Almost two months ago we hosted our last group (March 15th) . 10 people came to spend a day in retreat. They came, washed their hands like crazy, ate, sang, prayed, planned and left. While they were here, I spent time sending out emails cancelling all the bookings between March 16th onwards to the end of June. At the time I said we would evaluate as the months went along....
There were so many bookings! So many people who replied saying they had fully expected that they would be getting an email saying their retreat was cancelled. There were so many people who I knew really needed the time to come and breathe and JUST BE. Sending out emails was not easy and it was something I have not had to do before in this way.
It was hard.
Emailing all of these cancellations followed on the heels of us postponing our Evening of Celebration and Giving. It was supposed to be March 19th and we have postponed and will take a look at that and make another decision as the time comes closer. However, June 4th is fast approaching. Our fundraising team is having a zoom meeting this Thursday night.
During this time off - the house is still. Very very still. Except for the sounds of our normal activity.
The lights are off upstairs, as no one is sleeping in the rooms.
The toilets are not being flushed! lol. (this in itself GREATLY AFFECTS our septic tank :) )
Cleaning upstairs does not have to be done! Once the last group came, beds were remade and washrooms cleaned and it stays that way for now.
At the time that we made the decision, the government had not yet made such stringent suggestions however being that this is also our personal home (we, Joy and Alvin own the home and land) meant that we believed that this was a wise decision. Our family had spoken into the decision (they were concerned as I have had some bronchial pneumonia issues in the past) and I spoke with the Board of Directors, and it was in joint agreement that we made the final decision to cancel.
That decision meant that our retreat ministry income would plummet. But God knows that.
The decision to postpone our Evening of Celebration and Giving banquet meant that we would not have the donations come in for March, which would greatly affect our year. But God knows that.
The decision meant that we would likely see a year similar to our first year of operation. But God knows that too.
When everything around us feels like it is changing - I know that GOD NEVER DOES.
Finances: Revenue/Expenses - donations - retreaters - calendars - this all changes, but our God - oh boy - He remains the same yesterday today and forever!! And that brings me such peace and comfort and assurance, because you see - this ministry here at The Well - this is HIS ministry. We are merely the conduits through which God works! And believe me - we have experienced HIS working over the past 7 years.
The interesting thing is - about a month ago, God has impressed this on me - that us having just celebrated our 7th birthday in the midst of this COVID-19 time, I believe it is significant. 7 years of operating. I believe God has something to say about that, and so - let me tell you - I am listening! I think the number of 7 years is significant!
One thing about not having retreaters, not having to cook and clean and host means that I have lots of time to sit at the feet of Jesus!! I am returning to being the "Mary" that He has created me to be <3
So I am sitting and listening. Praying and asking. Writing and thinking. Reading the Word.
I have been asking the LORD if He would speak to me about this - about what turning 7 means for us. Asking Him what He has in store for His ministry. AND I am asking you to join me in this! I would love to hear what YOU have to share after asking the LORD on our behalf.
Thanks for your prayers during this time,
on behalf of HIS ministry