Dreaming God Dreams
My friend Josh Pease (handsome bloke pictured above) is the local director of the organization that we run. He and I go way back. We’ve laughed, fought, and cried together over the years and I can’t say that about too many friendships.
When I met Josh, he was fresh off a stint in Nicaragua. He was young and idealistic. He wore a hat that said, “Rebel”, because he kind of is one. He had dropped out of seminary undergrad after three years because he didn’t want to talk about Jesus anymore, he wanted to find Him. And that’s not an affront to all of you fine seminary graduates. If you finished, good on ya. Perhaps you were meant to. But I bet Josh wonders at times if he stayed two years too long.
Between university years, Josh spent summers as a counselor at Camp Ridgecrest in the mountains of North Carolina. The name of the game was Discipling young men during a week or two of mountainside experiences ranging from rock climbing to mountain biking the Asheville area mountains. Many of us have experienced those epic "camp experiences", where we learned amazing things and perhaps experienced God in a new way.
Fast forward twelve years later and Josh is leading an organization of 26 staff (and many more volunteer leaders). He’s still working to make Disciples of the King, but only in a drastically different environment - Nicaragua.
The 150 kids in SuNica’s programs get to hangout at least once-per-week with the SuNica Discipleship Crew. In some cases they get more attention than that, but Josh always wished he could take kids from our communities up to a place like Ridgecrest. A place where it’s cool, quiet, and just altogether different from the hot and chaotic environments where they normally operate.
That sort of thing was a nice idea. A longshot. A dream.
Until the day he met Jim. Jim Hornsby is the guy that brought the Young Life model of ministry to Nicaragua way back in 1983! He had recently retired from Young Life and purchased a piece of mountain rainforest with his own dreams of protecting the land and launching a more rustic Discipleship Retreat.
Josh started pitching in with some building projects and otherwise. A true bromance was burgeoning! Jim told Josh on their first meeting that he thought he could give him this property to steward and carry on the idea. Josh thought that was a little crazy for a first meeting, but he kept making frequent treks to Matagalpa to learn from Jim, to help him build, and to take in the joys and beauty of time on the mountain.
One night alone in the forest - the Lord really met him and gave him a great peace about his sister Jessie, who was approaching her final days on earth. The Lord affirmed her great life and His love for their family. He knew it was going to be alright - even in the face of death.
That’s the kind of thing that happens when you get alone in a quiet place - when you’re up on the mountain.
And so here we are - the Lord is doing the unimaginable - He’s answering the dream.
"Josh, You want to bring my precious kids up on a mountain and teach them how to discover My Heart? How to follow Me better?" That’s a dream the Lord is keen to answer.
And He has. Jim Hornsby asked Josh and the SuNica Staff and Board of Directors to take over the stewardship and ownership of one of the most beautiful pieces of land that we’ve ever seen.
SuNica is already doing small Discipleship Retreats on the Sacred Forest. And we hope to never stop. If Jesus needed that special time up on the mountain, then perhaps we, His followers do too.
So we hope you’ll check out “The List Campaign" and see which piece of this project you can make happen this advent season!