May 29, 2024

I was recently browsing through articles on the SEND U Wiki and came across one I had not previously noticed entitled “A Do-It-Yourself Marriage Retreat.”

What a novel idea!! Maybe some missionaries are in the habit of doing something like this, but it had never even entered my mind before (and I have been bemoaning the fact that my husband and I haven’t been able to attend a marriage retreat for several years).

Many of you live in parts of the world where opportunities to attend marriage retreats are scarce, maybe even completely absent. Or it could be there isn’t enough free time in your schedule when a retreat finally IS offered (or maybe the problem is not enough money in your pocketbook). Yet it seems to me that the key emphasis of many marriage retreats is improving communication between husband and wife. The methods and questions posed in this article provide a fantastic starting point! I’m excited to try this in my own marriage, hopefully sometime soon, and encourage you to glance at this guide yourself and glean a few ideas.

That got me thinking about Individual Growth Plans which each member of SEND is expected to develop on a yearly basis. The steps to developing your own growth plan are clearly laid out by SEND in what we could call “A Do-It-Yourself Personal Planning Retreat.” Taking control of our own growth in all areas of our lives (under the direction of the Holy Spirit) is vital if we want our lives to have a positive impact for eternity. Taking a few hours to be quiet before the Lord and ask for direction in how HE wants me to grow in this coming year is something I plan to do this coming week. It’s so helpful to have a “DIY guide” to direct us through the process of developing our yearly growth plan.

As I appreciate and make use of these two guides, I have begun to wonder whether there are other “Do-It-Yourself” retreat guides available that could prove valuable to our personal and ministry growth. The one that immediately comes to my mind is some kind of a spiritual and/or prayer retreat.  Fifteen years ago, SEND made the choice to include a “Day Alone with God” in our pre-field training program (MOP) and it has been a highlight for many missionaries ever since. Here are some materials that might help you plan such a retreat, whether it be one day or longer: Helps for a Day Alone With God.

How about you? Have you come across any other “Do-It-Yourself” retreat guides that have been beneficial to you or your ministry? Please share!


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