Monday, December 2, 2013


As I sit here this morning - I am so aware of how Advent Season has begun - and we are on our countdown to celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.  We usually celebrate with our grandkids by singing Happy Birthday to Jesus.  I love how the kids get into the party mode.  As I look outside, everything is blanketed with a fresh layer of snow, and the flakes continue to fall.  Winter is upon us in a big way here in Manitoba.  

I am thankful for my daughter Ashley who put together our little advent card - and I thought that perhaps I would take a few moments in this post to tell you a little bit about what you can expect if you choose to come during one of the times stated above.

I don't think I am alone when it comes to this season.  There is just too much running around - gift buying, baking, gatherings, concerts, and on and on - often leaving us totally exhausted by the time the big day comes.  I have often experienced this exhaustion, and have vowed that "next year it will be different" ~ and that is my hope this year.  I have a feeling that you are not much different.
So I decided (and actually took the lead from The MARK Centre in Abbotsford) to do "Celebrate Advent at the Well" and invite you to step out of your hustle and bustle and retreat here for an hour or two, and spend some time spiritually refreshing.  

We will have the bedrooms set up as "stations" and beginning in the Sanctuary - you will move from room to room, and each room will have something for you to see, or do, or think about - with each station drawing you closer toward what CHRISTmas is all about.  You will not spend alot of time in each room, and as you leave - someone will go into the room behind you.  But it is our way of trying to help you focus on Jesus.

After you are done going through the stations, you will come down stairs and enjoy some apple cider and cookies.  You will set your pace - and we will provide the opportunity for you to renew.  It will be a time of reflection, and we hope to keep the atmosphere quiet and peaceful in order to provide that time and space for you to reflect and pray.

THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THIS EVENT.  However, we do want you to know that the ministry is a recognized non-profit ministry, with the capability to receipt donations should you wish to leave a financial gift.  NOT NECESSARY but greatly appreciated if God moves you to do so.

While an RSVP is not needed, feel free to call and let us know you are coming.  We have chosen to include one weekend night (Sunday) and two nights during the work week, as well as some daytime time slots.  

We hope that you can "step out of the traffic" and come to celebrate advent here, at the Well.   

Joy Klassen

ps  UNFORTUNATELY the stations are upstairs, and we recognize that some of you may have trouble with stairs.  At some point, we hope to be able to raise the money for a lift, but right now, there are stairs to climb.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Conversations that matter (Joy returns to school :)

This week is rather quiet around the retreat house.  I (Joy) left home early Friday morning, kissed my husband good-bye, and left for my destination - Glen Eyrie retreat and conference center - in beautiful Colorado Springs, CO.  I have been hear before in October of 09 when I was part of NewWay Ministries School of Spiritual Direction Class #33.  (or SSD)   (for more info, check out  This ministry is under the direction of Dr. Larry Crabb (or just Larry as we call him this week, which I might add is somehow hard for me to do! lol)

We were asked to bring back our manuals for this week - which is called Next Step. And hidden in the back of my manual, I see my handwriting and these words, written four years ago:  "I come with no expectations other than a strong sense that God had something big in store for me personally and in regards to future ministry."

Seeing those words written four years ago, as well as thinking over some of what we heard the first night of school on Friday night, did a few things (I wrote about this in my personal blog

But I think the overriding thing was that I stood in awe of what God has done in my life, through me, and often I am sure - in spite of me!!  I stand in awe of the healing that has taken place - and the brokenness that I was in, and how God has restore the shattered pieces of my life (and our life as a family following the silent birth of our first born grandchild).   I stood in all as I remembered and recalled the faithfulness of God to us.

The other thing that I stand in amazement at was how God took these last 4 years, and it was full of soul searching, and pain, and forgiveness and change.  It was full of adventure and risk and learning to live fully in what God had in store for me.  It was years full of building, and building and building some more, and in God's timing, seeing this ministry come to the point of starting - 13 years after God gave me the vision for it.

I stand in awe Lord .... I stand in awe of your marvelous works!

So, as I said, I am back at school.  I have come to experience in my life, the fact that we are often in conversations.  Some of it is merely fluffy - not even scratching below the first coat!  I want (and I believe I have already experienced that women/men want) "conversations that matter!"
Our focus this week is on what does it mean to engage in conversations that matter - and to bring the Trinity into our relational world.

