by Design,' the charity which operates The Vine, we feel it’s right to draw our chapter at The Vine to a close and to hand on to some one else. Might that be you, or someone you know?
1 Cor 3:6 “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.”
And that’s very much how it feels to us – we’ve planted and now it’s time for someone else to water.
The story so far:
CHAPTER ONE: THE PROPHECY
Ron, an uneducated man who came to faith through a terrible accident, had a picture when he was praying. It was of a large old house, set back from the road and with big white double gates. He heard the Lord say that one day the house would be a Christian place for others to come. Walking through Hullavington one day, he saw the double white gates and house of his dream. It was Mays Farm - That was 30 years ago.
CHAPTER TWO: THE PRAYER
When Mays Farm went on the market, 3 local women began praying regularly that the house would indeed be bought by Christians. Their prayers were answered – our offer on the house was the lowest of three and yet it was the one the Lord ensured was accepted!
CHAPTER THREE: THE PREPARATION
It took just over a year to get the house from barely habitable to what it is today. Many reading this have helped to make it possible – through practical hard work, through financial support, through prayer and encouragement along the way.
CHAPTER FOUR: THE PRESENCE
Since The Vine at Mays Farm opened in July 2013 the guest book has been full of amazing comments from those who have been here - over 700 hundred people have stayed on retreat or have come for the day. Bishops, Archdeacons, Rectors, Vicars, Curates – oh, and some normal people too!
One person told us after a weekend here that when she went into work on Monday morning her colleagues noticed something different about her countenance – what did you do this weekend, they asked her. You’re different!
“It always feels as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders by the time I leave.” (a Rector who has been three times now!)
“Wonderful to rest and re-charge in this beautiful place filled with blessings.”
“A wonderful, peaceful and relaxing place to be. I have really experienced the generosity of God here: through silence, hospitality, welcome, and the blessing of other guests. Thank you!”
(a few comments from the visitors’ book just over the past three weeks.)
CHAPTER FIVE: THE PROSPECT
And so a new chapter of The Vine at Mays Farm will open next summer……
We are being called into the next season of life and will actually be retiring next August.
Typically of the apostolic calling that we have seen so often in our ministry over the past 30 years, we were called to begin, to pioneer, to plant.
Now it’s time to hand the vision on to someone who is called to take it to the next stage – to maintain and encourage and oversee the growth that the Lord is bringing to this important ministry.
Are you the person God is calling to lead The Vine into the next chapter?
Or maybe you know someone who might be.
Someone with the vision to lead a place of Re:FRESH Re:RENEW Re:TREAT for others to come and be recharged and refuelled.
It will need someone with the resources to buy Mays Farm and continue The Vine and its ministry – probably with ongoing subsidy or fund-raising.
Might you join your prayers with ours and those of the Trustees that the right person will be found at the right time and that the Lord will direct and guide over these next few weeks and months.
And if you haven’t yet made a retreat at The Vine now’s the opportunity to do so while we are still here - we will be welcoming guests on retreat until July 2016, so do come for a Re:FRESH Re:NEW Re:TREAT. Booking now for January - July 2016
THANK YOU, thank you, thank you - to all of you who have supported the ministry, supported us in it, and helped to get it established. We thank God for each and every one of you!
This Christmas, may you know the simplicity of His birth and the magnitude of His purpose.
- Penelope and Kim
For more details please email or call us. And do please tell others who might be interested in this new possibility.