M2M News & Articles
October 27, 2018
The Journey to His Secret Place
Dermot Westcott shares the story behind this God-inspired vision and how M2M will be the first step to seeing it fulfilled.
Derm and Viola Westcott are on an incredible journey. Called to be missionaries, they have been serving the poor and impoverished children of Honduras since 2003. But deeply rooted within the heart they share is another calling from the Lord: to encourage missionaries who dedicate themselves to this sometimes difficult and challenging kind of work.
Their desire to encourage missionaries is connected to a vision that the Lord laid on Derm’s heart back in 1977; a vision that they now call “His Secret Place”.
His Secret Place is a vision for a modern facility to host missionaries, pastors, and Christian leaders who are called to care for others. It will be an extraordinary structure unlike anything currently standing on Newfoundland soil today. Derm believes the location the Lord is setting apart for this sanctuary lies within Codroy Valley; a vast and scenic area of the western coast.
So what has it been like to be carrying such an awesome vision for all these years? As Derm explained in an interview, pursuit of this dream was not always full of passion and excitement.
“In the beginning, I didn’t understand that this was a vision, so I held it close to my chest for many years. And in the few times that I did share it, I didn’t get any encouragement regarding seeking it out, so that kind of made me a bit shy about sharing it with anybody.”
Derm initially began thinking about His Secret Place when he was just 20 years old. In the following years, he met and married Viola (Bonnell). As time moved forward, he began to share this vision with Viola more and more; and the Lord began to give them signs that this was indeed a vision from Him. As Derm reflected back to those years, he recalled periods of loneliness and confusion. He put his feelings of carrying a vision in this perspective:
“Oftentimes you feel lonely and very doubtful whether you’re on the right track or if it's all in your head, because it is in your head – nobody else has it. I was very careful to realize myself that this was not something that I had drummed up; this was something that the Lord had given to me. It was very important that I get direction from Him in this whole process.”
In the summer of 1999, Derm went on his first short-term missions trip to Honduras. Near the end of the trip, Derm, pursuing God’s leading to ask about orphanages in the area, found himself in the countryside, looking out over coffee fields. In the fields were thousands upon thousands of coffee bean plants. He had always consumed coffee, but had never seen where it came from. As Derm gazed upon these fields, the Lord downloaded another vision into his spirit, ”Coffee with a Mission.” Perhaps coffee could be sold to support missionaries and their projects. The following year Derm, Viola, and their son Joshua went to Honduras to research the potential of this new venture. They would stay there for six months, collecting information on the various details that would be required. In the meantime, Derm made his living in Newfoundland as a webmaster and had already registered the domain name; www.coffeeonline.org.
By 2001, a friend of Derm’s, Faye Rowe, agreed to put the vision of His Secret Place into words. In the same year, Derm became co-founder of the International Alliance for Missions, Inc. This organization would oversee the operations of the coffee venture, while working towards the greater vision of His Secret Place. By August of 2002,Coffee Online became a fully functioning e-commerce website used to sell Fair Trade and Honduran FairWay coffee in support of mission projects.
Derm and Viola eventually moved to Honduras; emerging themselves into full-time mission ministry. They continued to wait on the Lord regarding His Secret Place, and were discovering more about this vision.
In 2006, a woman from Newfoundland named Deb Bonnell had a dream about Derm and his vision, without ever hearing about it. She connected with a friend of Derm and Viola’s, Alma Greeley, who shared it as follows:
“Deb said in the dream she was at a construction site with you. She said that it reminded her of a fortress or a castle. There were a lot of people working, and story upon story there were lots of windows where you could see more people working on the inside. You both were walking around this site, and she was thinking that you were like Noah; just as Noah had to be obedient and follow the Lord’s instruction even though there was no evidence of rain, you were doing the same thing at that place!”
Today, Derm and Viola are about to enter a new stage of what has already been an amazing journey. September 2009 will mark the first step towards seeing the vision of His Secret Place fulfilled. It is then that Derm, Viola, and IAM will launch Ministry to Missionaries (M2M). This is an international retreat that will focus on encouraging and empowering global missionaries. This retreat will actually demonstrate what the Lord would like to accomplish in creating His Secret Place.
As Derm described, the Ministry to Missionaries retreat is expected to have positive results.
“We expect to create an awareness (of the vision) in the Body of Christ in Canada and the United States. Churches will become aware of the need for missionaries to be supported in areas such as ongoing pastoral care. Most importantly, we will be reaching out to missionary couples and singles who attend this event. They will go away rested, encouraged, renewed, refocused, and pumped, ready to go back into their fields of service continuing in the call that the Lord has for them.”
Now that the vision is emerging into its first phase, Derm is expressing his confidence and faith in how the Lord will pave the road ahead.
“There’s a level of excitement to this. I have a new level of confidence that the Lord is laying the ground work for this step by step. The fact that other people are onboard and are putting their talent, skill, and prayer into this is also very encouraging. Faith is definitely something that we need to exercise daily. Your agreement in faith in every aspect and step of the way is obviously very important. I believe that the timing is good and that the timing is now, and we’re seeing things finally coming to pass. M2M is actually the first step towards building a permanent facility, which is the vision itself."