I am here, in this beautiful setting, taking it in, asking questions, spending time in "quads" talking and unpacking what we have learned.  I am here being led into worship that is about lament and living.  I am here and involved in meaningful conversation, fully aware of God in our midst.  There is no words to describe the joy within my soul - as I seek, and ask, and listen (and repeat it all) and go off to sleep with thoughts running through my being.

The ministry that I referred to in my quote from SSD 2009 ... that is the ministry God has called us to - Women Refreshed at the Well.  And it is my joy and great delight to anticipate the meaningful conversations that will take place, and have already taken place in our ministry house.
God is at work - to Him be the glory!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Happenings around the Well :)

Joy writes:

It has been far too long since I have blogged, and since I am the only one posting here - it means that I need to get going on something!  So I thought I would fill you in on the happenings around here!

God continues to grow us, and stretch us in ways that I really don't think I ever thought about NOR was I prepared for.  Someone the other day said something about my "team" to which I laughed and said "right now, it is a team of 1" as I am the chief cook and bottle washer, and laundry gal, and bed maker (just stripped 5 beds and have a wash going as I type) ...  I love it when I get a hand doing the beds because it just takes that much less time when I don't have to go from one side to the other.
I am definitely stretching with God!  I thank Him for the opportunity to serve Him in this way!
I think we are seeing just merely the tip of something that is going to be really BIG for Him.  Yeah Jesus (usually when I say this with my grandkids, we also clap and cheer and raise our hands in the air! So imagine me doing that!!)

Alvin (husband aka Noah) has been working on (let's see if I can remember) ... more landscaping, putting gravel into the garage (until we pour next  year)  - so now we can park inside!  He has also been working on the 3 season sun room (which will double as a cold room for Christmas baking).  He also made a better walk/stairway in the front.  Never NEVER a dull moment!  Oh and yes, we laid some sod in the garden.  He said I only complained a little!!

I have had the great joy of hosting groups (for the Listening to God training and also the afternoon session) and a big Leadership Group from Eastview Community Church (our home church).  Also, a few single retreaters, as well as just this past weekend, a group of 8 women (4 of which were here in June).  This marked the first "return visit" for four of the women.  It was wonderful to hear some music wafting down from the Sanctuary during their worship time.  I will admit that originally I thought about hosting 5 women at a time, but had never really thought I would be hosting small women's retreats, and leadership retreats (men and women).  Right now, as I type I have a hot pad across my lower back, and my legs are aching right to the toes!  It makes for a long day but really, it is all worth it.  God continues to stretch me!

We have also hosted a Wednesday morning group, and a Wednesday evening group - and we did SACRED SECRETS by Beth Moore.  The morning group was just two others besides myself - so our conversation and time together looked much different than the evening group.  HOWEVER it was a great joy to meet with and study the Word of God together morning AND evening!  It is hard to find the "best" day to do a study.

It is starting to look a lot like winter is very very close!  The trees are pretty bare and the wind howls at times.  (Actually there were a few coyotes outside our house the other night, and they were howling too!)  The other day I asked Audrey (friend) if she would consider decorating again for me - and she said yes!  I love Christmas, and love it even more when someone else decorates the house for me!! And Audrey is very talented!!  She is going to do this while I am away at school ... which is just 5 sleeps away.

Yes, 5 SLEEPS until I get on a plane and head to Next Step School of Spiritual Direction under the leadership of Dr. Larry Crabb and NewWay Ministries.  I can hardly wait - although there is much to do in a short time.  There is NO time for any extras!!  (should have told my tooth that!  yesterday I realized that the crowned tooth is very very wiggly, so I head to the dentist tomorrow morning!)

I had the great joy to speak at Winnipeg Evangelical Free church, at the Coffee Connection.  It was wonderful to meet the women there, and to have a chance to share my story and the call to this ministry, with those in attendance.  As I watched my slide show, I was again in awe of what God has done and is doing, and give Him the glory for it all!  

The thing that is in the near future is "Celebrate Advent at the Well" - which will be a meditative/reflection stations in the house, and then refreshments at the end.  It will be December 15 to the 17th, in the evening from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.  Plan to attend - there is no charge!  (There will be an opportunity to "gift" the ministry if you want to.  (We do issue tax receipts for donations).

So things are happening.  At this point, we have limited space for retreats in December.  Perhaps you are looking for a good gift for someone - we would love to sell you a gift certificate!! Give me a call or an email.

That is it for now!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Coming together to train, to share, to pray, to listen!

