"It was really out of our comfort zone, but we felt God leading us, and knowing God was in control it was very, very peaceful," remembers Jeff Moore.
Jeff and Kathie Moore had never been to Cherokee county in far East Texas, much less ever considered living there. Until last year the Moore's had lived what they described as a comfortable life in the Dallas suburb of Copell.
One of the loves of that life and the one who would help change it...their grandson Elijah.
"Elijah is precious," says Kathy. "He's 8 years old. He's been through a lot of struggles and he is still going through a lot of struggles. Its really hard when a diagnosis of autism comes because its kind of like, well your child has autism there you go. There is no set treatment for it. These parents are sent away going what are we going to do."
It was Kathy who first felt a calling to do something for children with autism like Elijah and their parents. Their prayers finally lead to sell their home and head to East Texas.
Here they felt called to build a place they would call Elijah's Retreat.
"We kept praying and praying and asking for confirmation and every time we turned around there was some kind of confirmation would happen. It was scary at times and there was doubts at times," says Kathy. "We didn't know a soul here. At all. We just trusted the Lord and now we've found a wonderful church. We are part of a wonderful church, Fellowship Bible Church. And the people there are just fantastic and have helped and reached out in so many ways. Its just unbelievable."
"We live in a society that says show me and I'll believe," says Jeff, "where God says believe and I'll show you. And that's the route we have taken."
Paying for most everything themselves, the Moore's plan to be a number of cabins on their 50 acre retreat. Each customized for the needs of a family of an autistic child.
The first one took shape just a month ago...and was just another prayer filled confirmation.
A team of volunteers who had committed to build this cabin, had to cancel in April. Jeff and Kathy were not sure what would happen next...then just two hours later the phone rang.
"The caller ID said 9-1-1 Air Cargo and Kathy started not to answer it," remembers Jeff, "and it was a lady who was with the missions department of this company and they wanted to send 15 people to do whatever needed to be done. And we didn't know them and they didn't know us and this is just how God works."
They'll be back on Memorial day to finish. They've also started on a playground... Several horses have also been given for the kids to ride. There has also been donations of furniture and furnishings for the cabins.
As the Moore's see their prayers answered they are starting to realize how God is at work answering the prayers of others. All ready 20 families are on a list, waiting to visit Elijah's retreat.
"One of our big goals is to help the parents," says Kathy. "This isn't just for the kids. These parents are hurting. And they need people around them that can be a support system, that can just understand them, that can pray with them. We just want to be a friend to these people and let them know that they have a sanctuary here. They have a place they can come and just be themselves and be comfortable and that we care about them."
"And we hope to minister to these people here just planting the seed with Christ. Some may not be Christians," says Jeff. "And as you know when things happen that are not so good in life we tend to blame the Lord. And we can't see the why. If you wondered that about Elijah, this might be the why. so we feel like a ministry that could really help and possibly change lives, especially with the parents."
Clint Yeatts, KLTV 7 News