I spent the last two weeks at Family Retreat in Flat Rock, NC at the Bonclarken conference center. The theme for both weeks was “Hope Overflowing” and I saw that each and every day. I want to share a few of my favorite photos and stories behind the photos.
Travis and Christian. Travis was the teen pastor the first week and Christian was in his program area. Here they are seeing each other at the registration desk for the first time in over a year. It was a neat moment that I am grateful I was able to capture. Christian is an accomplished potter. You can find his pottery at: christianroyalpottery.com. It is beautiful and you should buy some. 🙂
Silas. Baby Silas came with his parents the first week of retreat. He has cerebral palsy and is a very happy little boy. I got to hold him one afternoon and he was so snuggly I didn’t want to give him back! Silas got the opportunity to ride a horse for the first time. I will never forget seeing the smiles on his and his parents face as he rode around with his helpers. I’m sure it is a moment his parents will never forget as well.
Amy. Amy is a young lady who comes to second week of retreat with her parents. This year there was not a Sign Language interpreter for her and her mom was prepared to interpret all the services. I’m not sure how it all came about but I was asked to help interpret for Amy during most of those services. I loved it! (Sign Language is my second language.) I loved that I was able to use my gift of signing to help Amy out and let her mom enjoy the services. I also loved that Amy got up and played a song on the piano during the talent show. She did a wonderful job! Amy’s STM, (short term missionary) Amanda, did a great job using her sign language skills to communicate all week with her. I have no doubt that one-day she will be a great interpreter!
Christopher. I met Christopher last year and he made me smile each time I saw him around the camp. This year was more of the same. He is absolutely hilarious and from what I can tell always has a great time while at retreat. He and his buddy had a wonderful time all week long joking around and Christopher enjoyed becoming the trailer captain for the week. (We have a truck and trailer that takes those in wheelchairs to and from all the events on the lower campus. Roger, the driver the first week, made Christopher his trailer captain every time he was on the trailer.)
The last two weeks were a great time and I am glad I got to be a part of all that took place. I loved watching the STMs connect with their buddies during both weeks. They were perfectly matched and God ordained. This year I felt like I was able to connect with the families and learn more of their stories. I made a point this year to connect with other siblings as well. This was very important to me as I have a sibling with a disability.
Overall this was another great year. I know Family Retreat changes the lives of the families and STMs that come but it always amazes me how much I am affected and changed.
If you were there what were some of your favorite moments?