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 parents 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.
These retreats are hosted at several different venues in Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Illinois, and Texas. Each event begins with dinner at 5:30 on Friday evening and wrap up around 10:30 on Sunday morning. Lodging and all meals are provided, and there is no cost to attend any of these retreats.
Depending upon the location, these retreats are facilitated by Bob & Susan Wathen, Stephen & Linda Quinn, Miles & Lisa Armstrong, and/or Kevin & Wendy Hammons. Here are their stories …
Bob and Susan Wathen are Hannah’s parents.
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.
Stephen and Linda Quinn are Samantha’s parents.
Stephen and Linda’s 20-year-old daughter, Samantha, went to Heaven in February of 2011. She took her life following a long battle with Borderline Personality Disorder. After Sam’s death, they found that their meager faith was not nearly enough to help them deal with this devastating loss. God led them to a much deeper faith, ultimately peace, and finally joy. They retired from business in 2016 and spend their time in ministry, helping other bereaved parents and enjoying their grandchildren.
Miles and Lisa Armstrong are Jacob’s parents.
Miles and Lisa Armstrong’s son, Jacob, went to Heaven on September 5, 2018, when he lost his battle with depression and took his own life. The Armstrongs want to help end the stigma of mental illness by not being afraid to talk about it. Their hearts truly are with other bereaved parents and they feel blessed to be a part of the While We’re Waiting ministry. Most of all, they are so thankful for the hope they have in Jesus.
Kevin and Wendy Hammons are Hayden’s parents.
Kevin & Wendy Hammons are the dad & stepmom of Hayden, who died by suicide October 28th, 2018, just 2 weeks shy of his 17th birthday. Kevin & Wendy enjoy teaching their young adult Sunday school class, hunting, fishing, & spending time with their daughters and grandchildren. Their desire is to share the love of Jesus and the hope they have in Him with others while they’re waiting. They hope to comfort & encourage others with the same comfort & encouragement they’ve been given. #HaydensHope John 16:33
The Wathens, the Quinns, the Armstrongs, and the Hammonses are well-acquainted with grief and have a sincere desire to help other hurting parents, particularly those who have lost children to suicide. They are not professional counselors, just parents walking the same type of journey you are. Please do not consider attendance at a While We’re Waiting event as a substitute for professional counseling if you feel you are in need of that.