Our California retreats are hosted at Atascadero Bible Church in beautiful historic Atascadero, California, which is equidistant from Los Angeles and San Francisco (approximately 215 miles from each) on Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo County. With lots of shops downtown, beaches just 30 miles away, and hiking trails nearby, there’s plenty to do in the area. The retreat sessions will be held in the “Connections Room” at the church … a comfortable, living-room style setting, with an attached kitchen and coffee bar and plenty of space to relax and visit. Lodging will be provided at the nearby Home2 Suites by Hilton at no cost to the attendees.
Our desire at this retreat 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 delicious meals together, discuss God’s presence in our grief, and form lasting bonds of friendship. Our time will be informal, but structured. Certainly, we will cry together … but we will also laugh together.
None of us know 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.