Where do we start? The goodness and faithfulness of God. It’s His story. We are just the humble caretakers of this vision we call Camp Refuge. We have been dreaming of the day we had property to call our own since the day we birthed Camp Refuge as a 501 (c) 3 organization in April 2017. We’ve asked and asked Him to open doors and His answer has always been to wait. So, we obeyed and continued to wait. We weren’t even looking for land when this property fell into our laps. The moment we stepped onto this beautiful property in Breaux Bridge, LA we knew we were HOME. There were so many confirmations that the Lord was leading us to our very own Promised Land, but the one that is impossible to ignore is the resemblance of the main house to our vision of the “Gathering” space. The similarities are uncanny. Isn’t it so like God to build it Himself - not waiting for us?!?
When we shared our sketch of our “Gathering” space with the previous owners they were excited just like us. They even called this place “The Camp” and have used the term “refuge” when describing what the place means to them. They were in awe and said, “We had no idea that we were starting Camp Refuge 18 years ago.”
If finding this treasure had all the fingerprints of God, we weren’t surprised when God once again orchestrated the “impossible” in purchasing it. In less than 1 week of a realtor showing us the property, a family stepped forward and agreed to purchase the first 22 acres for the sole use of Camp Refuge. We knew we wanted to purchase the remaining 20 acres in order to keep our expansion options open and also to keep the area private and secluded from outsiders, so we began a capital campaign. After one month of campaigning, a second family stepped in and said, “We are with you on it,” and purchased the remaining 20 acres. Wow, God!
Part of the reason we had been looking for property is we wanted to grow. More space means more room to expand our offerings. Our previous “home” didn’t allow for the building of permanent structures, which meant our “glamping” tent experience was the only choice. Our new property has endless possibilities which means we can begin the process of building “conditioned” sleeping accommodations. Can I get an “Amen?”
We are excited to keep following hard after God’s plans for Camp Refuge. Our plans are ever changing as God reveals more and more steps to us, but we wanted to give a preliminary vision of where we believe the Lord is leading us (see proposed master plan below). Please cover this season of building in your prayers (1 Chr 28:18-21):
1. For every part of the plan to be written by Him.
2. For strength and courage to resist fear and discouragement
3. For His oversight in finishing all the work correctly
4. For the priests (committed staff)
5. For the skilled volunteers
6. For favor from governing authorities
A - Small Gathering
B - Dining Pavilion
C - Pondside Chapel
D - Large Gathering
E - Outdoor Amphitheatre
F - Treehouse Cottages
G - Guest Cabins
H - Staff House
I- Odyssey High Ropes
J - Low Ropes Course
K - Challenge Pavilion
L - Activity Pond
M - Welcome Center
N - Kitchen & Laundry
O - Equipment Barn
P - Storage
Our Pondside Chapel is symbolic of the Old Testament’s Holy of Holies. The walls of glass on three sides represent the veil that was torn granting us free access to the Father. This space is meant for personal reflection, prayer, and intimate gatherings. “And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.” (Hebrews 10:19-20)
The Gathering at Camp Refuge is our main assembly building. Each day our retreats will start and end here. It is a multipurpose building that will not only host our times of worship and daily teachings, but will also serve as our dining facility. There is also a screened-in porch to enjoy a cup of coffee or a light lunch while taking in the peaceful surroundings.
In the treetops past the pond there will be 12 treehouse cottages that are symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel. The treehouse cabins serve as sleeping accommodations for our married couples' and pastors’ retreats. Each cabin is unique and is decorated according to the tribe it represents. The cabin features a queen-sized bed, an intimate dining table, a full bathroom and a porch with its own swing and rocker.
High adventure awaits at the high ropes course. This challenging experience features high and higher elements that push guests past their comfort zone and into a growth zone where they learn more about themselves and those closest to them. An intentional debrief after each stage further reinforces insights and allows guests to make immediate application to daily living. The Odyssey is ideal for teams of all types: sports, business, leadership, youth, parent/teen, husband/wife, and beyond.