On Friday the 6th of September - we partnered with the MARK Centre and hosted two events for women and men both.  We had 21 in the morning, including Steve (MARK Centre) and myself (Joy) and enjoyed the time together as we listened to the WORD, and allowed it to sink into the core of our beings.  And Steve did some training time with us, so that we would know how we can lead others into a time of Listening to God.

In the afternoon, there were17 of us (some stayed for both events, some only attended in the morning, and some only in the afternoon).  The afternoon was called "An Afternoon of Silence" and after some time with Steve - he sent us away - to be alone - and absolutely silent for about an hour and a half.  Then we got back together and shared some of our reflections together.

I thank God for the generosity of Steve Klassen's time and willingness to be one who walks alongside of our ministry, and the ability to sit and chat with him over coffee or a meal together.  It was a great privilege to host him.  It is my prayer that we will host our own events - of times of Listening to God.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

MEN & WOMEN INVITED!!! REGISTER NOW!! An Afternoon of Silence: Slowing down to listen to God & YOUR EARS WILL HEAR: LISTENING to God training retreat


We are so excited about partnering with the MARK Centre for these two special RETREAT EVENTS.  REGISTER NOW - SPACE IS LIMITED!!  

An Afternoon of Silence: Slowing down to listen to God
When:  Friday afternoon, September 6th (AFTERNOON)
Held at: Women Refreshed at the Well - 5839 Henderson Hwy
Time:  1:00 to 4:00 pm (Coffee from 12:30 - 1:00 pm)
Cost:  $20 

Take some time to slow down the pace and listen for God’s voice and activity in your life. This afternoon of silence will be guided by Steve Klassen, director of the MARK Centre (, a ministry that is designed to help people hear God’s voice. Listening tools will be provided, an orientation and debrief will take place, but most of the time will be spent in silence.

When:   Friday, September 6th, 2013 (MORNING)
Held at:  Women Refreshed at the Well - 5839 Henderson Hwy
Time:   Coffee at 8:30 a.m.  
Training from 9 am to 12 noon
Cost:  $30 including a workbook or $20 without a workbook

Do you long to hear God’s voice more clearly and more often? Do you want to be equipped to lead others in listening as well? Set aside this time to be trained to pay attention to God’s voice and his activity in your life. Immerse yourself in five common ways God is speaking to people today. Listen to God with others who have the same passion to hear God themselves and help people hear God’s voice in the midst of the busyness of life.

Steve Klassen directs the MARK Centre ( with his wife Evy. They have written a journal for listening to God called YOUR EARS WILL HEAR that they use on retreats and in training sessions in several countries. The overriding goal of the MARK Centre is to serve thousands who will inspire millions to embrace a lifestyle of listening to God. Steve will be guiding this training session that will include practical tools for listening to God and helping others do the same. You will have the opportunity to listen to God and interact with Steve around effective ways you can help others hear God’s voice and embrace a lifestyle of listening.

If you would like to register for one session - or for both - please let us know as soon as possible via email, or call Joy @ 204-416-3531. (Leave a message if the machine comes on)   Space is limited.
Looking forward to hosting you!

Joy Klassen
Executive Director - Women Refreshed at the Well

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Half Day Silent Retreat & Listening to God Training Session

Mark your calendars - and there will be more info to come within the next day.
Women Refreshed at the Well is partnering with the MARK Center to host two events, for women AND men both!  

We are excited to have Steve Klassen come to our ministry house - at 5839 Henderson Hwy,  and lead us in a half day SILENT retreat as well Steve will do a half-day training session called YOUR EARS WILL HEAR: Listening to God training session

More info will come - but the date of the two events is Friday, September 6th.

We have been blessed by our connection with the Mark Center and are really excited about Steve coming to guide these two half day events.

Check out the MARK Centre for yourself!

Sunday, July 21, 2013


As I write this, I am thinking back to today, when I was able to spend some time with J. as she retreated  in our home.  At one point, God moved me to tears, and all I could do was give her a hug.  I don't usually cry with those who come to take a spiritual retreat in our place.  But I was very moved today.
God does things like that!! lol

You see, right now, it is "work" whenever someone comes to retreat.  However, as I get up early to make breakfast, or as I set the table and spend time choosing which china to use, or where to set them for their meal, or when I fall into bed at the end of the day - tired but feeling extremely blessed because I know that THIS is right where God wants me.  This is what He spoke to me about in 2000.  This is what I "fastened my seat belt for" and it has been a ride which I just sense - is still continuing.

