A Saint Has Gone Home – Sabine Ball

A Saint Has Gone Home – Sabine Ball

Sabine Ball passed away in July.

 Sabine Ball

The Lords Land Photo

She was in her early eighties. Sabine was a type of “Corrie Ten Boom” for many of us.  After a burning desire to help the troubled kids in the Haigh/Ashbury district in San Francisco, the German born, Sabine Ball sold all she had to purshase 126 acres near the Mendocino Coast of Northern California.  She desired to help them live healthier lives through natural living.  This was the late 1960’s.


As they pursued a better life, Jesus showed up and called some of them to know Him personally.  As this continued, Sabine, somewhat disgruntled about these changes, began her own search. Traveling to find her own “faith” through Eastern Mysticism, she finally returned to  “The Land”. She describes that a “brother” sat her down one day and very specifically told her that there was no other way than Jesus Christ.  Although she was battling her own self will and pride, she submitted her life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.


The Land, then became the Lord’s Land.  The annointing of salvation and healing laid heavy on this 126 acres.  She was living on alimony from her marriage and the Lord spoke to her to say He wanted her to sell some of the land to Georgia Pacific and that she was to stop receiving alimony.  In faith she obeyed fearing the rumbling of lumber trucks carrying off the beauty of the trees to the mills.  As of the last time I heard, no lumber had been cut from this land and Sabine lived in the provision of the Lord until her death.


Her Return To Germany


In the middle 1990’s Sabine felt the calling to return to Germany.  Her desire was to minister to the skin heads and punks in Dresden Germany.  Through a coffee shop and second hand store Sabine set up a powerful ministry to the lost children of the streets of Dresden.  Her ministry was so well respected that the city of Dresden financially supported her work.  Her friends supported the store through giving high end clothing and the local cafe’s provided day old pastries and baked goods. 


Sabine’s gift to love the challenging folks of our world led many to the salvation of Christ.  Her life was dedicated to others, living selfishly with little.


Hundreds of men and women found God’s freedom through the vessel of Sabine’s life.


My Experiences With Sabine


Formany years, each January and December, 25 to 35 men would set aside a four day weekend to begin and close out a year of Christian discipleship through Love In Action. It was at The Lord’s Land where God met me in some very personal ways during my some 20 times visiting there over the eight years I lived in the Bay Area. The foundation of hearing God and receiving His love into my life began at The Lord’s Land.


 Lords Land Gazebo


I think to a large extent, the vision within “The Journey of Thomas” for loving people, relating to them in authenticity, and shedding our masks of fear came through experiencing Sabine, the staff of the The Lord’s Land over the years, and the incredible holy ground of that place.  Every structure was hand built by the rough hands of skilled artisans and dedicated to the Lord and the fellowship of believers.


Garden Cabin


I have several photo albums of pictures from the Lord’s Land experiences that are among some of my most prized possessions. Largely because of the relationship memories I have with other believers and with God! Singing around the stone fireplace, eating dinner around the raw redwood banquet table, and listening to crushing life stories of hundreds of men come to life in my heart as I think of the times I spent there.


First Snow in 15 Years


One December was particularly memorable. It was cold and we all bundled up to go to bed in our heavy sleeping bags. We awoke the next morning with the most incredible snowfall I have seen in my 55 years of life. Four inches of snow covered the redwood trees and the hand built redwood cabins and fences. The sky shined in the most beautiful shades of pink, green, blue, and white that I have ever seen. Memories of Mendocino with snow on the Victorian homes and waves of the crashing icy blue ocean in the background will never leave my mind.



Lord's Land Sign


One year, knowing she would leave us one day, we had asked Sabine to share her story. We recorded it and had it transcribed. I have what is possibly the only full life story spoken personally by Sabine. I have often wondered what I should do with this treasure.


Vileen…. Will You Marry Me?

In 1988, another incredibly memorable event occurred at the Lord’s Land. It was my engagement to Vileen, my wonderful wife of over 20 years. I had chosen that place to begin my new life with her because it was such a holy place in our minds. We have a hand painted picture hanging in our bedroom of my favorite cabin there called, Faith Cabin. To this day I meet with the Lord in my prayer life with the Faith Cabin in my mind as a venue for my Father and I  to have personal talks with each other.


Of all the places on the earth that I would like to be able to go and smell the aroma of the Lord,  it would be The Lord’s Land. I guess today, I’ll have to travel there through the pictures in my albums and the memories in my spirit.


