Thursday, November 13, 2014


Advent begins the first Sunday in December - what will this Christmas season hold for you.  Often we get caught up in the hustle and bustle and busy-ness of the season, only to flop down on the couch on Christmas Day, amidst ripped wrapping paper and tossed off bows, to realize that somehow you missed JESUS during the walk toward his birthday!

We want to offer you a chance - right at the first advent - to step into our space that we are providing for you to enter into time of reflecting, time of preparation, time of celebrating the birthday of Jesus!

It is our prayer that we will provide the space for you to encounter the CHRIST of Christmas in a way that draws you into love, and celebration!  Join us.


The theme for this year's walk-through is:


What is the Christ of Christmas inviting us to?  
Are we willing to enter in, to accept the invitation?

Come, and beginning in the Sanctuary ~ move through the rooms individually - enter into the invitation that the room represents 
respond as you feel moved to respond
and at the end, join us for some hot cider and cookies.

This is a free event - there are no strings attached. 
Just come, enter in, and be blessed!!

Saturday November 29th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Sunday November 30th (FIRST ADVENT) from 3 to 5 pm; and 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Monday, December 1st from 9:00 to 11 am & 1 to 3 pm; and 6:30 to 8:30 pm

MARK IT ON YOUR CALENDAR - and plan to attend one of these times.
(of course depending on how long you stay in each room, will dictate the time spent here - but we would for sure tell you to plan for an hour or two as you don't want to be rushed!!)  NOTE:  if you come at 8:15 we of course we allow for the full time for you - we just would like people to come within those time frames, thanks)

Last year we were blessed by people asking if they could donate towards the ministry 
and we were greatly appreciative and blessed.  This year, if you feel like you want to donate - once again we say thank-you in advance for any and all donation towards the ministry.
We are a non-profit ministry with charitable status.  
Tax receipts would be issued at the end of the year.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Stepping Out of the Traffic

Stepping Out of the Traffic!

I love how Eugene Peterson puts Psalms 46:10 in the Message :

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
    loving look at me, your High God,
    above politics, above everything.”

I am not sure about you - but sometimes, I honestly feel like I am caught in the traffic with no where to turn - no where to exit - no where to park!!  To think of stepping out of the traffic brings a sense of relief!!  I don't think I am the only one that feels this way.

Life has a way of speeding up ... sometimes we fill it to capacity PLUS and then we wonder why we are just "busy" running and finding it hard to catch our breath at times!  I have come to hate the word "busy"... I know that hate is a strong word - but in my opinion, the word "busy" has such a negative connotation.  Think of it - how does it make you feel when someone says "oh sorry, can't meet you, I am too busy" .  I think (and yes this is only my opinion) that we can get "busy" doing all kinds of good things.  Helping people - taking care of our family - working at a job we love - doing ministry/church stuff.  Yes ... all good.  However at some point, the "doing" overcomes us, and I for one - feel all done out!
Tired.  Overwhelmed.  Over scheduled.  Exhausted.  

Psalm 46:10 holds a special place in my heart, as it was this verse - these exact words that I heard God speak audibly.  I have only heard God speak loudly once - so loud that my eyes flew open expecting to see Him right there in front of me.  It was loud and clear and He said "be still and know that I am God."  I still get goosebumps thinking about that morning.  As the sun shone into the quiet room, and I sat there with my Bible closed, unable to even pray that morning - and there was the voice - HIS voice - loud and clear.
That is why this verse means so much to me.  God knew that morning, that I needed to hear those words.  

Be Still and Know that I am God
Be Still and Know that I am
Be Still and Know that I
Be Still and Know that
Be Still and Know
Be Still and
Be Still

This verse is a call for us to "step out of the traffic" and put our life into park ..
not forward
not reverse
but stop and rest
cease striving
just soak up the presence of our most High God 
Step out of the traffic and into His presence
Into his arms
Put your head against His chest and hear His heartbeat for you!

I love to imagine sitting on his lap - just like my kids used to come and sit on my lap.
Just soaking in my love 
And feeling my arms around them.
I think that is how my Lord wants me to sit with Him.

I do this often.  I have come to see that I am someone who loves the quiet - the peace - the "being" part.  I guess this is why way back in 2000 He told me to "open up a place where women can go to just be".  I understood the "being" part.

So - my question for you is this - are you able to "step out of the traffic"  are you able to "be still" and know that HE IS GOD and He delights in you.  Yes - YOU.
We all have a unique walk with the Lord - I am sure no two of us are the same.
I hope that if you are so busy running - that you will make the time to just be still.
Maybe at home ...
     maybe while you are out for a walk
             maybe you are looking for a space to retreat to - 
away from the hustle and bustle of life?  

