An opportunity to get away from the pressures of the field, the
work, and the
cross-cultural frustration for just a little while. A
retreat is more effective than a furlough because a furlough always
entails more work. The furloughing missionary must spend his time
visiting supporters and reporting on the work. He also has to
deal with reentry trauma (reverse culture shock). A missionary
retreat may be the only way for the missionary to truly get away.
with getting away from the field, the retreat gives the missionary
an opportunity to rest. The retreat is purposefully held at nice
facilities so that missionaries can get some rest. Hot showers, air
conditioning, good beds and time to enjoy them are an important part
of the retreat.
of the prescriptions for culture shock and prevention of burnout is
physical recreation. Afternoons at the retreat are set aside for
either rest or recreation. Facilities are provided so that
missionaries can "work off" some of the frustration they
bring from the field. Laughing and playing with their children and
the other missionaries do their hearts good.
Missionaries often come to the retreat burnt out and broken,
disappointed and discouraged, down and almost out. They need
healing. The retreat offers them a safe place to share their hearts,
their problems, their discouragements and their fears. This is why
we do not offer an open invitation to non-missionaries. The sharing
and caring, along with the prayer and encouragement of the retreat,
work with the loving touch of the Holy Spirit to restore the hurting
This is the primary focus of the missionary retreat.
Too many missionaries are "running on empty" and
need a revival, a renewing touch from God. Their ministry on the
field and their time on furlough
both require them to preach the
Word to others. The messages at the retreat are specifically
applicable to missionaries and call them to repentance and
recommitment. We pray for revival at the retreat and we preach for
revival at the retreat.
A huge benefit of the retreat is the opportunity of sharing time
with peers. The other cross-cultural missionaries understand the
trials they face and are better able to comfort them. Missionaries
who attend these retreats often form relationships that will last a
The goal of the retreat is to send the missionaries back to their
fields better prepared for the work than when they left. That serves
both the missionaries and the churches that support them.