It is quite a feeling to feel that you are doing what God has called you to do.  Quite a feeling!
But the thing that continues to blow me away - is how I am SO BLESSED with each and every person that comes through the door to spiritually retreat!  SO BLESSED.

I am currently taking the fourth of four courses in Soul Care under the direction of Dr. Larry Crabb with NewWay Ministries.  I think having a SoulCare certificate will be an asset to the ministry.  I will finish my course and then go to spend an intense week in Colorado Springs, being taught by Dr. Crabb once again.  I can hardly wait!  And I believe that this training and understanding how to be a SoulCare provider - will be something that God has already been using in my interaction with people.  It is quite something to just "turn your chair toward one another" as Dr. Crabb describes it.

I think that some of the blessing that I have already received, comes from the fact that I get to pray for the person coming.  And throughout their stay - I can pray.  Praying is like breathing.  And I am so glad that God has called me to this aspect within the ministry.

I laugh at times about how God is making me into more of a "Martha" while being a "Mary" at the core of my being.  I don't think I really had a clue about how much he would grow the love for this ministry He has called me to,  in my heart.  It is really happening.  After 13 years - I continue to be in awe of what God has been doing - and what He has in store - only He knows.

But, as we continue to enjoy the "ride" - I know that I will continue to thank God for the blessing of each woman that comes through the door (and perhaps even some men!) I will continue to count my blessings!!  I will continue to thank God that I love to intercede on behalf of others, and to pray.  I will continue to pray for people - as I set the table for their meal - or as I get their bed made and room ready for their arrival - or as I witness them being renewed through the setting - I will continue to be blessed.
God is on the move here at Women Refreshed at the Well ... and He continues to take my breath away!

That is my word for today.  
Absolutely BLESSED.

B ~ L ~ E ~ S ~ S ~ E ~ D

Monday, July 8, 2013

Imagining the Garden retreat space!!

This garden is way bigger than me!!  It is way bigger than Alvin!  It scares me silly!!  HOWEVER I already know that I actually don't mind digging out weeds a little at a time.  And I love the feel of soft warm black early on my hands.  And I love the color of the flowers, and the different greens of the trees.  We celebrated when the trees that we planted last year - all got buds on them.  YAY!!! They survived our long winter!!

At this point there is so much to do.  I know people have volunteered to garden - but I am not sure exactly how to put you to work yet.  Unless you want to weed.  I could give you a cold drink - and you could weed.  Somehow that sounds like a deal that many would not jump to the pump for!!

Maxine came and planted the containers for our deck.  She is going to come and work on the waterfall area too.  It seems like so much, and yet I see how, when taken a few steps at a time, it is not so overwhelming.  We look at the plan, and we dream.  We look out the window and we dream.  It is a work in progress.

Hmmm.... I wonder if that is how God sees us often?  I think it is.  None of us will every become perfect until we reach Heaven!!  HOWEVER in the meantime, I know it is my desire, to grow to be more and more like HIM with each and every day.  Sometimes I think I get stuck because perhaps I like where I am OR I get distracted, or complacent, or tired ... but then I am gently reminded how He is waiting to continue the journey with me.

I am so thankful that God never gives up on me!!  And how he continues to search me and know me - when I sit and when I lay and when I stand!!  God is so in love with me!! I am so thankful that He didn't put a timeline on me "Joy, you need to become mature and like me by this date" otherwise I would be SOOOOO in trouble.

However each day is a new day - and a chance to get into the Word more, to spend more time just talking with Jesus, to spend time meditating on who He is and how He has been so faithful - and to keep walking as He directs our paths!  One step at a time!!
I am so thankful that HIS mercies toward us are NEW every morning and together we can say O LORD, OUR LORD - great is your faithfulness!!  

So in the quietness of our home, I can retreat - with my bible, my journal, but really the most important thing is that I am with my LORD and I can spend time just being still and experiencing HIS presence, HIS voice and His touch on my life!  O Lord - thank you.

In His Grip,


One day, when our garden is done, it will be such an amazing place of solitude - to spend time with God.  I know that God loved gardens too - all you have to do is read Genesis about God walking in the garden of Eden in the cool of the evening!! (although I wonder if there were mosquitoes then!!)  AND just one look at creation and you know that the Garden of Eden must have been amazing!!  AND our garden will be too!!  It is a work in progress!!  We are thankful for Maxine who has planned it with His help!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Providing a place for women to retreat to - to renew and refresh spiritually and of course, physically.

