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Mennonite Brethren HeraldVolume 46, No. 10October 2007
Foodgrains Bank reaches one-millionth tonne
MARK Centre provides solitude, beauty
Faith survived hard century in Russia: Siberian MBs
Church postpones service for run
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Real rest – not the kind of vacation hiatus that leaves you exhausted – requires space, solitude, and some would argue, guided retreat.

MARK Centre provides solitude, beauty

Cam Stuart

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Real rest – not the kind of vacation hiatus that leaves you exhausted – requires space, solitude, environment, and some would argue, guided retreat. In today’s fast paced world, rest is sought but rarely found because there are few people and places that take it seriously.

The MARK Centre, led by Steve and Evy Klassen and located in Abbotsford, B.C., is committed to providing deep, abiding rest that flows from God’s active presence for all who stay.

The centre, an interdenominational agency with Mennonite Brethren roots, is helping many Christians discover the importance of solitude in their faith journeys.

The MARK Centre is located on a rustic acre in the heart of Abbotsford, B.C.

The MARK Centre is located on a rustic acre in the heart of Abbotsford, B.C.

Photo: Nancy Booth

New believers meet God

Frank was living and working hard in Germany when he decided to get away on a trip to Vancouver. One evening, he saw a sign promoting an Alpha service. Not knowing what Alpha was, he asked some questions and jumped right in. During the next weeks, Frank became a believer.

One of the first Christians he met recommended the MARK Centre for a spiritual retreat. Not knowing what a spiritual retreat centre was, Frank jumped in once again. What he experienced at the MARK Centre – the active presence of God through spiritual direction, solitude, and rest – sealed what was happening in his heart.

Businessmen experience silence

One of the businessmen who helped build the MARK Centre asked Steve to meet with him once a month for spiritual direction. The man’s intent was to grow in intimacy with God and with those around him.

Slowing down and listening was neither natural nor easy for him. But he was committed to trying. He began to incorporate moments of complete silence and listening into his busy life – even if it meant stopping his car and pulling over to the side of the road to hear God’s voice. Many significant life decisions have emerged out of those quiet moments. And his frantic, corporate lifestyle is being transformed.

A place for missionaries

Guests at the MARK Centre range in age, experience, and geographical origin. As missionaries and leaders fly in from international settings, the MARK Centre provides a soft place to land.

Many are surprised by the beauty of the accommodations, and readily embrace the silence and peace. Steve recalls one missionary grabbing him by the arm and saying, “I want you to know that God has changed my perspective during my visit here! I used to see God as a tight wad, but now I’m seeing him as an extravagant and abundant Father.”

The MARK Centre also partners with MB Mission and Service International (MBMSI) to provide facilities for training young missionaries with the TREK program. These young adults use the facilities January, February, September, and October.

Regardless of who they are, visitors to the MARK Centre can slow down, experience God’s presence in a new way, and find real rest.

Index details
Category: B.C. MB Conference

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ID: 310:5753
Last modified: Oct 9, 2007

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