When it opens in early 2014, the $4.3 million facility will host week-long retreat events in an effort to strengthen marriage and family relationships, as well as contribute to the spiritual restoration of those in ministry.
The centre's opening will mark Focus Canada's second retreat centre. The ministry has operated Kerith Creek, near Calgary, Alberta, for the past 10 years.
He adds that Focus Canada was not looking to open a second retreat centre, but a number of things happened that led the organization to believe it might be a good idea.
One of those things was the donation of 103 acres of land in East Braintree from Walter and Eleanor Loewen and the DREW Foundation.
"It's really been exciting to walk through this journey and see what the Lord is up to," MacDonald says.
When the idea for the Manitoba retreat centre was proposed, MacDonald met with church leaders in southern Manitoba who were receptive to the idea. More than 90 per cent of the funds needed to build it have been raised, and most of that has come from donors in Manitoba.
Focus Canada is close to hiring a program leader couple that will work at the retreat centre, and in the coming months, the organization will be looking for a caretaker couple to live on the property for maintenance and groundskeeping purposes. The organization will also be looking for volunteer couples with a heart for ministry to act as hosts during the one-week retreats at the centre.
MacDonald says Focus Canada wants the centre to be a place where couples can get away from the everyday demands of ministry, recharge and revisit their calling.
The organization is also looking into the possibility of organizing retreats for families.
"We want to explore what the strategic needs of families in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and northwestern Ontario are," MacDonald says. "If there's something we can provide, we look forward to doing that in the years ahead."