As we look to the new year, I have been reminded of something I wrote whilst still in the UK in November 2004 after we had just visited Ibiza for 4 days the previous month. I am amazed that I wrote this whilst dreaming at my desk in the office of the church I was leading at the time. We need these moments of vision to drop back on.......
Here's what I wrote in a little visionary moment:
You often hear of two centre holidays, we need a two centre base.
We want to model a way of planting and establishing bases that is sustainable, reproducible and true to our DNA. We need to develop a rhythm of working within our communities that allow for intense out reach, connections, friendship and involvement but also model a lifestyle that is reflective, recharged and intimate.
We have to model a different way of being. What drives us? Why are we different? Were can I see this expressed?
As a reflection of 24-7 prayer the words intimacy and involvement drive. And this is how we want to build on the Island of Ibiza.
We don’t want to create a dualistic approach to spirituality, rather a holistic approach.
Here is our vision that has been bubbling up with various missions team members for a number of years. This is nothing new just a developing of 24-7 prayers heart and vision for the Island of Ibiza:
San Antonio Town Base
A place of involvement.
This is the ongoing development of what has already been happening with missions teams, we feel now is the time to have it on a more permanent basis. We want to establish a permanent prayer room, meditation place, coffee shop a centre were we can host DJ lessons, Dance lessons, drop in centre a light house in the darkness. A place for team to operate out of and refer back to whilst out working in the centre of San Antonio. A real connection point with the wider community.
In many ways this will be our missions centre
1. Top quality venue to connect with passers by.
2. A place to offer a multiplicity of training course : 6 dj lessons 1 hour a day. Dance lessons, meditation classes etc...
3. A call in counselling centre pregnancy advice, sexual health, drugs awareness.
4. A place to chill and have great coffee and conversation.
5. A place to sell cheap water and give away fruit!
6. A place were people can serve who aren’t even in to clubbing.
7. A possible venue for alpha type courses and other spiritual gatherings.
8. A gallery to exhibit and sell artwork and other products.
9. First aid place with a recovery room.
10. On site we will also have the coolest prayer room in the world.
(2 things in hindsight: obviously we don't need a coffee shop when there are so many great coffee shops near by and we can bless them with the business , and also we don't need a recovery room when we have such a great relationship with the health centre and they are the trained professionals!)
A place of intimacy.
Once again this is a dream people have already had. A centre to host teams, to train missionaries, a place to create and dream, a home, a recovery centre, a retreat centre, a place of pilgrimage. Not a hidey-hole but a place that reflects the rhythms of our community
In many ways this could resemble a 21st centre monastery.
1. A centre to host different types of teams, lots of churches want to send people on short-term missions, Ibiza is close and practical to get to.
2. A great place to host younger teams churches will be happy to send them if they know they are in a safe place. A great place for younger teams to work out from on practical community service and engagement projects.
3. We will be able to offer training courses, missions, leadership development, year out schemes.
4. It would become a place of retreat for Christians and Pre Christians
5. We would have an artist studio and other space for creativity.
6. A great place for the 24-7 missions teams to recharge, reflect and live.
7. A place were we could look after the damaged people we will meet
8. An office centre
9. A spot for pilgrims to visit.
10. A place to invite all our new islands friends!
So now as I look back and when I look forward, I need to remind myself that this is God's dream that we are part of.....