If so ... give us a call.  We have some space here - for you to "be still" in.
Call 204-416-3531 or email to book your retreat!

Those are just my thoughts!  

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A few things on the horizon ... MARK THOSE CALENDARS!!


If you are wondering about the place - what it looks like - what happens here - and every other question you have about our ministry - then this open house is for YOU!!
There is NO COST.  You just need to come.

We will open the doors on Wednesday October the 29th, 2014 between the following time slots:
10:30 to noon
1:30 to 3:00
and 7:30 to 9:00

If you want to come - just stop in during one of those time slots!  Joy's husband Alvin will join her in the evening slot - if there are men who also want to come but think it is only for women ... then come during this time!!

The coffee pot will be on!  You are invited.
More info - call 204-416-3531 or email

Christmas is still a long way away - but I have already been thinking about what to do for our 2nd Annual Christmas Walk Through.   I need to commit it to prayer, but I already have a sense of where God is leading me with this!  It is exciting to dream, imagine and plan.  

Last year was our first Christmas Walk Through and we were pleased with those who came - a chance to step out of the hustle for an hour or two - and mediate on the reason we celebrate - JESUS.

If you already want to book this into your calendar - these are the times we will offer the Christmas Walk-Through.  This event is FREE!!

Saturday November 29th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Sunday November 30th (FIRST ADVENT) from 3 to 5 pm; and 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Monday, December 1st from 9:00 to 11 am & 1 to 3 pm; and 6:30 to 8:30 pm

Thursday, August 21, 2014

MAKING SPACE: Developing your Intimate Relationship with God

Women and MEN invited  (yes men too!!)

WHAT:    MAKING SPACE:  Developing your Intimate Relationship with God

WHEN:  Friday, September 12th

TIME:  9 am till 3 pm

WHERE:  Women Refreshed at the Well
5839 Henderson Hwy
Narol, MB

**this is a beautiful 15 minute drive NORTH on Henderson, 
13 kms from Henderson & North Perimeter

COST:  $35 including book (Your Ears Will Hear) and a light lunch
$20 if you already have the book
(Payable by CHEQUE or CASH only, thanks)

Details for the day:    This is a day retreat for men and women, to slow down and pay attention to how God is speaking to you and working in your life. You will have time to listen alone and together with others. You’ll receive tools to assist you in the journey of embracing a lifestyle of listening to God. You’ll hear stories of how others are hearing God’s voice.

To register, or for more information - please email Joy -   

or call 204-416-3531

 Steve Klassen, Director of the Mark Centre in Abbotsford, BC is facilitating this event!
This event is a partnership with The MARK Centre
and Women refreshed at the Well!!  We are thankful to be able to do this together!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A time of spiritual refreshment through music! Don't Miss this!

House Concert  with Cathy AJ Hardy
Saturday, July 12, 2014    7:30pm
Venue: Women Refreshed at the Well  
Address: 5839 Henderson Hwy  

Admission: Donation at the door

Cathy AJ Hardy
is a singer/songwriter, performing artist, poet, 
retreat leader and music instructor from beautiful Mission, BC. 
Cathy’s music, poetry and stories reflect her deep connection to the land around her and her journey of faith.
Cathy’s music has been nominated with the 
Gospel Music Awards of Canada for Inspirational Album of the Year and 
Folk/Roots Album of the Year.
Her music has been described as soulful, healing, inspirational, and transformative.  She has produced four albums, two solo albums and two albums inspired by the prayer songs of Taize.  Come for an evening out of music from the heart and soul!  Donations will be supporting 
Women Refreshed at the Well and Cathy’s music ministry.

***Space if limited - so please RSVP to reserve your spot, by Friday, July 11th at 6 pm.

Thanks so much!

for more information on Cathy 
please see her website

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

We are doing a fundraising "Garden Party"

Fundraising "Garden Party"

Come for an evening of food and fellowship.  There is no cost for the food,
however we are doing this as a fundraiser for our gardens, and donations are greatly welcomed.

Charitable Tax Receipts will be given for all donation.

We would love a head count ahead of time, so please RSVP 
to Joy by phone @ 204-416-3531
or email

All RSVP names will go into a draw.

As well, we will be selling tickets for an "Audi for the weekend" 
courtesy of St. James Audi
Tickets are 1 for $10
3 for $25
8 for $50 
and 20 for $100

Ticket sales do not get tax receipts.

Hope to see you there!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

IF: Gathering

A few months ago, someone called me about booking the retreat house for a Friday - Saturday booking, as she was planning on hosting an IF: Gathering LOCAL and would like to do it at the retreat house.  So it was, that on Friday, 4 women sat in our great room, and we plugged into LIVESTREAMING of the IF: Gathering.  All I can say is WOW.  WOW.  WOW.
I would suggest you go to the IF: Gathering page on Facebook, or for more information.  

