Our Alabama retreats are held in Huntsville at the home of Scott and Karen Harmening. The Harmening home is nestled on four wooded acres, with plenty of options for relaxing inside and outside. Enjoy one of the porches, sit by the pool, relax by the fire pit in the evening, or play ping pong in the game room. If you’d like to go on an outing, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center is eight miles away and Rainbow Mountain Nature preserve is five miles away.
Lodging will be provided at the Holiday Inn Express Huntsville West, just two miles away, featuring king-size beds, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges, plus microwaves and coffeemakers. Other amenities include a 24-hour gym, an outdoor pool and a business center, as well as guest laundry facilities and a snack shop. The hotel expenses will be covered by the While We’re Waiting ministry, so there will be no cost to 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.