A couple weekends in a row, I had a house FULL of women!  And believe me, it was wonderful.
Yes, it made for some early mornings, and late nights but let me tell you - as much as they say they were blessed, I was blessed even more!!  I am always amazed at how God uses people to speak into our lives - often without them knowing.  The first weekend - it was an amazing group from Steinbach.  And, as I worked in the kitchen, I could hear them worshipping God through singing!  It was music to my ears.   And the weekend after, actually beginning on the Thursday night, I had another group that retreated here.  It was a different as they were not here in the house for alot of the daylight hours,  but never the less, they needed it!  On the Friday night, as I was again in the kitchen prepping some food, I could overhear them doing their "tuck-in" devotional time that a friend in BC had written for them.  (the friend was unable to come and join in on this trip with them).  But the most wonderful thing was hearing the women pray.  I am telling you - the sound of people praying - music to my ears - but to the Heavenly Father - I can only imagine what the prayers coming up to Him are like!!  Once again, over and over, I was blessed.  One of the women shared on her blog about her stay at our retreat ministry.  She also put some beautiful pictures on her blog of our place.  It is very interesting to see your place from another person's view.  Ellen (from Mennonite Girls Can Cook ) said she was happy for me to lift the pictures off her blog.  So here they are.

this was a view from her room
looking into our great room from the upper floor

the sign on the wall at the back door

looking out toward the yard

Autumn room

looking down onto the great room and dining area

this is the Spring room

and the Summer room

As well - check out Mennonite Girls Can Cook for the other blogs.  I am so happy they could find spiritual, and physical refreshment and retreat here!  I was so blessed.  If you wish to see her blog itself - just go to the following link.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

He brought us OUT so that He might bring us IN

At the end of April, two groups of women began studying the book of Deuteronomy, under the DVD leadership of Beth Moore, and her Bible study series: The Law of Love: Lessons from the Pages of Deuteronomy.  It is a six week study.  Last night the Monday NIGHT group of women watched the sixth and final DVD.  Yesterday MORNING, the Monday Morning Group watched the 4th lesson.
I, being the facilitator, have had the great joy of getting to watch the DVD twice!  And both times I gleaned something new.
My view from the back row ~ it thrills my heart when
I am with women who are hungry for the Word of God!
I thank God for the 27 women
 that He brought to Women Refreshed at the Well
for this Bible Study
My Granddaughter was the youngest in attendance.
Hardly ever made a peep!
My prayer is that she too, will one day give her life to Jesus
and follow Him with all her heart!

It was always my prayer for these women (27 in all) that they would leave here with something else that took root in their hearts, and go from here and continue to grow in their walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.  

In the first lesson, one thing I wrote was these quotes:
"He doesn't just bring people OUT to bring them out!  There is always a place He wants to takes us.   Put some obedience to our walk!  Faith that God is going to move mountains and part seas!  We were never meant to stay!"

The key verse for the series was Deuteronomy 6:23 ESV  "And He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in and give us the land that He swore to give to our fathers." The line in BOLD became our KEY for the series.

In the first session, Beth Moore talked about how an 11 day journey became a 40 year wandering in the wilderness! Deuteronomy was a book written - or the word for Deuteronomy in Hebrew is Devarim which is translated "words" .  These are the WORD OF THE LORD described by the WORDS of the Lord!!  (so have I confused you?)

This series - I would encourage you to do!  You can even do it online in the comforts of your own home, by yourself if you wish.  You can buy and download the sessions.  Deuteronomy was brought to life, and I realized that I am exactly like the people that this book was written for!!

At the end of session one, she stated that there was only one kind of person who didn't get another chance (in Deuteronomy) and it was the dead ones.  The ones who died there in the wilderness!

There is so much in this study!!  I thank God for anointed Beth Moore with His words, so that she could bring the WORD of God alive in a new way through this study!!  Lord, we praise you, and give YOU all the honor and the glory!!

He brought me out so that he would bring me in!
Every morning when I awake, I realize God has given me a fresh start - a new day - another chance at living for him.  I will say that each day finds me in a challenge - and I thank God for that - as it is in these things, the challenges and always in the hardest times, that I know, I KNOW I grow the most.

May this be YOUR awareness today - that He has brought you out - or perhaps you are still caught in something that keeps you enslaved - HE CAN BRING YOU OUT ... but rest assured, it is not just to leave you, but to bring you IN to something way way WAY better - and for His glory!!

in His Grip,  

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Nights - Living Water!!

