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God took some biblically seeking, ordinary people with ordinary lives who were walking down a path towards a mediocre and unfulfilling existence. As they sought the true heart and the true ways of Christ and the scriptures, God showed up and turned their world upside down in the best way possible.
Two decades ago, Rich and Linda Case were a couple who had been believers for most of their married lives. They regularly attended church and bible studies, but knew in their heart that something was not quite right in their daily walk with God. They found themselves asking the Lord, “how come the truths and promises of Scripture are not really true in our own personal experience?” Even though they tried to live out their lives dedicated to their faith as best as they could, it continually did not seem attainable. Was salvation just a “ticket to Heaven” as most of the Christian church teaches and was the abundant life only meant for when they got to Heaven?
It was on a trip to Austria with several other couples that the Lord spoke clearly to the Case’s in the midst of these struggles. The group of friends engaged in what was planned to be a brief devotion in the morning through a few Bible passages, but God had other plans. Through the incredibly impactful concept of Abiding in the Vine from John 15, God changed the hearts of every person there. Rich and Linda’s relationship with one another and with the Lord was not simply restored, it was resurrected; and each couple, including the Cases began living out the abundant life promised by Christ.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for apart from Me, you can do nothing.”
- John 15:5
Rich and Linda walked away with the same thought, if this was what God could do through an informal in-depth time in His Word, what could He do through a well-understood, leader-guided dive into The Word?
The answer was—quite a lot. It so transformed these couples that their friends noticed the shift in them as individuals and as a couple. The original “retreat” couples shared their experience and those around them wanted to experience this shift. This continued happening again and again, retreat after retreat.
Now, through Abide Ministries' not-for-profit retreat ministry, the Lord has healed marriages, restored faith, removed resentment, and restored joy of over 2,500 individuals.