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In Mijas, Spain, dreaming of a better world

Here at the leadership training center in Mijas, Spain overlooking the Mediterranean, tearing ourselves away from the spectacular view, we start the day with prayer. And Andrew Shearman, the man whose dream this is, prays greatness over us. “Oh Lord, we ask that we will not slip silently into th…
By Seth Barnes

Mijas view1Here at the leadership training center in Mijas, Spain overlooking the Mediterranean, tearing ourselves away from the spectacular view, we start the day with prayer. And Andrew Shearman, the man whose dream this is, prays greatness over us.

“Oh Lord, we ask that we will not slip silently into the mists of life. We choose to trust you in the storms of life that will prove your mastery.”

Andrew’s got poetry in his soul that seems to spill out effortlessly when he prays. And the students here follow along in his wake.  One of them finds an echo of the prayer quoting the words of Sir Francis Drake, “Losing sight of shore we might see the stars.”

Later, moving from poet to professor, Andrew gives an overview of Drake, “He set out to bring the kingdom of God to the nations of the world, an adventurer seeking to bring order into chaos.” We talk about Drake for a moment before the day’s classes begin.

Some of the teaching here is formal, but much of it feels more like the kind of wonderful conversation that a close family might have around a kitchen table. And after a day of this, tonight we’ve got a pachanga planned. This seems to be as much a part of the curriculum as the teaching – it’s a knock-down, drag-out Latin party. Andrew says, “God is a pachanga God. He’s an extremist.” And I reflect that we American Christians do seem to need help loosing up. Presumably a pachanga will move us further down the road from our puritanical roots. Zach will be making a huge plate of Spanish paella. Music will be playing. Rumor has it that a flamenco dancer will show up to teach us how to dance.

As I look around at the beauty of the place, the atmosphere of possibility, the energy that pulses in the students, I can’t help thinking to myself, “You know, we’ve made a good start.” It’s like L’ Abri, but with more fun injected into the mix. It’s a place people dream of and a place where dreams are birthed. I’ve sent my two oldest kids on the World Race, and I want them to come here as well.

Andrew is teaching on covenants today and introduces it by saying, “This teaching will change your life forever. God has never dealt with man in any other way than covenantally. The spirit of covenant-making which is so important to my life will transform you.”

The students are taking notes now, but will be applying it in their lives in the future as they leave the safety here and, like Drake, go far from the shore. Stephanie is starting a ministry among the prostitutes who walk the seashore a few miles from here. Matt dreams of a wilderness adventure school. Shanda wants to see Christ capture the hearts of Europe as he once did. Others want to go to the edge of the horizon where Morocco lies.

Dreaming seems to come easy here. After our time together, Andrew gives a benediction: “”You’re the apex of his genius. Think about that when you’re tempted to think small and stay safe by the shore. We need more people who will give up everything to serve the living God.”

Perhaps you are one of them. If your dreamer inside needs to be unlocked, this is a place that will do it. 

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