We are so excited to share with you the vision for Building Refuge!
Just over a year ago, one of our local supporting churches, Cherry Hills Church in Springfield, contacted us and asked us a really fun question. That question was: If money were no object, what would have the greatest impact on your ministry right now?
Our emphatic response was that for 13 years of ministry, Refuge has been in need of indoor, climate controlled space to gather, fellowship, pray, disciple, debrief, and counsel with our families after sessions when weather will not allow us to do these things outdoors. Clearly, a great deal of our mentoring, gathering, and programming happens outdoors - and we actually believe that being outside, in creation is an intrinsic and critical part of the work and healing that God does here at Refuge. However, the extremes of central Illinois weather simply do not always allow for this. For many years we have been praying for a facility that will enable us to provide greater continuity of care for the families we serve.
In December 2019, Cherry Hills responded to this need by raising $109,000 toward this goal!!! Building Refuge was launched!!
Despite the setbacks and challenges of 2020, the ministry at Refuge has continued to grow and we are committed to continue sharing the love of Jesus with hurting hearts as effectively as possible. We are extremely grateful and excited to launch this 3 Phase project with Phase 1 already 87% funded! Would you prayerfully consider partnering with us in this exciting next step!"
Update - 3/25/2022 - While we have faced some challenges like zoning and permit issues as well as drastically increased material and labor costs, we have been overwhelmed at God's faithfulness and the generosity of His people. So far we have raised over $200,000 toward our total goal. THANK YOU! Would you pray with us for God's provision to both provide the remaining funds needed as well volunteers and laborers to accomplish this project so that we can Build Refuge and Hope for more families in our community!
Update 1/15/23 “Through your incredible generosity – we are delighted to share that we have fully wrapped up Phase 1 & 2 - construction of a climate controlled gathering space attached to our indoor arena. Because of you, we were able to begin year-round sessions in 2023. This winter for the first time, our arena was full, our barn was full, and our new building was full! The dream to expand our session program from seasonal to year-round and to provide better continuity of care for the families we serve, has been YEARS in the making!! Dreaming, planning, fundraising, more planning, a VERY long construction process - all in the midst of a global pandemic, and drastic cost increases.
This winter we watched kids laughing, playing, connecting, and serving. We saw hands warming by the fire with hot chocolate, parents encouraging each other and sharing resources- finding their own place of connection. We connected with and served nearly 30 kids on just our opening day of winter sessions because of your partnership. YOU DID THIS! OUR AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL, AND EXTRAVAGANTLY GENEROUS COMMUNTITY! Thank you does not begin to convey our gratitude. But THANK YOU. Thank you for every moment of love and ministry and joy that you made possible today by your prayer and generosity!
Update 4/25/23 - We have begun work on Phase 3 – The remodeling of a current pole barn structure into a Bunkhouse for staff and seasonal interns! This final leg of our building project will allow us to expand our staffing and particularly our summer programs to reach more families and provide opportunities to the kids on our waiting list. The plumbing has been roughed in, new electrical service installed, and the interior framing has begun! We have currently raised nearly $67,000.00 of the $170,000 budget to complete this project. Would you consider a gift to help us cross the finish line of this final phase?
Interior conversion of pole barn structure into Bunkhouse. Porch, windows, drywall, flooring, 2 bunkrooms – with attached bathrooms, kitchenette and communal living space finishes. $75,000
Interior build out and finishing of Barn Lounge & Fellowship Center. Electrical, drywall, flooring, fireplace, laundry facilities, kitchen and bathroom and all other interior finishes. $100,000
Interior conversion of pole barn structure into Bunkhouse/Living quarters. Porch, windows, drywall, flooring, 2 bunkrooms – with attached bathrooms, kitchenette and communal living space finishes. $150,000