Responding to a Call

Brian and JoLeah Gorman started The Hiding Place in response to a sense of call to use their land to live sustainably, reconnect to the land, and be a source of respite for those needing a place of sanctuary.  We take the words of Jesus seriously and literally, thus we value generosity, honesty, community, kindness, justice, and, with strong feeling, living a life that builds Jesus’ Kingdom, not the empires of our world.

Brian isn’t new to gardening or community living, having spent time in Christian communities in DC and as an intern at the Center for Action and Contemplation in New Mexico and the Rutba House in Durham, NC. In addition to managing the farming endeavors at the Hiding Place, Brian teaches private piano & guitar lessons to children in our neighborhood and in nearby schools. Brian holds an MA in Theology with a thesis exploring Luke’s gospel and its implications for Christian hospitality. Brian also writes a blog, preaches from time to time, and is the primary caregiver for our children. He is pursuing a certificate in Spiritual Direction and Social Transformation from the Center for Prophetic Imagination.

JoLeah grew up in Texas and attended Texas A&M University, majoring in Communication and Journalism.  She then spent a couple of years living in San Diego, CA working for Invisible Children and in Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic working for Outreach360. After an “adult gap year” that included four months of solo travel in Asia, she moved to DC to further her work in anti-trafficking and mental health treatment endeavors.  She currently balances working as a therapist for middle schoolers through Mary’s Center and with helping at the farm and building community in Deanwood.

We are hopeful that our home at the Hiding Place will be a vision of what Jesus talks about, with sanctuary for all, a garden that (probably won’t) rival Eden, and space to practice the presence of God.  

Why “The Hiding Place?”

The Hiding Place, our community, urban farm, and retreat space, is named after the story of Corrie Ten Boom, whose family hid Jews in the Netherlands during WWII and were sent to a concentration camp. We feel called to offer our home as a space of refuge and sanctuary for people needing to retreat in different kinds of ways. We are not hiding from the world, but rather in the spirit of Psalm 119:14 and Isaiah 32, we hope that our house will be an instance of God’s just reign that offers shelter from the injustices of the world.