Changed at Family Retreat

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • May 24, 2012
  • Family Retreats

Iford Family at Family RetreatKatie and Alaina

Have you experienced “realness” at Family Retreat? Jeremy and Trisha Iford arrived at Family Retreat with three kids in tow —Alaina, 7, has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, Addie is 5 and Levi is 1. “We were welcomed with open arms,” says Trisha. “The STM’s (Short Term Missionaries) are like older sisters that want to spend time with my kids, and the other moms are eager to share their stories. There’s realness here.” This “realness” opens the door to acceptance and healing that comes from the love of Christ. “Family Retreat has opened me up to share my struggles in accepting Alaina’s disability and embracing it as part of our life,” says Trisha softly. “I’m human and my flesh hates that we have a wheelchair. But Family Retreat has spoken volumes to me about Alaina, to truly see her as the gift that she is. “This week, for the first time, I’m seeing my child instead of the wheelchair. Alaina’s joy is amazing and I can see Jesus in her so clearly. I’ve been able to focus my eyes on the most important things.” For Jeremy, Family Retreat opened the opportunity to share man-to-man with other dads. “It didn’t take long to get in deep and talk about our backgrounds, the disability we deal with, and how we can pray and support each other,” said Jeremy. “Here, you’ll find a big family, a solid support system. Family Retreat will fill you up and meet your needs.” Has your family been changed by the authenticity at Family Retreat? We want to hear your story. Please share your story with us below.


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  • Sept. 17, 2018
  • 7:56 a.m.
  • Addie Ifford
Family Retreat changed our lives. My husband was born with cerebral palsy and we went to Family Retreat for the first time the same week the Iford family did. The STMs truly make you feel special and help "take the load" for the week so you forget about dealing with a disability and can focus on the love of Christ with others who share your daily situation. Truly a wonderful experience and while we can't go this year, we will be returning next year!
  • May 30, 2012
  • 3:36 p.m.
  • Erin Broadway
It´s easy to understand the feelings of this mom. I thought I would grow old with a Bible in my lap and a paintbrush in my hand. But 8 years ago God gave me chronic and often acute dry eyes. In my own world the Lord richly accompanies me through every moment of the day. Out in the world, I always find someone watching as I apply moisture to my eyes. Even among people I know I´m a source of fear. What if it happens to them? Strangers turn away in disgust, horror, fear. A few look on with pity and then turn away. Then there are those who subconsciously pick on you. For these few, a disability seems to be the opportunity to harm. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal any of these things to any of these hearts to bring about real change. I´ve got two champions, the Lord and my husband. Besides the Bible, I´m listening to The Art of Divine Contentment by Thomas Watson. It causes me to renew my heart again and again to living a life of Godliness with Contentment. It truly is great gain. I heartily recommend diving into this old puritan´s wise words for anyone with a disability or anyone living with someone who has a disability.
  • May 24, 2012
  • 11:53 p.m.
  • blessed