Rest/Counsel/Care Resources for International Church Leaders
This is a sampling of retreat/counselling/vacation/guesthouse venues/services available for retreat/restoration/vacation for cross-cultural workers and people in ministry. I hope you find it helpful. Compiled by Melanie Driedger
Eric & Rachel Dufour have lived and ministered cross-culturally. “We have been counseling pastors and missionaries since 2008. Our goal is to help you accomplish the call of God on your life. We created a ministry with two branches, a French one titled “Ministère Cœur de Berger” and an English one titled “Serving Alongside Ministry.” Our ministry provides assistance to the servants of God, to restore the spiritual and emotional health of couples and families. We do conferences and offer pastoral care and counseling around the world. Both of us are currently working on obtaining a Doctorate of Ministry in Counseling.” http://ericracheldufour.com/en/
Melanie Driedger, RN MN MFT CCC is a Canadian Certified Counsellor, Marriage and Family Therapist, and Clinical Nurse Specialist in Mental Health. She offers individual, couple and family counselling in person or via Skype/FaceTime. Melanie has lived and ministered cross-culturally and has a special focus on ministry families.
Phone: 1-587-333-0303 Email: email@example.com Skype/FaceTime sessions available
Expatriate and Ministry Family Resilience Coach
Focus on the Family Canada Clergy Care Network The Clergy Care Network and Focus on the Family Canada are here to help provide guidance when life is challenging — and to rejoice with you when things are going well. Please call us toll-free at 1.888.5.CLERGY or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know if we can serve you through complimentary phone counselling, consultation, resource or retreat suggestions or counselling referrals. http://www.focusonthefamily.ca/clergycare/
Guesthouses & Retreats
Oscar, the UK information service for world mission has assembled a list of mission guest houses around the world. http://www.oscar.org.uk/opportunity/locations/logistics.htm
Mission Finder website includes links for personal retreats with and without counselling.
The following are two recommendations from Wendy Kitlitz at Focus on the Family Clergy Care Network Canada:
Shepherd’s Heart Ministries: Shepherd’s Heart Ministry has seven retreat centers: The Morning Star Retreat Center in Colorado, the Still Waters and Water of Life Retreat Centers in Michigan, Le Moulin Retreat Center in France (The Mill), Birdsong Retreat Center in Israel, Perdon y Amistad Oasis Retreat Center in Mexico, and our Southeast Asia Retreat Center. Each retreat center is carefully designed to provide an environment of confidentiality, safety, and acceptance to allow Pastors, Ministry Leaders, and Missionaries to find healing and restoration in their personal lives, marriages, and ministries. The quiet beauty, warm welcome, and Godly counsel provide an atmosphere of trust, honesty, and open hearts to hear from the Lord. https://secure.shmministry.com/retreatcenters.php
“I highly recommend this program and their staff. They offer 5 day retreats for ministry leaders. They do not charge fees for the retreats, but ask guests to give whatever God lays on their hearts to give for the experience. The staff are counsellors who have been trained by the ministry leaders, Larry & Lorrie Russell. The focus is usually on the marriage and most often the guests who come to them are in some form of crisis (though I am certain they would be delighted to work on people also just looking for refreshment and direction).
I have also heard that Pete and Geri Scazzero (Emotionally healthy Spirituality) have been doing quite a bit of work in southeast Asia in the past several years and finding it a very receptive area for their message of good marital and self-care in ministry. Here is a link with information about a couple of engagements they have in Singapore and Korea this year: http://www.emotionallyhealthy.org/news-events/speaking-engagements/ “
The Christian Hospitality Network http://thechn.org/ Find high-quality, Christian-run Bed & Breakfasts, Inns, lodges and hotels. Pastors and Missionaries receive discounts. As well, the network offers Missionary Getaways in locations outside the US.
CareGivers Forum http://www.caregiversforum.org/ The ministries described on the Care Givers Forum range from rest and relaxation to intensive counselling throughout the US and Canada.
Hospitality Homes www.hospitalityhomes.org HospitalityHomes.org is a global network of homes providing rest and renewal for pastors, clergy, missionaries, evangelists, chaplains, ministry directors, and other full-time Christian workers. The network of homes are privately owned by Christian hosts in the spirit of Romans 12:13 “Share with God’s people in need . . practice hospitality.” They are available to Christian workers seeking spiritual and physical renewal at a nominal donation to the ministry. Our goal is to provide opportunities for those who are on the frontlines to “come away” with Jesus and get some rest and to be restored.
