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.
Most of our retreats are hosted at the While We’re Waiting Refuge, a retreat facility in Hot Springs, Arkansas, which has been built and designed specifically with bereaved parents in mind. The Refuge is nestled in the midst of tranquil thoroughbred farms in a quiet country setting with a stocked pond and fifty wooded acres on which to roam. The Refuge is specifically designed for the comfort of bereaved parents, with a welcome center, a large kitchen/dining area overlooking the pond, a comfortable and cozy meeting room, a library/sitting area, an expansive deck, and ten hotel-room style bedrooms, each with its own private bathroom. This event is open to both single parents and married couples. Please refer to our Purity Policy, found under the "About Us" tab. There are no other guests present at The Refuge during our retreats, so we can fully relax and make ourselves at home for the weekend. The Refuge is also fully accessible, with two handicapped-equipped guest rooms. Lodging 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.
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.