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.
Our east Tennessee retreats are held at beautiful Hiwassee Acres in Calhoun, about an hour's drive northwest of Chattanooga. Hiwassee Acres sits on 225 acres of tranquil Tennessean countryside and borders the Hiwassee River. Attendees will have the opportunity to hike, kayak, or just enjoy playing with the animals. This event is open to both single parents and married couples. Lodging for our retreat guests will be provided in the Hiwassee Acres Lodge. All expenses will be covered by the While We're Waiting ministry, so there is no cost to those who attend.
Jason and Amy Carter consider themselves blessed to be parents to three wonderful children, a son and two daughters. Their middle child, Katie Beth, went to heaven instantly on September 5, 2016, when she was in an auto accident on her way back to college. Jason and Amy founded Live & Love Ministries as a way to continue the legacy of Katie Beth’s life of living life to the fullest and loving God and others well. Jason and Amy are both career educators and enjoy spending time with their other wonderful children and their precious grandbabies.
David and Tracie Freeman are from Pickens, South Carolina, where Tracie works as a licensed practical nurse and David works for Lockheed Martin as a structural aircraft mechanic. Their 32-year-old son Nic died from an accidental fentanyl overdose in December of 2020. They have two other sons, Luke and Drew, and are very involved with serving and teaching in their church. They have a passion for ministering to other hurting moms and dads.