Innkeeper Ministries www.innkeeperministries.org Innkeeper ministries is dedicated to provide, free of charge, a quality facility with services that encourage, support and edify Christian leadership, weary and at times, wounded from their godly pursuits.
Prayer Eleven’s website lists the following retreat centers in Africa http://www.prayereleven.org/retreat-places/world-retreat-centres/
Ibru Centre, Nigeria.
Carmel Christian Retreat Centre, South Africa
Beulah Christian Retreat. It is a place of refuge, on a mountain in the countryside. his home offers a panoramic view over the towns of Paarl and Wellington in the Western Cape, South Africa. Farms and forests, with hiking trails and water streams surround the premise. This tranquil mountain haven is a unique setting to spend time with our Creator. It is more than a guesthouse, but rather a return to your home, the house of your Father, where you are nurtured, understood and feel safe in the presence of God. Guests include Leaders in ministry that need rest and restoration; time-out from daily responsibilities. http://www.beulahretreat.co.za/about.html
Mto Moyoni is a beautiful retreat centre in Njeru, Uganda. MTO MOYONI (Swahili for “river in the heart”) is a retreat centre on the banks of the river Nile, for people seeking spiritual, emotional and physical refreshment. http://www.mto-moyoni.org/sitenw/
Prayer Eleven’s website lists many retreat centres from many denominations in Australia
Prayer Eleven’s website lists many retreat centres across Canada
Fairhaven Ministries of Canada is located on 167 acres on Silver Star Mountain near Vernon, British Columbia and offers self-contained cottages that can sleep a family of up to 6 members. Fairhaven Leadership Retreat Centre is a non-denominational, registered, charitable society committed to providing a retreat ministry where Christian leaders can be encouraged, supported, and restored physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Our prime focus is serving those in positions of Church, Mission, and Parachurch leadership. http://www.fairhavencanada.com/about-us
The MARK Centre in Abbotsford BC serves people who want to listen to God, receive refreshment from him, and live out their unique purpose in the world. “The MARK Centre Abbotsford Chalet has eight rooms that have been thoughtfully designed to provide intimate places for people to listen to God. The chalet can accommodate individuals, couples and groups up to 26 people. http://www.markcentre.org/christian-retreat-centres/
King’s Fold is a Christian retreat centre located in southwestern Alberta, 1 hour northwest of Calgary. We are situated on 166 acres of prime recreational land straddling the Ghost River with a commanding view of the Rocky Mountains. Our facilities take advantage of this location, offering panoramic views, prayer walks and hiking trails. We offer a place for rest, renewal and spiritual discovery in the context of Christian hospitality. Our guests come for personal retreat, group retreats and specific themed retreats. http://www.kingsfoldretreat.com/
Kerith Retreats (Focus on the Family) have two lovely retreat facilities in beautiful settings (one in Alberta and one in Manitoba) We offer a seven-day small-group retreat based on a program established by SonScape Retreats. This seven-day ministry leaders renewal retreat offers you personalized care and group instruction to help rekindle your marriage and vocational commitments. http://www.kerithretreats.ca/
Prayer Eleven’s website http://www.prayereleven.org/retreat-places/world-retreat-centres/
lists the following retreat centers in Europe
Hacienda Los Olivos, Spain
Le Rucher is a Christian retreat, residential member care and counselling centre near Geneva in France. They specialize in routine debriefing, critical incident (post trauma) debriefing, crisis intervention and ethnic reconciliation. www.lerucher.org
One Another Ministries is a retreat and counselling centre for missionaries near the beach at Montpellier, France. Among the services offered are debriefings, conflict management and pastoral care. www.OneAnother.com
The Pierres Vivantes Counselling Centre near Sisteron, France is run by Jonathan Ward and provides services for pastors and missionaries (the website is in French, but English services are provided. http://www.pierresvivantes.org/welcome/
Le Reposoir in Northern Brittany, France offers missionaries a place to reflect and be restored, to rest and enjoy God’s intimacy in the beauty of silence. “We are a tranquil place in the French countryside, provided especially for missionaries.” http://www.lereposoir.org/www.lereposoir.org/Welcome.html
Shepherd’s Heart Ministries: Le Moulin Retreat Center in France (The Mill), Each retreat center is carefully designed to provide an environment of confidentiality, safety, and acceptance to allow Pastors, Ministry Leaders, and Missionaries to find healing and restoration in their personal lives, marriages, and ministries. The quiet beauty, warm welcome, and Godly counsel provide an atmosphere of trust, honesty, and open hearts to hear from the Lord. https://secure.shmministry.com/retreatcenters.php
Barnabas Zentrum is specially designed to strengthen the lives of Christian workers who are serving in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It serves as an interdenominational personal and marital retreat center for pastors, missionaries and others in church and para church staff positions. http://www.barnabaszentrum.com/
The Alphof http://www.alphof.freizeiten.at/ and Schwaigmuehle http://www.schwaigmuehle.freizeiten.at/ guesthouses (freizeithausen) in Austria offer opportunities to experience fellowship, enjoy nature, find peace, meet with God, reenergize and find a new focus. The websites are in German.
