History of the Ministry

Welcome to “qámlexʷ” (calm, peaceful land) and the ministry of Peaceful Pause!

Our lives are increasingly being lived at high velocity and with greater amounts of clutter. But if we can somehow slow down and strip away that clutter, we can focus on what really matters. That, in part, is what our ministry is about. Allow us to share a bit about how this ministry came to be.

When Rog and Deb Andruss joined one of the largest mission organizations in the world more than a decade ago, transitioning from church ministry to providing pastoral care on a global level, they noticed something amiss: Countless missionaries and church staff they met were abandoning their calling due to feelings of burnout and disillusionment. When they delved deeper, they discovered a common theme. In many cases, those who were leaving their ministry calling had struggled to find a balance between the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. The busyness of their ministry had led them to neglect their relationship with Jesus – there’d been too much “doing,” and too little “being.”

With that realization, Rog and Deb began facilitating retreats to help people understand how to strike a healthier balance. Both had a heart for preventive healthcare (they’d worked in the industry before serving in ministry), and their goal was to help others achieve and maintain a better spiritual, physical, emotional and social well-being.

It was around that time that someone introduced them to Axiom, a global monastic community encouraging practices and disciplines to encourage greater intimacy with Christ. In corresponding with Jeff Pratt, founder of Axiom, it became clear that God was leading them to merge their ministries.

“In the nine years since, we’ve seen Axiom grow at the local and global levels,” said Roger. “And we’ve seen an increased interest from churches in the U.S. including several who have adopted our rhythms into their growth programs and now send staff to Montana for retreats.”

Those rhythms are at the heart of our retreats, where participants are introduced to these spiritual practices (disciplines) and can work on putting them into place in their daily lives. In doing so, they’re able to create more time and space for greater intimacy and a deeper understanding of God’s purpose for their life.

“We’ve discovered over the years of facilitating retreats and pilgrimages, and spending time in silence and solitude in prayer, that we have a God who aches for our full presence,” said Roger. “Being fully present to him, to one another, and to the needs of the world around us is the distinct spirituality and heartbeat of our ministry.”

And those practices are more important than ever as our lives are increasingly being pressured from all sides. The turmoil of our times, the constant noise of the world and our preoccupations make it very difficult to hear that ‘still small voice.’ Our hearts have forgotten how to ‘be still and know that He is God.’ Inside ourselves, we’re running all the time, ambushed by the tyranny of the urgent and the onslaught of technological distractions. We are seldom awakened to the fact that every moment of every day can be lived in the presence of God, alive and aware of His love.

Peaceful Pause is birthed

Peaceful Pause was birthed in 2015 when Rog and Deb moved to Montana in search of property that would serve as a space to model and teach this way of living. Forty acres, surrounded by wilderness, were purchased in the Fall of 2016 and continues to be developed.

The valley we’re located in (Swan Valley) is known by locals as “The Swan” and for decades it has also been known as “valley of the hush” because of how quiet it is. We have experienced that in a deep way here on this property and were even gifted the name “qámlexʷ” (calm, peaceful land) by our Salish (tribal) friends. We reside in one of the most pristine places left in the lower 48, sandwiched between two incredible wilderness areas (Mission Mountains Wilderness and Bob Marshall Wilderness). In wilderness, distractions disappear, busyness recedes, social pressures diminish. We’re left with one of the Bible’s core instructions: ‘Be still and know that I am God.’

There isn’t any wi-fi in the forest, but our hope for you is a better connection! Welcome to the ministry of Peaceful Pause (Rest, Retreats & Spiritual Direction).

“This is what the LORD says:
‘Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.’”
Jeremiah 6:16