It was a wonderful weekend from both my perspective, as well as from the women who were here.  A weekend of praise and worship, of teaching, of listening, or seeking God and talking/unpacking together.  I know that IF: Gathering is geared to the generation of women younger than me, but without a doubt, true to how God works - He blessed me too!! I want to say it was very very exciting to hear the speakers talk with great passion about Jesus Christ!

I did however have a regret, and that was that my daughters, and their friends weren't also sitting and watching and being blessed.  I am thankful that I can buy the digital download (which I will do) and I have decided that when they run it next year , that I can run it as a planned event for the ministry - and open it up to even more women to come and soak it all in.  

I am convinced, because I have seen the younger generations at work, that God is moving in them and through them, in a very powerful way!  It is exciting.  It is greatly encouraging.  It if life giving!!  To God be the glory for all that He is going to do.  

I really encourage you to go to the website link of IF: Gathering.  I also just joined the IF: Equip
and look forward to studying the same portion of Scripture with women across the world!  Jennie Allen, founder of IF: Gathering - you can't help but feel the passion, and it is contagious!!  God is at work in our younger generation - and I pray He continues to give Jennie and her team increased strength, energy, passion and vision!  TO GOD BE THE GLORY.



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My father said, if you want to know where you are going ~ you have to see where you have come from!

Hey there - its Joy writing (I usually am the only one that writes here) and I thought I would take some time to post and wish you a Happy New Year!!  What does 2014 hold for us, and for our ministry?  My father used to say that if you want to know where you are going, you have to look at where you have come from.  Sometimes that confuses me just to think about that!! lol  However, on the first day, of a new year - I can not help but look back - in order to look ahead!

At this point, we have been "doing" ministry at the retreat house - for 9 months.  Our baby is nine months old!!  Someone once shared with me a prophetic vision (I think I have blogged about this previously) but just in case, here it is.  She shared that in the dream, my husband and I were both ecstatic.  We were 50 (this was back in the beginning of 2008) and I was pregnant.  She said people were all looking at us with looks to say "seriously, I can't believe she is having a baby at her age" but she said that my husband Alvin and I were just beaming.  That next year, when I resigned from pastoral ministry at the church we were a part of, my friend said, "Joy, it is like a pregnancy you are on" ...
Believe me, at times it felt like a very very LONG pregnancy with all of the pregnancy woes!!  But when we birthed the baby, 12 years after God called us to the vision, it was so hard to believe.  Now, our baby is nine months old.  Nine months.

So as I look back - I will answer some of the questions that have been asked me these past few months.
And some questions that Alvin and I have asked one another.

So, WHAT exactly are you doing?
We are providing a place where women, and their spouses at times, can come to retreat, and renew, and  spiritually refresh.  We provide the place for you to "step out" of the hustle and bustle of life - just for a short time, and to spiritually refresh.  The home provides the peace and tranquility that is found in a country setting.  You bring yourself, and your desire to spend time that is set apart from your daily agenda.  Likely the closest thing to trying to figure it out - is to think of a bed and breakfast idea.  Well, this retreat setting has some similarities, but only some.  It is really for spiritual retreat!

Do people actually come?
Yes, that was a question our neighbors asked us.  Will women actually come.  Our answer was that we have been called to this ministry, and when God calls, and he equips, he never hangs you out to dry.  And we have seen that He has been all over this vision for retreat ministry.  People are coming!  We are in our first year, and we know it will be about 2-3 years before we see a pattern, or become more known, but we are hosting people - single retreaters, multiple retreaters, day retreaters, overnight and weekend retreaters, groups of 8 women, leadership groups from churches (18 people) as well as we have hosted our advent walk-through, and also some training sessions, and some guided sessions and bible studies.  People are coming - and we already have weekends booked for this year - right up to November - so we are thankful!

What has been your biggest worry?
Well, that has been a personal one, and I am sure it will make you laugh.  I was worried about how to make this "not such a good morning person" into one that loved to get up early and I was also worried about the cooking aspect.  And God has taken care of all of that - and has made it a non-issue.  I even get up early when I am not hosting people, or I am home alone!  He has made me into more of a "Martha" when I am actually a "Mary" at heart. lol

What has been the best part of this ministry?
The best part has been meeting one on one with women - and knowing without a shadow of a doubt, that I am exactly where God wants me to be.  I have no doubt about that.  I love spending time talking and praying with women, and men if they are here.  It is a blessing!  When the retreaters here are mixed men and women, then Alvin gets to be a part of the ministry interaction - and he loves that too.

