Some of you may know that Sanctuary Inn had the opportunity to be an instrumental part Care Connexion 2023, which took place in early May. The conference was all about equipping those wanting to learn more about Missionary Care. It drew over 100 attendees from the NW region and quite a few came from greater distances like California, Texas, and Vancouver, BC. All who came were so appreciative of the wealth of experience and knowledge of our 19 workshop speakers and our wonderful plenary speaker, Dr. Connie Befus. If you were unable to attend, you can now purchase the recordings of the conference plenary sessions and access some of the workshop speaker notes. Click here to purchase the teaching sessions for a fee.
As we soaked in the wisdom that Dr. Connie Befus shared with us the session that stood out for me was her talk on missionaries and their need for rest and sabbath. She challenged us to see how God has ordained sabbath rest for our good and it is not a commandment to be ignored. She memorably stated, “We as Christians are to be living sacrifices not crispy burnt offerings to the Lord”. Far too many missionaries (also pastors, ministry leaders etc.) are burning out, many times because they lack the rhythms of rest in their lives.
“We as Christians are to be living sacrifices not crispy burnt offerings to the Lord”
We exist here at Sanctuary Inn as a place where missionaries can come away for rest. Many come weary and worn out. They have been facing the pressures of ministry, cross-cultural stress, family needs, finances… the list goes on; it all takes its toll. Sometimes they are burning up emotionally, physically, or even spiritually.
You don’t have to be a missionary to feel the stresses of life. Yet, there are some unique barriers for rest in the lives of those in ministry. Many feel guilty for resting, many struggle with the overwhelming needs around them that can’t be ignored, and many don’t feel like they have permission to take a break as too much depends on them.
I believe it is a significant victory for our missionary guests when they come away to stay with us. Permission has been given by the organization, team-mates and even themselves to step-away. They are unplugging and they are choosing to slow-down and breathe in the fresh woodsy air of Sanctuary Inn. They sit quietly by the Salmon River and dip their toes in the icy water. They take a much-needed nap. They walk the wooded loop around our property and consider their lives in light of the towering evergreen trees that have stood the test of time. Their children run and play on our property- games of tag, hide n’ seek, building forts in the woods, and running through sprinklers on our big lawn. They sit around the campfire eating s’mores and telling us stories of their cross-cultural life and ministry. In this place they find rest.
And when they leave after a few days, weeks, or even a month later; we hope they remember that it was good to rest. Their heart, body, and soul needed rest. We hope and pray that they can more easily choose to build rhythms of rest into their lives on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. We here at Sanctuary Inn want to do our part to encourage missionaries be beautiful living sacrifices instead of crispy and burnt-out offerings to the Lord.
We invite you to pray that each of our many individuals, couples and family guests who come this summer experience the joy and restoration of rest.
Thank you for your prayers and participation in making Sanctuary Inn a place of rest.
– Kara Githens and the Sanctuary Inn Team