If you've been following this blog for awhile, you know about the "While We're Waiting" Weekend retreat we are planning for bereaved parents in April. Our leadership team met on Tuesday night of this week, and there's been a very exciting development.
A corporate sponsor has stepped forward and offered to underwrite the cost of all of the meals for the retreat! This will enable us to reduce the cost of the retreat significantly...from $150 to just $50 for the entire weekend! We are excited that this will make the retreat more accessible to anyone who would like to attend. We are still wanting to keep the total number of our group relatively small (no more than twelve couples in all), in order to promote deep conversations and the development of rich friendships.
If you've ever lost a child, you know how quickly a bond forms between you and another bereaved parent. It's almost as if you've known each other all your lives. Brad and I had the privilege of attending a Valentine banquet at Third Baptist Church in Malvern a couple of weeks ago, where Brad shared our testimony. After he sat down, an older couple at our table (whom we had been sitting with all evening), leaned over and whispered to us that they had lost a child, too. I couldn't wait for the banquet to end so we could share stories. Would you believe that they had lost a 17-year-old daughter to cancer? I'm not sure how old they were, but I'm guessing that loss had occurred at least 50 or 60 years ago. But you know, we were immediately drawn to each other in a way that is hard to describe. Even though we were literally decades apart in age, we "got" each other. And I believe that both of us couples left that night encouraged...knowing that God brought us together, even if only for an evening, to gain strength from each other.
And that's what the "While We're Waiting" Weekend is all about...An opportunity for people who share a common grief and an uncommon Savior to spend some quality time together, sharing our hurts and our joys in a safe environment, where we all "get" each other. We will cry together and laugh together, learn from each other, gain strength from each other, and encourage each other. And most of all, we will focus on how we can move through our grief and focus on how we can become what God wants us to be "while we're waiting" to be reunited with our children in Heaven.
We still have a few spots open for this April's "While We're Waiting" Weekend. If you're interested in attending, or you know someone who might be interested, click the "While We're Waiting Weekend Retreat" tab at the top of this page for more information. Or, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll email you the information directly. We'd love to see you there!