Hello Dear Friends!
We have some glorious news to share with you!
For about 9 months now, David, Michaela and I have been praying and fasting and praying and discerning and working and praying and praying some more. . . about a dream and desire to build a Retreat Center and Catholic Christian Family Camp consecrated to Our Lord in HIS Divine Mercy and to the Blessed Mother!
Last week on Tuesday, the opening day of the Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis and on Our Lady's Feast Day of Her Immaculate Conception, our new non-profit business, the "Divine Mercy Retreat Center", was formally approved with the State of Texas! We are official, we have formed a Board and we are moving forward! The Lord had been opening door after door. It has been AMAZING and we are overwhelmed at HIS goodness and mercy!!!
The next steps
Since everyone asks!
We are discerning where Our Lord wants HIS Divine Mercy Retreat Center. This is HIS Retreat Center (not the "David and Andrea Retreat Center". It is HIS!) and we know HE has ordained this and has picked-out the land and has it waiting for us to develop/build for HIM. We have our eyes on 2 potential, country acreage properties ~ and, ideally we hope to have 50-100+ acres or even 100-200+ acres. But, we are still open to and praying about whatever presents itself! Call me if you have land and want to talk about it!
Our amazing CPA, Mr. Noel Mascarenhas, is continuing to work on the final version of the Bylaws and Resolutions for the non-profit corporation. We have already obtained our EIN number and domain names (professional web design to hopefully begin in early 2016), and we are preparing to begin working with donors very soon. Per the professional recommendation of the CPA, we need a list of donors to submit with our 501(c) 3 filing. All Donations ~even in amounts of just $5 to $1000 are helpful to bolster our final approval with the IRS. Checks are made out to: Divine Mercy Retreat Center. You will receive a letter of donation and it is tax-deductible per our CPA.
And "yes", all of this info can be shared publicly now! Fr. Drew, our pastor at St. Laurence, fully knows about our plans and gave us his blessing several months ago! Thank you, Jesus!!! Feel free to spread the good news with anyone you know who might want to help make this a reality! And, please, please keep this holy endeavor in your prayers!
We have lots of hard work ahead of us. But, nothing is impossible with God! The Divine Mercy Retreat Center and Catholic Christian Family Camp are going to be beautiful, natural, welcoming, hospitable, holy places of great love and mercy and healing for God's people, for married couples, for children and for families! All for the Glory of God!!
Jesus, we trust in You!
The Bartas ~ David, Andrea and Michaela