As someone who was involved in the leadership and facilitation of the camp experience, I spend much of my time focused on what needs to be done and the ways in which I need to give or contribute to make the camp a success. As is often the case, however, I am quickly reminded that I also have so much to learn and to receive from these families.
One morning I awoke early to get ready for the day. Still half-asleep I headed upstairs to prepare. As I passed a window, I looked outside to see one of the fathers from the retreat pushing his son with autism on a swing. Here I was, just waking up, and who knows how long this father had been outside already in sub-zero weather pushing his son on the swing, in the snow. This boy took great joy in the simple act of swinging back-and-forth, and the father considered it joy to have a part in his son’s joy. What a tremendous challenge and encouragement it is to me, as a father, to see this father’s dedication. I can’t help but think of God’s love for His children:
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” ~ 1 John 3:1a
To learn more about Christian Horizons Family Retreats, visit the website here: https://www.christian-horizons.org/what-we-do/family-retreat. We always welcome volunteers to help with this ministry, and have people join us from both the United States and Canada.
You can also read an article about the Winter Wonderland Family Retreat on Spur Ottawa.
From that article:
“We want to foster ‘belonging’ within our city and church communities,” explains Jill Black, Community Development Manager at Christian Horizons and also a retreat volunteer. “We want to bless families so they are able to go back to their communities, full and ready to bless others. We want to see the body of Christ using the gifts and talents of all its members.”