Life Impact Ministries – Promised Land – Bulgaria. They also have many retreats on their website – mostly in the US, but some overseas as well. http://www.lifeimpactministries.net/resources/partners/
The Methodist Church in Malaysia operates a number of retreat centers and guesthouses, among them:
OMF Guesthouse in Cameron Highlands
OMF Bungalow – OMF bungalow contact: email@example.com http://buffafly.blogspot.ca/2014/06/omf-bungalow-another-family-holiday.html
Contact person: Lim Siew Ee
Chee Foo Conference Centre, Cameroon Highlands http://www.trac.org.my/index.cfm?&menuid=46
Fraser’s Hill offers visitors cool mountain air, peace and tranquility. A hill resort dotted with quaint and colonial bungalows. Excellent place to take walks. Provides meals and is ideal for small groups. http://www.methodistchurch.org.my/Resort%20-%20Frasers%20Hill.htm
Port Dickson needs no introduction as it has long been known as a weekend retreat for many inland dwellers. It offers one of the best beaches on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The Methodist Centre is situated on its own grounds that extend over 20 acres with access to the beach. All accommodation equipped with water-heaters and fully air-conditioned. http://www.methodistchurch.org.my/Resort%20-%20Port%20Dickson.htm
Lutheran Mission Bungalow: Built in 1959 with the intention to provide a place for Christians to rest and relax, the Lutheran Mission Bungalow has been a refuge of peace and tranquillity for nearly 60 years. Sitting on a quiet hilltop, it is an ideal refreshment spot for families and small groups. Today, the original structure is retained with an annex built to provide additional accommodation. http://lcm.org.my/booking.html
Golden Sands Baptist Assembly, Port Dickson is a popular beach retreat for church camps, individuals and families. Located just 90 minutes from KL, it is usually fully booked during the local school holiday period. http://www.mbc.org.my/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=25:golden-sands-baptist-assembly&catid=31:general&Itemid=46
Peacehaven, Genting Highlands is popular as a conference centre. It has a large meeting hall and many breakout and seminar rooms, making it ideal for church camps and team retreats. http://www.antioch.com.sg/my/fgakl/peacehaven.htm
La Dolce Vita Hospitality Network provides a list of friendly places offering overnights and vacations along the Mediterranean that are comfy, affordable and accessible for ex-pat workers. They are not necessarily Christian centers. http://www.membercare.eu/resources/la-dolce-vita-hospitality-network-mediterranean-2/
Shepherd’s Heart Ministries: Perdon y Amistad Oasis Retreat Center in Mexico. Each retreat center is carefully designed to provide an environment of confidentiality, safety, and acceptance to allow Pastors, Ministry Leaders, and Missionaries to find healing and restoration in their personal lives, marriages, and ministries. The quiet beauty, warm welcome, and Godly counsel provide an atmosphere of trust, honesty, and open hearts to hear from the Lord. https://secure.shmministry.com/retreatcenters.php
Prayer Eleven’s website lists many retreat centres from many denominations in New Zealand
Prayer Eleven’s website http://www.prayereleven.org/retreat-places/world-retreat-centres/
lists the following retreat centre in South America
Prayer Eleven’s website http://www.prayereleven.org/retreat-places/world-retreat-centres/ lists retreat centres in Southeast Asia.