Things have changed.  Youth With A Mission now is the proud curator for the Lord’s Land.  Through their website it appears to have kept the spirit of the Lord in tact and the cabins in place.  But, it is hard to replace Sabine.  Her snowy white hair, perfect peach skin, German accent, and a halo of God’s love surrounding her will always be remembered by so many throughout the years. I look forward to reuniting with her in our Father’s house. Hum, I wonder how many punks and skin heads will be surrounding her in heaven alongside me. Surely many.


Sabine wasn’t perfect any more than any other human being. But later in life than many, she chose to submit her life to Jesus Christ. Her remaining years rival most Christian’s I have known. Her continual submission to Him is certainly being rewarded today as she sups with Him for eternity.


All honor and glory goes to the Lord, my thankfulness remains for Sabine’s life.

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16 Responses to “A Saint Has Gone Home – Sabine Ball”

  1. Peggi Willis says:

    Dearest John and Vileen,

    As I read this piece, I was reminded of how God shows himself to us. He uses many people to bring His Divinity to us. I feel almost a loss myself for not having the pleasure of meeting this holy woman. I am sorry for your loss as I can sense that a season of your life is now just a memory that cannot be revisited in the flesh. How wonderful that the experience in this season has left it’s legacy in the “Journey of Thomas”! May God keep your memories alive by the call of believers you will bring to Him!


  2. Fred Ball says:

    Thank you for the loving testimonial about how our Lord Jesus used my mother, Sabine.
    In the Love of Jesus,

  3. Lisa Lancaster says:

    Thank you for sharing about Sabine. My children and I were so blessed to meet her and spend a few days with her in August 2007 after we traveled the country with the God’s Summer of Love Tour.
    We were blessed to meet her son and grandchildren too. It was a glorious time and rich blessing for us! She showed us her wonderful photo album of the first years at the Lord’s Land. We had such fun with her.

    I have greatly missed her, and was, and still am, saddened for the loss.

    Blessings to you all. I hope we can visit the Lord’s Land again sometime.

  4. sara crystal says:

    thanks for posting this. I have so many lovely memories of sabine and the land.please please please make copies of sabine’s testimony so it wont be lost.send them to a few friends, I volunteer. I too have photos from the snow day, I posted them on the ywam mendocino facebook site. love sara

  5. Drew VanDyche says:

    Thank you for sharing. I will always remember the love and hospitality of Sabine and all of those who worked with her on the Lord’s Land.

  6. Renee Carrillo says:

    My friends and I had been traveling around the country seeking for God- wanting to follow Him, but not knowing how. I left them for a little while, went to Omaha and was praying for days and God told me to go to “the Lord’s land”, the place that my friends had found. So I lived there for about two wonderful years. She was the example that God used in my life to show me what living for God was all about. I want to be “used up” for God like she was. She opened her house and her land to so many people. My nickname back then was Abigail. My email address is reneecarrillo@hotmail.com

  7. Esther Fritz says:

    Hello John, I was googling to find another article regarding Sabine and came across yours today. I’m pretty certain we met as my husband Tom and I lived the first 3 years of our marriage serving at the Lords’ Land (1988-1991). Tom especially enjoyed hanging around the LIA brothers when you came for the end of the year retreats. We were there the year of the snow too!!!
    Reading your lovely tribute to dear Sabine really touched me. Were you aware that you posted it on her first birthday in Heaven? What a gift to her and those of us who love her as well.
    Esther Fritz

  8. Donna says:

    Although late in finding out about Sabine’s death, I am quite saddend. Having lost touch with her once she moved to Germany,she was never far from my heart or prayers. Like so many, many others, my memories of her – and the Lord’s Land – are deep and ever-lasting. So many conversations, so many prayers, so many songs, so much love. Sigh… Thanks for posting. Blessings in the Lord – Donna

  9. Kathy Braniff says:

    Thank you so much for these beautiful memories. I never met Sabine , and yet this article brought tears to my eyes and great thankful in my heart to our Lord Jesus Christ for this beautiful woman’s life.

  10. Ted Langley says:

    ….Thank you for such a wonderful and inspiring biography of Sabine Ball! Three friends in San Francisco recommended the Lord’s Land as a marvelous place for me to meet with God, in fulfillment of two personal prophecies in May, 2014, by members of my church in San Francisco (A PLACE TO MEET JESUS): “Come away with me for three days.”
    ….So I have reserved the PRAYER CABIN for August 12, 13, 14, 2014, and I am exhilarated with anticipation of meeting God there.
    ….I am 75 and have been a Spirit-filled Christian for 36 years, and am a living example of Romans 8:28: All things work for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes. Amen.