It has been an hour since the women left the house.  It has been a day FULL of women!  Women from all walks of life - all ages - but all here with the same intent - and that is for spiritual retreat!!  We are studying the Word together - under the leadership of Beth Moore as she teaches (via DVD) the Laws of Love, a 6 week Bible Study.

I have learned so much under the teaching of Beth.  I love how she teaches the Word.  She brings it to life.  She is passionate about the Lord Jesus Christ, and has been obedient to the call He placed on her life to teach.

We began by offering the 6 weeks on Monday evening.  That filled up fast!  We have 11 women attending the evening sessions.  And then we offered a Monday morning study - same study, but different time.  We have 14 women in that class.

So today, after making some scones and bran muffins and making multiple pots of coffee - the women came.  We studied and they left.  Then again at 7, women came, we studied and they left.
It is a full day of just being spiritually refreshed over and over and over again.  A day of drawing from the living water!  Thank You Lord!!

~ Joy Klassen, Executive Director

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Come and Be Spiritually Refreshed : Monday Night Bible Study by Beth Moore: the Laws of Love (please note: Space is Limited for this Study)

Quite a few years ago, I was introduced to Beth Moore through a bible Study called Breaking Free, which Beth wrote.  It was amazing - and it began a time of being spiritually refreshed through some intensive bible studies that she has written.  I have taken several, as well I have gone two a couple Lifeway Events, where Beth spoke.

I have been thinking of what to offer first - as a "retreat" night for women, here at 5839 Henderson.  I realize that the timing is so close to summer (we seem to have missed spring in Manitoba!) however, I wanted to offer something, and came upon Beth Moore's latest Bible Study series that she has written called the Laws of Love - a study on the book of Deuteronomy.

So it is, that I have decided that Women Refreshed at the Well will be hosting their first bible study, beginning on April 22, 2013.  It will run on 6 consecutive Mondays.  This study is not as intensive as the other ones, where you are also invited and strongly encouraged to do homework!  I actually love the homework part of the bible study, as it seems this is where I grow the most!  However this time, we are being invited to come together, to watch the DVD, to follow along in listening guides, and to have a time of discussing what we have seen and heard.  We will begin at 7 pm and end between 9 and 9:30.

The cost of the 6 weeks is $25 per person.  This will include a listening guide, and a time of refreshments after the study.  Space is limited, so please let us know as soon as you can - if you plan to come.   It will be a time of spiritual refreshment as we study God's Word together.

If you plan to attend - please phone 204-416-3531 or email

Monday, March 18, 2013

Grand Opening Blessings

Yesterday was our Grand Opening, and we had 200+ people come, see, greet and enjoy some refreshments.  Getting to the day was a WEEK LONG process of working, which involved many hours, many cups of coffee and family and friends.

It was things like driving just over the Canada/US border to get some parcels (because it is cheaper to drive there and pick up versus shipping to us in Canada) ~ to going to Ikea (and having my friend Jeannette fill her truck with MY things, drive it here AND assemble much of it) ~ to our kids helping to assemble/clean/arrange stuff to get ready ~ to wallpapering a closet (my sister-in-law Jody did that - and was so gracious when she realized I had a wall paper with a "repeat") ~ to a board meeting (oh so good to meet with these people!) ~ to ordering cakes/picking up cakes ~ to having some friends from my care group come and assemble my library (thanks Julie, Jean and Ann) ~ to having Kim & Kevin come and do some work on Friday afternoon and both of them Saturday night, along with Betty and Willy all helping with those last minute things that Mike and Ash, Alvin and I worked on during the day on Saturday.  Also thanks to Deb (LifeWords) who came and put the gold room name decals on the doors for me ~ Oh yes, then I was also at Pineridge Hollow picking up the last minute things, and Jan so graciously told her daughter to "let Joy take whatever she needs and we will square up this week!"  And then Sunday we woke up, and were joined by Ashley, and then later by Michael and Mattie, Elmer and Jeannette, who helped get the refreshments set up and do the last minutes.  And then it happened - the first people arrived!!

