It hardly seems comprehensible that as I write this blog (November 2013), next month we will have been at Trelowarren Retreat for two years. Have we achieved all that we wanted to do in this time, no…but nonetheless we have had an amazing time and of course been stretched to the limit of our previous comfort zones. All of this, and much more of course, goes with the calling of overseeing this extraordinary place, but at the beginning of 2012 who would of thought!
Thinking of anniversaries, it was our leaving ball two years ago, about now. The time when we said farewell to friends old and new, and received the prophetic words between the jazz and the fireworks. I guess when you are given Zechariah chapters 1 through to 8, God is giving you a bit of a clue to some of the challenges that lie ahead. However, in our euphoria did we take any notice? NO, although over the past two years these chapters have been of enormous comfort and encouragement. The final word to us was from Zechariah 4 v9, ‘…His hands shall also finish it’. And those of you who are familiar with Trelowarren Retreat will know that we are undertaking an extensive refurbishment project over the next few years. The finished result will bring the retreat very much up to date, and in some sense return the house to its former glory by utilising many rooms that have not been occupied for years.
Taking a slightly different track, I was looking up what the number two meant. As you can appreciate, being married to a mathematician means numbers feature quite highly in our world! Apart from the obvious meaning of separation – and in one sense, we have certainly now separated from our previous careers and home in the Midlands – two also means the beginning of a journey. We would say it takes at least two years to transition into the new. So maybe 2014 is going to be the continuing and expanding of our own personal adventure, it’s a prophetic word that seems to be on this house and is frequently given to retreaters… with the Lord’s leading of course!
So looking back over 2013, it has been an amazing year. As always, God has far exceeded our expectations. However, it started off so, so cold. People told us it never snowed in Cornwall!
We like to think of it as the Lord’s righteousness covering Trelowarren Retreat.
The spring came and one day we looked out of the window and saw these ladies coming to visit. A prophetic picture of what was to come. Our visitors have and continue to increase, to the point where we have had to turn people away some months, and that makes us sad.
This year we have made so many new friends, and so often when people stay with us they remark that, despite the size of the house, it feels so much like family.
And then the summer finally came and we were very busy. For the first time we had children and babies on retreat (with parents of course), and introduced The Gathering on a Sunday afternoon.
Local folk said we had had the hottest summer in years and it certainly was an amazing time. We became very acquainted with local beaches. Also the local train station; we have done endless pick up’s from Redruth station this year, and also a couple from Newquay airport. Our international visitors came from Canada, America and Switzerland.
The end of the summer was heralded by an amazing worship evening given by Ryan Baker Barnes. We knew after this event our worship generally would go up a level, and we personally stepped into the prophetic word given to us before we arrived about Trelowarren Retreat having its own unique sound. Our retreaters thoroughly enjoy the daily morning and evening worship, and take away with them new songs they have learned as a reminder of what the Lord has accomplished in their life during their time here…new songs break old cycles.
At the end of the summer our first intern arrived. The picture we believe prophetically speaks of how Alison adds to the retreat. I always have flowers in my kitchen – usually roses (I spend so much time in it) – and when Alison arrived she gave me some flowers…the total being greater than the individual.
Beginning of September heralded Jewish New year, the year of the open door and the glory fell.
September also heralded our re-opening once a month for afternoon tea, and the creation of the morning room art gallery featuring paintings by local artists from the Lizard Co-operative.
By October, we felt the Lord had taken us into a new level of intercession specifically for Cornwall. This was confirmed by a visit from some Messianic Jews from America, and culminating at the end of the month by a visit from Fyald-y-Brenin.
At the end of the Friday evening meeting, a Lady came up to Mike who has known Trelowarren Retreat for many years. She said she believed the Lord told her during worship that the well at Trelowarren, which was opened in the 80’s, is firmly opened again for both physical and emotional healings…exciting times.
And so now, as we prepare for the end of the year celebrations and our thoughts turn towards 2014, we would like to share with you and bless you with a prophetic word for the coming year.
We pray that as you read this in 2014, you will move into a broad place – a place that has no boundaries. And in doing so, you will experience a freedom in God you have never experienced before. We ask the Lord that you will see the new shoots that have developed in your life in 2013 develop, grow and turn into sweet smelling blossom, and new doors of hope will be opened for you. The things that have held you captive in the past will be no longer, and we thank God for the tide turning in you life.
Mike and Elaine Clarke