  11. Bella brother says:

    I lived in Mendocino on another commune bo’s land we were Called black sheep commune I remember when Sabina got saved and came to our commune and prayed fasted and spent the night in our barn Where I had to go to milk the goats we were not pleased one man with a beard very hippy started the revival he was from Jim Durkin’s gospel outreach we were dropping like flies they would pick us up when we were hitch hiking with a large old bus going up and down the ridges where there was a small country store I really disliked seeing them because they would share the gospel well I moved to Sabina’s the lords land and lived on the land with the holy spirit pouring out on us hippies it would be wonderful to have reunion revival Hope we can come otogether in Christ peace and love bella
    there must be so much to share over all these passing years

  12. John Smid says:

    Yes, Bella, many, many stories. I have a painting of the Faith Cabin that is very special to me. It was one of my favorite cabins to sleep in.

  13. grace says:

    Wow. So many people still remember the old days and the HOLY SPIRIT wonders that absorbed our happy beings at that time. Well, probably not so many know about the earliest days except guys like Gussie, who will never be forgotten by anyone that ever knew him, who became a solid Christian himself.

    I was just working on the #stopyulin2015 on Facebook, found a German animal worker, posted her what I was working on and brought up Sabina just for fun. Then I thought I’d better see if there was anything LEFT on Sabina, and sadly, ALL of the websites on her land now do not even mention her. Just YWAM. It’s like she didn’t exist, so thankfully I found this place.

    The very first days of the Lord’s Land history are hard for me to believe myself, but it happened. There were no Christians in that area. In fact it was a very happy pagan paradise. Period. I left, got quite saved, and came back because you never, ever can forget Mendocino. Ever. It’s kind of like Heaven. There was one guy that let me tell him about Jesus, didn’t say much, I don’t even remember him praying with me. Tall guy, I think named Jeff. All I know is he did get saved, quietly, and talked to a friend of his, his friend got saved, and these two guys just began to walk around together hippy house to hippy house, telling other hippies about Jesus! Now, I knew nothing about that, heard about it later. And of course went to see Sabina first. At that time she was our local amazing celeb. ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. Movie star-ish. I had no personal connection with her at all. All I know is very soon after Jeff went waling door to door I went to the Kathryn Kulhman crusade in Eureka, CA where I lived. That would be what, 70, 71? And who is sitting there but SABINA. Right next to me. I was floored. She was not yet converted, and made it clear she was there to “test the vibe”, and we talked about Jeff and of course I did my personal evangelist thing on her. When there was a call from Kathryn, Sabina went forward “to see”. She told me later that the presence of God was so powerful it almost knocked her over. And that’s how Sabina became the Lord’s Sabina, and my experience of it.

    And almost immediately “The Land” converted from the happiest pagan back woods paradise imaginable to the Holy Land. Which is history.

    I still live in my mind a lot in Mendocino, both the pre-Christian and especially the CHRISTIAN DAYS. It was so full of Glory, so full of the constant Presence of the Spirit of the Living God, which we all experienced in full measure, and that because of total utter devotion to Christ Jesus. Well, I now thank God often for those days. The singing in the Spirit. esp. Nothing can fake it, and nothing can ever take it away, Thank God.

    Jeff not only got Jesus Christ, but also the thing he always dreamed of, a beautiful Phillipino girl/wife– who was a Christian on the Lord’s Land where they met! I so look forward to seeing him again in that Day. I don’t remember many other names, just lots of faces.

    Jesus is my Lord and Savior and to Him be all Glory and Honor now and Forever, Amen. Even so, please, please, please COME QUICKLY, LORD JESUS. The whole Creation groans.

  14. ken says:

    i lived on the land of the saints in 1973-74 down the slope of the ridge with an outhouse & beauty all-round.

    Sabina welcomed me like a son & i have always been grateful to
    be a part of that experience – such loving & wonderful folks
    she chose to live with her.
    the shower, i recall, had low water pressure – but then what do you expect on top of a ridge?

    after i left i know there was some troubles but none could be left at her door

    i loved her & have thought of her with love ever since.

    she loved the Lord & gave all of herself to Him & His followers.

    i bought her station wagon & eventually moved to Humboldt to get an Rn degree\

    now that i think about it she might have given me a deal


  15. Pamela says:

    Sabine made such an impact on me about honoring the Lord and sanctifying the Lords Land for his glory. Just today I told someone about her and my desire for my own home to be a place of honor for the Lord. What a beautiful woman and a beautiful place..a little piece of heaven..the grounds were truly sanctified. Was privledged to be there and meet Sabina in the early 1980s. Rich times.

  16. Marc Allan says:

    Hi John,

    Great to hear of your experiences with Sabine and the Land. Last September I published a book about the group that Sabine got saved in, “What Happened to You? Hippies, Gospel Outreach and the Jesus People Revival” It’s gotten very good reviews from many who were there. It’s a good story, “For He has done great things” and still does!

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