You came - in great numbers. Alvin said it was a good test of our "structure" when we realized how many people were in here at one time!  During the "ribbon" cutting ceremony - the place was packed.  We heard that some were waiting in the gazebo, and our apologies for that!!  The ceremony part of it was MC'd by my son Josh.  He included a blessing that was sent by my nephew and niece in Calgary.  Jerald Peters - architect spoke briefly.   I spoke (see below if you want to read).  Carolee Neufeld (board member) and Delbert Enns (Lead Pastor, Eastview Community Church, where we attend) both spoke blessings on us, our family, our ministry and all who will enter this place for a time of rest, renewal and refreshment.  The board that was present held the ribbon, along with Alvin, and Jerald and I ceremoniously cut it!!  IT IS A DONE DEAL!!

Many thanks is in order:  and I hope I leave out no one
Those who set up/hosted/cleaned up in our kitchen:  Elmer & Jeannette, Willy and Betty, Marilyn, and then Kim, along with my brother Tim and Jody :  Thanks!!

For the baking brought by friends - Kara Carson, Barb Campbell, my daughter Ashley - BIG THANKS
Bannock & Jam:  Doris (You are the best bannock maker cousin!!)
Cakes by Maria (tortes, logo cake, meatbuns) & Cocoabeans :  Betsy (Gluten free tortes)  DELICIOUS

For the Door Prizes donated by Irmie Giesbrecht, Kim Carter, and Ann Sawatzky:  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
Door Prize Winners:  Living Books (Irmie) - Cindy Hogan won this
Hair Products (Anya's Hair Studio - Ann Sawatzky)  Doris Smith won this
Norwex Basket (Kim Carter) Emilee Thiessen won this one

For all of you who came and attended - Thanks!!  It would not have been a success without you!
For those of you who donated toward the ministry - THANKS!!  You have blessed us financially.
For those of you - who came and brought such gifts of flowers, plants, coffee, tea, candles and holders, and other gifts!!  THANKS

For those of you who are booking - We look forward to hosting you!!

To our Photographer:  Soumela Krystik - we can not say how thankful we are that you chose to do this for us - and your "retreat" days can be booked any time!! Just call!!

Prior to this opening, as part of the build, I want to add:
To those of you who worked your trade in our house - Henry Martens (plumber) Jake VanLeeuwen (electrical) and Jack Funk (electrical), Mike Krystik (heating) and Mike Frank (jack of all trades and master of them as well!! ) THANKS.

To Jerald Peters, Rick Klassen and Neil Klassen - for giving your input and coming to our aid!!  THANKS, words are not adequate!!

To Maxine Gacek - who has designed our garden and will help us get going in the Spring (which is right around the corner - we can hardly wait to see the end result!!)

To Jan Regehr and Pineridge Hollow - Your support (in so many ways) has been such a blessing to us!!  And the chairs - continue to bring beauty in this place, along with many decor items, bed spreads, etc.  Thanks for your friendship and your support!!

To Faye Hall - artist, and friend.  Thank you for allowing us to showcase your beautiful art!! You are so talented and we look forward to some possibilities in the future!!

To Janet Fast and Kara Carson (Fast Insurance) for your knowledge and dedication to getting us the best insurance for the place, and the ministry!

For all of you - family and friends ~ who have prayed for us along the way, supported us, helped swing hammers, put in door latches, plant shrubs, clean toilets, label library books and on and on (I really don't want to forget anyone - and forgive me if I have!)  THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED PRAYERS.

Finally, to my husband Alvin, and to my kids, and my grandchildren - I thank God for you - for your love, for your wisdom, for your care of me, for your love, for your help in ALL the ways you have helped - wow, words can not describe how my heart overflows.  God has called us to something that I think, correction, I KNOW is way bigger than what we can imagine - and I am so glad we are on this journey together!  I am blessed to be your wife, your mom, your granny.  To God be the glory!!

This is the email blessing I received from my Nephew Gordon and Niece Janice in Calgary:
Aunty Joy

Janice and I are so thankful that the vision you have had these many years is being realized, and grateful that we have been able to experience some of it with you along the way.  I have a prayer that I think should be prayed tomorrow, it is actually a couple of prayers from a book I have.  We will be praying it too

May God give His blessing to the house that is here.
God bless this house from roof to floor,
from wall to wall,
From end to end,

From its foundation and in its covering.
In the strong name of the Triune God
All disturbance cease,
Captive spirits freed, God’s Spirit alone
Dwell within these walls

May all be welcomed here,
Friend and stranger, from near and far.
May each be blessed and honored as they enter.

