Where it began on the Mountain!
We are the Stewarts, my name is Ben and this is my family of 9 kids, and my bride of 21 years.
After 20 years of serving the local church – our family took a huge step of faith and started a family camp retreat center in the mountains of the Ozarks. WHY? Because we feel called to help families find their God-given purpose.
I’ve resigned from our pastor position, we sold our stuff, and with the help of some amazing ministries and partner we purchased a rural retreat center!
To run with the vision for families!
(Check out some of our older videos!)
This new ministry launched out of our yearly time of prayer and fasting as a family. Every year we take time to gather all our kids and just spend time with God; praying, worshiping, going over our values, vision and mission for the year, as well as our goals.
We often get a “theme” for the year as well. This year’s theme was “the great adventure”. Well, what you are about to read is what has come out of that great adventure and how God has shaped this new family ministry. God told us we needed to launch a family camp.
Why Arkansas and Why A Family Camp?
I won’t forget when Nili and I were doing our prayer walk around our neighborhood and she asked me, “If you were able to do anything for God, what would it be?” Instantly a 25-year-old dream came back to me and I said, “I’d start that church/camp/retreat center we talked about years ago”. She smiled and said (in her prophetic, supportive and bold way), “Then let’s do it. I think it is time, Ben”.
It felt like something fell off of us, and there was new freedom resting on us. We shifted our thinking from “what” to do next, to “where”.
The next night, when I was doing my research online (I love to learn), I found a property that had literally come available the day before – a church offering their camp for sale. This camp/church facility has a rich history of powerful moves of God, moves of the Holy Spirit, plus… it has an incredible view of the landscape of Northeast Arkansas where the Ozark Mountains begin.
Now, if you know me enough to know that this feels like… wait, what?, slow down – but God is not letting off the gas, and He is telling me to keep my foot off the brakes.
Thank you for checking out our website and our story. We believe that each of you has a story too – and we want to encourage you to seek God to see how you are supposed to tell that story, or maybe just invite God into your story for the first time!