Illinois (Barry)

Jun 27 - 29, 2025 - Weekends for Bereaved Parents

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 one another, 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 explore the beauty of nature around us, 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. There is no cost to attend one of these special events.

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.

Hosted in Illinois (Barry)

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Illinois (Barry)

Our Illinois retreats are held at Sprague’s Kinderhook Lodge in Barry, and are specifically for parents who have experienced the loss of a child to suicide. Kinderhook Lodge is a bed and breakfast, hunting lodge, special events and retreat center located in picturesque Pike County. The lodge is located on the Pikes Peak Ocean-to-Ocean Highway and is rich in history. The guest rooms are beautifully decorated and comfortable, and the meals are perfectly prepared by the resident chef. This event is open to both single parents and married couples. Please refer to our Purity Policy, found under the "About Us" tab. Lodging at Kinderhook for Friday and Saturday nights and all meals from Friday night through Sunday morning are provided, and there is no cost to attend this event.

Led by

Bob and Susan Wathen

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Bob and Susan Wathen

Bob and Susan Wathen's 18-year-old daughter Hannah died by suicide in May of 2015.  The Wathens are blessed with two other daughters and four grandchildren.  They have been involved in various ministries throughout the years, including several mission trips to Guatemala, college student ministry, and leading a While We're Waiting Support Group in their hometown of Hannibal, Missouri.  They are anchored in hope and grieving with faith and have a passion to minister to other hurting moms and dads.

Our Schedule for the Weekend (all times local)

Friday

4-5:15 PM Arrival time

5:30 pm Dinner

7:00 pm Sharing Our Stories (Part 1)

Saturday

8:00 am Breakfast

8:45 am Sharing Our Stories (Part 2)

12:00 PM Lunch

1:00 pm Sharing Our Stories (Part 3)

3:00 pm Free Time

5:30 pm Dinner

7:00 Pm Topic Time

Sunday

8:00 AM Breakfast

8:45 AM Worship and Closing Time

10:00 AM Goodbyes

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Register for this retreat

2025 Jun 27th - Illinois (Barry) - Weekends for Bereaved Parents

Release of Liability: I agree to waive, discharge claims, and release from liability the While We're Waiting ministry from any and all liability on account of, or in any way resulting from injuries, damages, or illness (including COVID-19) even if caused by negligence of While We're Waiting. I further hold harmless While We're Waiting from any claims, damages, injuries, illnesses, or losses caused by my own negligence while a guest at this retreat site. I understand and intend that this assumption of risk and release is binding upon my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, and includes any minors and/or guests accompanying me in activities associated with While We're Waiting events.