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  • Pippa Botha

The Mission of L'Abri


Every ministering couple has different needs. Some need to be left alone and find their peace. Others need friendship without expectations, laughter and distraction from the hardships of life and ministry. Some need answers to questions they can’t ask. Some need help in navigating between the pressures of home and ministry. They may be struggling with their own marriages or children.

Most ministers need a safe haven to just be. Without judgement. Without demands.

L’Abri is this kind of place. It is situated in the beautiful Vermont between the sea and mountain. The view from the covered veranda is a place where one can say, “I lift my eyes to the mountain. Where shall my help come from?” There are lovely walkways along the seashore and beautiful hikes in the mountains. There are numerous restaurants, wine farms and coffee shops to visit. But most of all there is space to breathe and heal!

The guests will have a room,with a separate entrance, and bathroom. They will have no demands made on them. They can come and go as they please. We would love to share meals with them when they desire and we pray that we may be of some service to them but the pace is dictated, not by us but by them.

Riekert and I were 23 and 21 years old when we entered the ministry. We had just gotten married and were still both students. We owned nothing but we had the strong call of God on our lives and plenty of youthful energy. Since then we have been youth pastors, working as young people in an established church, under the guidance of older men. We have been missionaries in the Ukraine, learning how to be a blessing while struggling with our own insecurities and fears. We have questioned how to keep the home church satisfied while feeling incompetence and failure in the mission. We have been pastors of a congregation in a small town, battling with the competition between churches for members. We have worked in secular jobs while seeking to testify to our colleagues. We have known the direct call of God to a ministry that terrifies us. We have learnt through our mistakes and been strengthened by His truth. We have felt failure more often than success, fear more often than bravado, want more often than riches. We are not hoping to help because we feel able to do so but because we feel lead by God to do so. We offer our home for this purpose and believe that L’Abri will be a haven to those who seek the Truth while serving Him in the church and the world.


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©Riekert Botha | Ontwerp deur blackPEPPERcollective