Illinois (Peoria)

Jul 19 - 21, 2024 - 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 (Peoria)

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Illinois (Peoria)

Our events in the Peoria area are held at the beautiful Freedom4Life House in Edwards, Illinois. The comfortable and cozy gathering area has a wall of windows overlooking a small lake with gorgeous sunsets. We host two types of events at this location - a Mini-Retreat for Bereaved Moms (which is a one-day event) and a While We're Waiting Weekend for Bereaved Parents (which runs from Friday night through Sunday morning). The Mini-Retreat for Bereaved Moms is open just to bereaved moms and includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Lodging is not provided. There is no cost to attend this event. The While We're Waiting Weekend is open to both single parents and married couples. Please refer to our Purity Policy, found under the "About Us" tab. Lodging for Friday and Saturday nights will be provided for our guests at the nearby Holiday Inn Express. All meals from Friday night through Sunday morning will be provided at the Freedom4Life House, and there is no cost to attend.

Led by

Ryan and Rosie Siebenthal

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Ryan and Rosie Siebenthal

Ryan and Rosie have been married since 2003 and are the parents of  Caleb, Benjamin, Jeremiah, Taliah, and Levi.  Levi went to Heaven at the age of five in March of 2019 due to a driveway accident. They are anchored in hope and grieving with faith, and have a passion to share the love of Jesus with other hurting moms and dads.  

Led by

Brad and Jill Sullivan

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Brad and Jill Sullivan

Brad and Jill’s daughter, Hannah, went to Heaven on February 26, 2009, at the age of 17. She battled glioblastoma brain cancer for one year with grace and without fear, accepting it as "her storm" ... her opportunity to bring glory to God. Brad is retired after 31 years in public education and together, they serve as the executive directors of the While We're Waiting ministry. Jill hosts the While We're Waiting - Hope After Child Loss podcast. They enjoy hiking, kayaking, and spending time with their daughter Bethany. They have a passion for pointing grieving moms and dads to the hope we have in Jesus.

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

2024 Jul 19th - Illinois (Peoria) - 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.