What has been the hardest part?
The hardest part has been seeing the pain in people's faces, and hearing the pain in their voices.  We realized along the way, that our pain of loss, losing our first grand baby, was something that God was going to use in our ministry.  And He has.  Our room RESTORE has been used by many people with stories of great pain and loss - losing children, losing spouses, and other reasons that restoration is needed.  We know God is going to do something amazing with RESTORE alone - and the ministry of speaking into the lives of women and men who are mourning.  Loving on, engaging with, praying with  people who are going through loss, brings a burden that sometimes makes my heart very heavy with their grief.  However, I am realizing alot about intercession, and know that God has called me to be an intercessor, and that He helps to carry the burdens.  However, it is hard.  Hard, but good.

What has been the most joy?
Well - I think what I just wrote in the question above, should also come under here too.  
The joy has been to see people come, and to hear people comment about the home which my husband and sons have built, and which my daughters and I have decorated very intentionally choosing what has gone into it.  There is joy in seeing how God is using this place - HIS place - for his honor and glory.

What has been something you did not expect?
I have to say that I thought I would have single retreaters - and perhaps many retreating at the same time - one in each bedroom.  However I did not think about groups.  I have had groups - up to eight women who have done small women's retreats here.  Those were very special.  I have also had groups of women in bible study here.  I have also hosted leadership groups.  Hosting groups is much different than hosting single retreaters - and yet there is a dynamic to group retreats that I love as well.  So what can I say - it is unexpected but we love having the space for group use.

The most complicated thing about using your private home - 85% for ministry is??
So, should I be honest?  There was a time when I had a group of women here, and I was downstairs and heard my freezer opening, and other things happening in my kitchen.  The next day I was told that "it was a good thing that someone didn't eat the cake that they had found on my counter" ...  I will be honest, I struggled wtih that, as my fridge and my counters in my private kitchen space is actually not for retreat use.  I had to give that to God too - and laugh when I tell the story.  It made me think of ways to make more specific boundaries.  It was just a one time thing, but it was something that made me realize that to have our "private suite" in the lower level (aka downstairs in the basement) is something we decided together, and made the choice to do.  We are trying to hold our home in very loose and upturned hands!  I am so thankful God also called Alvin to this ministry, as I honestly don't know of another man who would have put three years of his life (on top of his normal career job) to work night and day at building this place, investing time, money and swet equity and then to live in the basement.  Only God can do that!!

As you look forward, what are your prayers for the ministry?
Well, I am praying that people will continue to come, and that we will eventually become a financially viable ministry wherein we don't have to worry about where money will come from to pay the bills.  We are a recognized non-profit with charitable status.  Some have donated towards the "bring a woman to the well" fund, to help offset the stay of another by donating.  I am praying that people will see us as a ministry that has an influence in the lives, especially in the spiritual lives of people - and will donate towards the ministry.  It is my prayers that at some point we can hire another person to come alongside and help me in this ministry - whatever it is - cooking, hosting, etc.  

I am also praying for people who want to come and invest time here - volunteering in the garden work aspect.  

I am also praying that those who need to retreat will hear and come.
Those who need to retreat but wrestle with the idea, will come and try a day away.
I am praying for those who have lost children especially, and need to come to a place where there is no pressure to talk, or to be a certain way, will find it a good place to retreat to, in order to catch your breath.
I am praying that pastors and their spouses will come for a spiritual retreat time away.
I am praying that people will spread the word, and the ministry will grow - all to the glory of God.

Last words for this post:
Alvin and I continue to stand in awe of what God is doing.  Back in 2000, we had no idea exactly how it would unfold.  We are thankful for our kids who have joined us in this ministry - and could not have done it without them.  We are thankful for our grandchildren, who come and fill this house with their laughter and their presence, in those times when there is no one here retreating.

Alvin and I are thankful for the support of our board, and for the prayer support/financial support/friendship  of our friends at our  home church Eastview Community Church, and also for the support of our friends at McIvor M.B. Church where we had been for over thirty years.  We are thankful for the support of our extended family and our friends.

We are eager to pour you a cup of coffee if you want to stop in and take a look.  I come from a very big extended extended family and for some reason have not seen many of them, but hope that this next year is a time when people drop in.  Many people drive past us on a regular basis en route to Winnipeg, so there is no excuse!! lol  

We are thankful for the call from God, back in 2000, to this ministry.  We believe, and it has been prophetically spoken as well, that what we see is merely the tip of something far bigger.  So we continue to sit on the edge of our seat, and wait to see what God is up too.

As I sign off this lengthy post - I want to say "to God be the glory" for all that He has done and is going to do here with the ministry, and with us as individuals, and a couple and a family!  We are excited about what is in store!  I want to share with you the verse that continues to be my banner verse. 

Jeremiah 29:11-13

New International Version (NIV)
11 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. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.