Minnesota

Oct 06 - 08, 2023 - 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 Minnesota

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Minnesota

The Gibb Lake Home is nestled in the beautiful lakes country of Minnesota, only an hour from Fargo, North Dakota. The home offers a spectacular lake view from the large deck, surrounded by woods and walking paths. The cozy inside area is a great place to relax, spend time in thought or connect with others. A gazebo is available to watch the sun go down at the end of the day. This event is open to both single parents and married couples. Lodging will be provided at the Premier Best Western Lodge on Lake Detroit. It features comfortable and spacious rooms with lake views, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, in-room refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee makers, and an indoor pool and available spa. The hotel expenses will be covered by the While We’re Waiting ministry, and there is no cost to attendees.

Led by

Troy and Jana Solhjem

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Troy and Jana Solhjem

Troy and Jana's son Jeremiah went to heaven September 17, 2015, as a result of an ATV accident. They have 6 other children- Laney, Craig, Sheyenne, Chase, Barak & Elijah as well as two grandchildren!  Troy runs his own fencing business and works with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Jana is a homeschool mom who works part time as a Guardian ad Litem in the Juvenile Court system. They love to travel together well as ministering to hurting, grieving parents.

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

How much do retreats cost?

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

Who can come to a retreat?

Only parents (and stepparents) who have experienced the death of a child are able to attend While We're Waiting events.

Can single parents come to a retreat?

Yes, single parents are welcome at all While We're Waiting events.

My spouse does not want to attend. Can I still come?

Yes, you are welcome to attend without your spouse.

It's just been a few months since my child died. Should I come to a retreat?

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.

It's been many years since my child died ... Should I come to a retreat? 

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.

My child died when he or she was an adult ... Should I come to a retreat?

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.

My child was stillborn or died as an infant ... Should I come to a retreat?

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.

How many people typically attend a retreat? 

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.

Can I attend more than one 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!

What if the retreat I want to attend is full?

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!

I don't believe in God ... or I'm struggling with my faith. Can I still come?

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.

Waiting List

This retreat is full, but you may complete the registration form to be added to our waiting list.

2023 Oct 6th - Minnesota - 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.