Sabine Ball passed away in July.
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.
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.
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.
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.