About two decades ago, Dr. Dobson shared a dilemma regarding the number of visitors visiting our offices with Ed and Elsa Prince, friends of Focus on the Family. While Dr. Dobson was delighted that so many constituents wanted to touch base with us in person, it was somewhat difficult to get work done. After all, we had no formal space in which to properly greet these guests.
Ed and Elsa Prince were thoughtful and kind enough to suggest they would like to help with that problem by building a Visitor Center and bookstore on our Colorado Springs campus, a place where guests could come and experience firsthand the Focus story. From our inception as a once-weekly broadcast hosted by Dr. James Dobson, to what is now a ministry helping families thrive around the world, the Prince’s wanted others to see an overview of what God has done—and is doing—in this place.
Thanks to an incredibly generous gift made by Ed and Elsa, fifteen years ago the Focus on the Family Visitor Center became a reality. Today, we host between 250,000 and 300,000 visitors annually from around the world. While Ed Prince has since graduated to glory, I know he would have been delighted three weeks ago when we celebrated our 3-millionth visitor.
It happened on a Wednesday when the Wiersma family of Westminster, Colorado, walked through the doors. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer couple. John and Lisa Wiersma, parents of three who were traveling also with their nephew, served as Wycliffe missionaries for ten years. They’ve been long-time listeners to the broadcast as well as participants in the Truth Project.
Unbeknownst to them, a number of Focus team members stood out-of-view in several locations throughout the visitor center awaiting the big moment. Upon signing the guest book, the team poured into the room carrying balloons and copies of Adventures in Odyssey. After explaining what the all of the hoopla was about, we treated them to lunch and an afternoon exploring the Discovery Emporium and Whit’s End back in the Visitors Center.
If your travel plans this summer include a trip to, or through, Colorado Springs, please stop by and see us. There’s something for all ages—a comprehensive bookstore for Dad and Mom, a fountain shop with ice cream for the teens, and a three-story slide for kids of all ages. More importantly, you’ll have the opportunity to celebrate with us over what God is doing to save, strengthen, and help marriages thrive around the world.