Let’s say I was “filthy rich” as my mother used to call it. I would probably help God out… a lot…. too much.
Imra misled me. She said, “It’s only a short walk, about a kilometer.” That doesn’t sound like a lot if one is not hauling an additional forty pounds beyond their recommended body weight. It really isn’t far as long as it is not all straight uphill and one does not have a cold on the verge of pneumonia. Being trained by my wife in the fine art of walking, I said, Sure, let’s do it!” What visitor wants to look like they are not interested in such things as mushrooms, wild remedies and winding nature trails through spruce and pine. Oh yes, and a shrine to Mary in an occasional tree.
And besides, Imra had spent time explaining how the Lord had laid this ministry and this building on their hearts. How much something like this, a Christian retreat center was needed in this part of the world – so I enthusiastically went along with the dream even though I know that, unless a miracle should happen, this should be impossible to expect.
This is an old Catholic facility with a chapel, modern commercial kitchen and twenty-two, fully furnished rooms on two floors. “What if we could get this up and running and make it a gathering place for people from all over the region, and other parts of the world as well? This could be used as a pastoral training center! What if we could host retreats, have places for missionaries and pastors’ to ripose, imagine prayer conferences or youth groups coming here? People from all over? People from different kinds of churches and cultures? We could even offer rooms to bicyclists who come by and it wouldn’t matter if they were Christians or not. People from America could come and visit here. After all it is only a short distance from Bavaria, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Lake Garda, Venice!”
An entrepreneur, Emile wasn’t along with us but when he came back he explained that he had already put together a business plan. He asked me what I thought I might pay for such a grand facility and I had no idea. He convinced me that attempting to do this at all, even acquiring the land would be nigh to impossible. It would be well over a million Euro (1,300,000 US dollars) while this can be bought for 250,000 Euro ($300,000.) just as it is. I haven’t told Jeanne yet but I donated the first 100,000 dollars.
Of course, I can’t do that but maybe if I could, I might. This is the point and we all agree on it. If this something in the mind of God, how does He manage to make it happen? Where will such “a table in the wilderness” come from?