By Shawn McMullen
It is where God appeared to Abraham, promising the land (thus the term, “promised land”) to his offspring, and where Abraham built his first altar to God (Genesis 12:6, 7). Years later, Jacob bought a parcel of land here, settled his family, built another altar (33:18-20), and later dug a well—a well Jesus himself visited in what came to be known as the Samaritan town of Sychar (John 4:5, 6). Nearby the bodies of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Leah, Jacob, and Joseph were buried. It was here that Joshua renewed Israel’s covenant with God (Joshua 24:1-15). This same city, Shechem, was set apart as a city of refuge for Israel (Joshua 20:1-9).
While there is more to this important city’s story, its significance in Israel’s history is clear. It’s prominence, and it’s role as a city of refuge, led a group of visionary Christians to build a retreat by the same name for Christian ministers in central Kentucky.
Located on a 75-acre parcel of land in Anderson County, Shechem Ministries’ wooded hills, private lake, and comfortable cabin offer a refuge from life’s storms for hurting ministers and their families.
The vision of its founders is to provide a safe place of retreat, rest, and reflection for servants of the gospel who are burdened, burned out, or wounded. Their hope is that a time of rest in a safe environment may help stem the tide of preachers who are leaving their pulpits—and the ministry.
There is no agenda or schedule at Shechem Ministries—just a beautifully appointed cabin, four miles of walking trails, 12 prayer stations, complete privacy, and the beauty of God’s created world. What’s more, there is no cost to participants. In fact, the ministry does not accept donations from those who use the facilities. The only cost participants incur is the cost of food.
Why such a ministry as Shechem Ministries? Because some concerned Christians understand how hard Satan works to discourage God’s servants and have chosen to provide a place to shield them from Satan’s attacks, allowing them to rest both body and spirit as they pray and seek God’s blessing and direction for their lives. Priority is given at Shechem Ministries to Christian servants who feel their ministries are in jeopardy or who face other forms of crisis.
You or a Christian servant you know may be facing tough times in ministry. If so, I hope you’ll consider contacting Shechem Ministries to schedule some time to get away, to rest, to pray, and to be refreshed. It might just make a difference—for the rest of your life.
For more information, go to www.shechemministries.com.
Photos by Matt Sawyer Photography. www.sawyerclicks.com