The Wilderness Mission Story
It all began in 1985 with the calling of a family; a family with a zealous desire to do a work for the Lord. Vernon and Sheree Dawson, parents to three daughters, Jurea, Danielle, and Rebekah, sold their home and business in Waterbury Connecticut and moved their family to the country to fulfill what they believed to be God’s plan for their lives. Along with two other families with the same vision at heart, they relocated to the beautiful country atmosphere of the Berkshire Mountains of Savoy Massachusetts. And here the dream was born.
Long before the initiation of this move, Vernon and Sheree had a heart for ministry, taking people into their home and providing whatever they could to assist those in need. This inborn desire to help alleviate the woes of humanity led to the ultimate sacrifice-full time ministry.
The original plan was to create a place designed to cater to the needs of the youth, providing basic skills in agriculture, auto body repair and mechanics, cooking, carpentry, and other trades designed to equip young people with useful occupations for life. This was to be provided along with spiritual guidance and counsel. 33 acres of land and a three-story home were acquired to accommodate this purpose. The land itself was in poor condition. The woods around the property were dense and overgrown and needed to be cleared to facilitate gardens and the erection of other buildings. The house was unfinished and damaged. Windows were broken and water leaks had damaged most of the interior sheet rock. There was no running water or electricity. A fourth floor was needed which required the removal of the roof. This was done with limited hands and little experience in carpentry. But with a lot of hard work and perseverance, the fourth floor was added and the land was cleared. The place began to take shape. Camp meetings were held which sparked the flame to this magnificent work bringing people from all the country over to share in this mission.
God however had another plan in mind, and after the introduction of many noted Medical Missionaries, and health reform leaders, Vernon Dawson and his family began a to put a new plan into action, and thus The Voice In The Wilderness Mission health ministry was born. Under the close guidance of God, Vernon and Sheree Dawson began their education in the direction of diet and lifestyle change, along with training in hydrotherapy and simple herbal remedies. With limited means and a skeleton of a foundation they pressed forward to develop the ultimate health program that would not only serve the rich and the poor, the young and the old, but a program that would contain all the essential elements for restoration and healing, This they did with the hope of not only providing care to the physical needs of the sick, but also to provide spiritual and emotions healing as well.
And so The Voice In The Wilderness Mission is what it is today, a health facility offering healing and relief to all those in need. Ten day and three day health retreats, lectures, cooking classes, nutrition screenings, and spiritual guidance are just some of the many programs offered by the mission.
The talents and abilities of other dedicated Christian people have been given freely. Many have come and gone helping out and then carrying God’s work to others. To these individuals, too numerous to mention, we acknowledge and offer our utmost thanks and appreciation.
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord.” This has been our mission to bring complete restoration: physical, mental and spiritual to those searching in the wilderness of this world for relief and healing.
Remembering Vernon J. Dawson
Hygienic Health Practitioner, Vernon J. Dawson died January 20, 2016 of Lou Gehrig’s disease also know as ALS. Today marks the first year anniversary of his passing, and so we pause, to remember him, his life and ministry.
“LEADERSHIP is about making others better as a result of your presence, and making sure that impact last in your absence.”
Vernon Dawson will be remembered for many things: his big smile, his loud booming voice, His humor and contagious laughter. He was an impeccable dresser, and when he walked his bearing was one of confidence and purpose.Vernon had a big heart, and would give even if it put him at a disadvantage. He had a tender spot for the hurt and broken. He was a powerful communicator and when conviction seized him his words would spill forth passionately from the depths of his soul. Yet he presented the truth withlove and compassion, always leaving the listener inspired in some way. He was loved by many and misunderstood by some, but he was human after all, flawed and imperfect, yet God used him. He yearned to know God more intimately and desired that God’s will would be done in his life. Vernon did not seek for success, but success found him, he did not aspire to be a leader, but the role of leadership choose him.
While suffering the ravages of ALS, Vernon never blamed God; in fact he made it perfectly clear that God was using his suffering to save him. These words recorded by his daughter at his bedside describe how he viewed his illness and what God was doing in his life.
At this time his voice was weak and had lost much of its force and strength. He struggled as he uttered these sentiments from his heart.
“I remember in my studies I came across this verse in Philippians 1:6, it said, (paraphrased in his own words) “Being confident of this very thing for he which has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Right? And I was like WOW! God can complete it? I was amazedand at the same time I felt so happy to know that, ‘cause when I first joined the church and gave my heart to God I did it because it was the right thing to do not because I really understood it. To know that He could save me was amazing and at that time I said Lord do it, no matter what it takes. Do it, and I’m not going back on my word. Just do it! Whatever I have to experience to be what you’ve called me to be, do it. I think back on that now and I say wow! I did tell Him to allow what needs to happen. I love God and I praise him I worship him and I’m learning how to worship, I’m learning how to truly praise Him. I’m learning Him more and more, a God that I didn’t really know whodwelleth on high. I’m learning how to thank him and praise him and worship him. I’m thankful for that!”
—Vernon J. Dawson
And so, as we remember Vernon Dawson today, let us not sorrow as do others who have no hope, but let us look forward to the soon appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ when we will see Vernon again. Let us purpose to live godly lives and to be “salt and light” to those with whom we come in contact with. May we be inspired by Vernon’s example and learn to allow God to use all our trials and adversities to “save us.”
Vernon is loved and deeply missed, especially by his darling wife, Sheree Dawson, his daughters Jurea, Danielle, and Rebekah Dawson, and his grandson Vernon Lewis, and by all of you who were fortunate enough to know him. Death may have silenced our dear brother’s voice, but his influence lives on. Rest in Jesus Brother Vernon Dawson, and we will see you again “in the sweet by and by.”