Refuge is On The Move!


It all started when...

Phil, the owner of The Ugly Mug coffee shop, gave us a "Dear John" letter on August 29, wanting to break up with us.

He would like Refuge to be gone after September.

I was in shock.

Did I push back? I did. I asked for clarification: did we offend him? did we do something wrong? I told him I didn't want to leave and try to fill in the blanks (like when people break up with you but they never tell you the real reason).

And just when I was getting defensive (and angry, and scared, and anxious), a healthcare person showed up to give some care to his elderly mother. So he had to break away for a few minutes. During that quick pause, my mind quickened (and may have even been prompted by God), and I decided to stop asking for reasons when he returned, and instead I asked him how things are going with his mom.

That turned the conversation. He got soft, and even said he hated to have to do this to us, and that he really is going to miss a lot of the people at Refuge (I might've seen some tears from him, no joke). And he admitted he is going to miss the income from our rent, but caring for his mom is overtaking everything. He has very little margin. He has cut back even further on coffee shop hours, only opening up in the evenings, if at all.

So what does this mean for us?

Obviously it fast forwards our ultimate reality of leaving the coffee shop we've been outgrowing for some time, and it changes our gaze to see what God is up to for us. We have been looking for something else anyway, and this just spurs the process on with more urgency.

We can easily focus on the negative, and what we don't have (a typical knee-jerk for most of us). But that allows our fears to take over. I am in a comfortable place of peace right now about all of this – after all, our church has never been about a building.

I am asking you to pray with us as our search continues. We are looking at both short-term and long-term options. Though we are heading into the unknown, it's a beautiful place of trust to be as we look for God's provision.

At our Refuge Family Meeting on September 10 (click HERE to listen to the Podcast recording), we informed everyone in attendance about this story. And we asked everyone to participate in a few ways:

1. Pray – give thanks to God for the past 2.5 years at The Ugly Mug, and for God to be with Phil after we leave and as he cares for his mom.

2. Give – a new location will most likely mean an increase in our budget each month for rent. If you haven't partnered with Refuge yet through giving, we would ask you to pray about beginning that journey. And if you are currently giving, would you consider an increase during this season. (click HERE to give online).

3. Pray – for the search for a new location. Something will show itself, and we may even be able to see it more clearly from this place of desperation that we find ourselves in at this time.

Thank you for being a part of the Refuge story, and for being interested in what God is up to through our growing, fledgling outpost of His Kingdom. 

- Brenton