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A Retreat Brings Healing

Written by Claudia Meerkaemper, Ecuador Country Director

Our high school seniors at Rey Sabio Salomón recently went on a retreat to a place called Hacienda el Refugio. It is a beautiful, quiet place, away from the rushed and congested life of the city: a space to meditate, breathe fresh air, and enjoy God's creation. There, the seniors participated in adventure and team-building challenges designed to encourage spiritual growth.

The students had a wonderful attitude. They came together, confronted and healed some differences between them, sought to strengthen their relationship with Jesus, and put their decisions in God's hands.

I heard them say things like, "This is very nice," "I enjoyed having my classmates’ support in the activities," "I felt protected by God," "I will not forget this experience," and "I had never felt so much the love of Jesus."

Our students come from very complex family situations and broken homes. The students are exposed to insults, abuse, yelling, and unhealthy family relationships. Many of the students resent their parents. 

Our goal and prayer was for the students to get to know Jesus as a friend, someone who understands and loves them. Through deep talks and study together, this became a time of reconciliation between them and seeking to reconcile their family relationships.

As part of this time of healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation, the students each wrote a letter to their parents. Afterwards, one of our students said, "I had never been able to express to them what I feel without fear. Now, I think I can seek to reconcile with my father.” 

Our desire is for our graduates to be ambassadors of reconciliation for the Kingdom. We hope this activity will be the beginning of a walk hand-in-hand with Jesus.

As a school staff, we will no longer have the opportunity to be with them daily, but we know that Jesus will walk by their side.