The weekend retreat for bereaved parents is the cornerstone of the "While We're Waiting" weekend events. This is a weekend for bereaved couples and singles to spend some relaxed, unhurried time with other parents who understand the experience of losing a child. As we go through the weekend, we will learn from each other, pray for each other, encourage each other, and find out that we are not alone on this journey.
Our goal at these retreats is to point grieving parents to our only true source of comfort, Jesus Christ. Anyone who has lost a child is welcome to come. You are welcome if your child has been in Heaven for thirty days or for thirty years. You are welcome if your child was stillborn and never took a single earthly breath, or if your child lived to be an adult and had a family of his or her own. Come, knowing you will be surrounded by people who care, who understand, and who will pray for you. This will be a safe place, a place where we can honestly discuss our struggles, knowing we will not be judged, because every one of us has been there at one time or another. We will also share our victories, and rejoice with each other as we move along the road toward healing.
What will we do over the course of the weekend? We'll talk about our kids in Heaven and we'll pray for each other. We'll enjoy the beauty of nature, and relax in rockers on the deck overlooking the pond. We may do some fishing and explore the walking trails in the woods. Our weekend together will be informal, but structured. Certainly, we will cry together ... but we will also laugh together.
What will we talk about during our group time? We'll discuss some of the practical issues that all grieving parents face ...
-- Those difficult dates -- birthdays, anniversaries, holidays
-- Dealing with our child's bedroom and belongings
-- Relationships with friends or family members that may be strained following the death of our child
-- Parenting our surviving children
-- Various other topics, to be chosen by WWW attendees
None of us knows how many more years we have on this earth before we are reunited with our children in Heaven. So, our main focus throughout the weekend will be discussing how we're going to live while we're waiting for that glorious reunion. We believe that we honor our children and our Lord the most through our healing, and we will be seeking to begin or to continue that healing process through this weekend.
Until recently, our retreats were held at Family Farm Christian Day Camp. This was an amazing facility which gave us the opportunity to do a lot of fun outdoor activities; however, it was a camp ... and the sleeping arrangements were bunk room style. Not exactly ideal for the type of retreats we were offering.
Starting in October of 2016, our While We're Waiting Weekends will be held at the While We're Waiting Refuge, which is currently under construction in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The Refuge is specifically designed for the comfort of bereaved parents, with a large kitchen/dining area, a comfortable and cozy meeting room, a library/sitting area, and ten hotel-room style bedrooms.
Our events include Friday and Saturday night lodging at the Refuge, as well as meals and snacks from Friday night dinner through Sunday breakfast. Attendance is limited to the first ten singles/couples who submit a completed registration form, and preference is given to those who have not attended a previous Parents' Weekend.
Our upcoming weekends at this location are scheduled for October 14-16, 2016, December 2-4, 2016, February 17-19, 2017, April 21-23, 2017, and June 2-4, 2017.
There is no cost for our retreats; however, a love offering will be taken to help defray the expenses.
Click here to submit your registration, or click here to request additional information.