There is a friend’s love
In the gentle heart of the Savior.
For love of Him we offer friendship
and welcome every guest.
We call upon the Sacred Three
To save, shield and surround
This house, this home,
This day, this night
And every night.

and ....
This is what I shared yesterday:

In February, 2000 ~ I copied a quote into my journal. It was written by Betty Stam who had been a China Inland Missionary. This quote became my prayer to the Lord:
“Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my time, my all, utterly to Thee, to be Thine forever. Fill me, and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt. Send me where Thou wilt. Work out Thy whole will in my life, at any cost, now and forever.”

That was 13 years ago.
Since that time, our lives have been an adventure to put it mildly!
And we have learned many things - about being called by God,  about waiting,
about obedience, about His timing being perfect especially when we think we know the best time.

During that time God has not only called me to this, but he has also added my kids and a husband who has felt the call so strongly that he has been doing what we have called - the Noah thing - since June of 2010 when we began to build the barn, and then the house.

You know, some people ask us - do you think women will come?  Well - we don’t know how full we will be - or how often.  
However we firmly believe that when God calls you to something - he doesn’t hang you out to dry.

Since 2000 our family has walked through deep waters.  It was after the death of our first grandson, that our kids Josh and Leah came back with a challenge to sell what we owned in Anola, and buy land and build a combined ministry house and personal space.  That is when Jerald and I met and he agreed to design what you see here today.

These last 3 years have not been easy.  Personally, we felt the call to buy the land, build the shop, and the house - and then live in a basement suite so that we could use the house predominately for bed and breakfast style retreat for women!  God has also laid other ideas on our hearts, and we continue to hold our house with our hands turned up - and look forward to seeing what God has in store here.

I believe that too many women don’t see how precious they are in the eyes of God.  My daughters and I imagined what we could do to help women feel special and to help provide a setting that leads you to retreat with God,  and today, what you see here - has all been very intentional.  I don’t think a single thing has been placed without much thought! 

Alvin, aka Noah, and our boys, Joshua and Michael - have worked long hours, from the ground up - there is alot of swet equity built into this home.  Often I would just watch, and it was when I watched that I realized that God had also called Alvin, and our kids.  And I am so blessed by that.

Will people come? 
Time will tell.
One thing we know, is that God called us to this - 
He has given people along the way who have spoken prophetically into this vision
And I have often stood, I am sure, with my mouth hanging open.

Today, we are thankful
Very thankful
For safety for the boys as they have worked
For people who have volunteered and worked alongside
For prayer, for drop-in visitors who have encouraged us along the way
Some days, it felt like “this” day would never come ...
But it has, and we are thankful!

September 15th, we had a come, walk and pray, and people walked the land, and rained on it with prayer!
During the build, several people came to visit, but also to just walk through the place, and once again, they prayed.
As a family, we have felt your prayers
As a family, we have seen God work in amazing ways.
We want to thank you for that!

Jerald - thank you for listening to the call to this vision, way back in 2002.
Thank you for your generosity - taking time out of your own career - to design this - from the walkabout we did together in March 2009 - until today - your signature is on this place!  

Thank you for believing in what we said we were called to do, and for walking alongside and meeting with us over all those coffees at Mountain Bean.

I want to thank my brother in law Rick Klassen - the one who took the plan and made it into the blueprints that the boys used.  Rick also came to our rescue over and over - right up to this past week ...
We can’t say enough thanks!

Alvin - I don’t know another man, who would work so tirelessly and endlessly - right up until the 11th hour - and be so committed.  I have seen how God has grown us during this journey toward today.

To my kids - I am so glad God has also called you to this.  It has been exciting to plan this, and build it together - and it will be exciting to see how the future unfolds with you all living so close by.   I look forward to our grandkids being a part of this as well.  We are blessed.

To our family, and our friends - thanks for your love, your support and your help.  It doesn’t matter how much time you put in, or what you did - you have to know that each volunteer hour was greatly appreciated!

To our board of directors - thank you - for your input, guidance and prayers - we are working together - and that is a blessing!

We want to continue to hold these possessions very loosely, with upturned hands, and wait to see how God will use it for his glory!

The verse that God gave me way back - 12 years ago - was Zephaniah 3:17
It is my prayer for each and every person that walks through these doors.

Zephaniah 3:17

New Living Translation (NLT)
17 For the Lord your God is living among you.
    He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.[a]
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”


We are hoping that this will be the place you
come to for spiritual retreat, refreshment and renewal.
We look forward to offering you directed retreats as well.