The While We’re Waiting Weekends for Parents Touched by Suicide are a recent addition to the retreats we offer. We recognize that the loss of a child to suicide is unique and that there is great value in hosting retreats that specifically address this situation. This will be a very special opportunity to spend some unhurried, relaxed time with other singles and couples who have experienced the loss of a child to suicide. We have found that there is no greater comfort than the fellowship of other Christian parents who truly understand the struggles that naturally accompany this type of loss. Our retreats offer that opportunity, and also provide a safe place to work through some of the questions and struggles we experience as grieving moms and dads who have lost children to suicide … all the while focusing on the hope we have of seeing our children again one day. There is so much encouragement to be found in spending time with other parents who truly understand our grief, but who also share the hope we have in Jesus.
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.
Please note: At this time, our Texas location is only for parents who have experienced the loss of a child to suicide. Our Texas-based While We're Waiting Weekends for Parents Touched by Suicide are hosted at Pure Hope Ranch in Talco. Situated conveniently between Sulphur Springs and Mt. Pleasant, this gorgeous retreat center provides the gifts of spectacular landscapes, great food, and luxurious accommodations – where our guests can relax and enjoy the acres of lakes, trails, woodlands, and wildlife. The guest rooms offer pillow-top mattresses, custom-designed beds, European goose-down comforters and pillows, and custom-made soaps and scrubs. At Pure Hope Ranch, just a short drive from Dallas, no attention to detail has been forgotten. Each bedroom and its furnishings are individually and uniquely designed with decor ranging from beautiful pine antiques to rustic western furnishings. This event is open to both single parents and married couples. Lodging for Friday and Saturday nights at Pure Hope Ranch is provided, and there is no cost to attend this event.
Stephen and Linda's 20-year-old daughter, Samantha, went to Heaven in February of 2011. She took her life following a long battle with Borderline Personality Disorder. After Sam's death, they found that their meager faith was not nearly enough to help them deal with this devastating loss. God led them to a much deeper faith, ultimately peace, and finally joy. They retired from business in 2016 and spend their time in ministry, helping other bereaved parents and enjoying their grandchildren.
Our retreats are 100% free, though we do accept a voluntary donation at the close of the retreat.
While We're Waiting is a 501(c)3 non-profit that operates entirely off of generous donations.
Only parents (and stepparents) who have experienced the death of a child are able to attend While We're Waiting events.
Yes, single parents are welcome at all While We're Waiting events.
Yes, you are welcome to attend without your spouse.
Parents are ready at different times to attend a While We're Waiting event. Some feel ready to come within just a few months, and for others, it may be years before they feel ready to come. Only you will know the time that's right for you.
Yes! There is still a benefit to attending a While We're Waiting event, even if your loss was many years ago, and it's possible that you could encourage others whose loss is more recent.
Yes! We have many parents who have lost adult children attend our events. The co-founders of this ministry, Larry & Janice Brown, lost their son when he was 36 years old.
Yes! We have many parents who have lost babies attend our events. We believe that every life has immense value, no matter how brief, and we understand that your grief is just as valid as those whose children had a longer earthly life.
The maximum number of people at our full-weekend retreats is 24, at our Mini-Retreats for Moms is 10, and at our Dads' Days is 10. We like to keep our groups small so people can really connect and build relationships that last beyond the retreat.
You can attend more than one type of retreat; for example, you can attend a Mini-Retreat for Moms and a full weekend retreat. Or you can attend a "regular" While We're Waiting Weekend for Bereaved Parents and a While We're Waiting Weekend for Parents Touched by Suicide. However, you cannot attend two of the same type of retreat due to the waiting list issues we have ... We want everyone who wants to come to have that opportunity!
Please go ahead and register for the waiting list. We quite often get cancellations, and there's a good chance you'll get in. And if we don't get an opening for you, we will have your name in our system and can hopefully get you into the next one!
Absolutely! Just be aware that we are a biblically-based ministry and we believe that a relationship with Jesus Christ is the only source of true comfort in grief, so that will be a large part of our conversation throughout the weekend. We simply ask that you respect the faith of the facilitators and other parents in attendance.