Bethany Ministries, Hong Kong
Bethany Ministries: Bethany offers a place of rest, encouragement and restoration for Christian cross-cultural workers and their families serving in Asia and beyond as well as for pastors or Christian workers in Hong Kong. We are committed to provide Member Care. Bethany is located on a beautiful island called Cheung Chau, just a short ferry ride from vibrant Hong Kong. We aim to offer a relaxed, homely environment for those needing a break. http://www.bethanyhk.org/
The Juniper Tree “aims to provide a home-away-from-home in Hua Hin and Chiangmai, Thailand for Christian workers on a low budget… Individuals, couples or families can find physical and spiritual refreshment at the Juniper Tree”. http://www.juniper-tree.org/
The Well International serves cross-cultural workers in Asia and around the world through Clinical Counselling, Pastoral Care, Training and Events. We are a Christian, donor funded organization based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. http://www.thewellintl.org/
Cornerstone Counseling Centre (Chiang Mai) website thoughtfully includes a list of Christian-run and reasonably priced lodging in Chiang Mai, Thailand. http://ccfthailand.org/resources/lodging/
Shepherd’s Heart Ministries: Southeast Asia Retreat Center. Each retreat center is carefully designed to provide an environment of confidentiality, safety, and acceptance to allow Pastors, Ministry Leaders, and Missionaries to find healing and restoration in their personal lives, marriages, and ministries. The quiet beauty, warm welcome, and Godly counsel provide an atmosphere of trust, honesty, and open hearts to hear from the Lord. https://secure.shmministry.com/retreatcenters.php
Prayer Eleven’s website http://www.prayereleven.org/retreat-places/world-retreat-centres/
lists the following retreat centres the Middle East
Beit Immanuel, Tel Aviv, Israel
Beit Bracha, Migdal, Israel
Katafiyio Retreat House, Cyprus
Shepherd’s Heart Ministries: Birdsong Retreat Center in Israel. Each retreat center is carefully designed to provide an environment of confidentiality, safety, and acceptance to allow Pastors, Ministry Leaders, and Missionaries to find healing and restoration in their personal lives, marriages, and ministries. The quiet beauty, warm welcome, and Godly counsel provide an atmosphere of trust, honesty, and open hearts to hear from the Lord. https://secure.shmministry.com/retreatcenters.php
Prayer Eleven’s website lists multiple retreat centres from many denominations across the UK. http://www.prayereleven.org/retreat-places/uk-retreat-centres/
Lee Abbey in North Devon is home to a Christian Community that hosts a Conference, Retreat and Holiday Centre, set in a spacious 280 acres of farm and woodland, overlooking the dramatic North Devon Coast near Lynton. https://leeabbey.org.uk/
Penhurst is a small, friendly Christian Retreat Centre where a warm welcome is offered to everyone. We also specialise in support for mission partners, cross cultural workers and full-time Christian workers from the UK and overseas. Situated in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is just 10 miles from the coast in the Sussex High Weald. The beauty, peace and comfort of this place create an ideal setting in which to draw closer to God and experience his love. Comfortable full-board accommodation is available for up to 16 guests sharing 8 bedrooms including 2 ground floor en-suite rooms, one of which is fully adapted.http://www.penhurst.org.uk/
Green Pastures is located in Poole, Dorset amidst the outstanding beauty of England’s South coast. Whatever your background, God has created you unique and with a very special purpose. But so often life can damage and derail us. At Green Pastures we provide prayer and space to reconnect with the life giving Father; a place of peace and relaxation. http://www.green-pastures.org/
Prayer Eleven’s website lists many retreat centres across the US http://prayereleven.us/retreat-places/usa-retreat-centers/
Leading & Loving It has a listing of retreat/vacation places for ministry families. http://leadingandlovingit.com/leadership/vacation-discounts-for-pastors/
Christianity Today has a listing of free or discounted retreat opportunities for pastors. http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/march/free-or-discounted-getaways-for-pastors.html
My-Pastor.com has a list of retreat opportunities. http://www.my-pastor.com/pastor-retreat-centers.html
Fairhaven Ministries – A Retreat and Counseling Center Located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of East Tennessee http://www.fairhavenministries.net/ Affordable place away from the demands of ministry where missionaries/pastors can rest and relax. The beautiful facilities and surroundings make it an ideal get-away for individuals, couples and families.
Allison Ranch provides space for spiritual retreats for God’s servants on the Salmon River in Idaho. Total cost for a family for a four day stay is $300. http://allisonranchministries.com/
Life Impact Ministries offers several R & R homes dotted across the USA as well as one in Ontario, Canada and another in Bali. http://www.lifeimpactministries.net/resources/partners/
Broom Tree Ministries offers a 5-day spiritual retreat available for full time Christian pastors and their spouses. Retreat agenda is designed to allow participants to spend large blocks of time alone with God in prayer, rest, Bible study, reading, hiking and lots of time with their spouse. Pastors set their own daily schedule or can use the self-directed guide to enhance the retreat experience. Materials are provided for our guest’s use such as, books, video and audio tapes. This is a gift of time to drink from the “Living Water.” http://broomtreeministries.org/
Elim Retreat Ministries provides places and occasions for the spiritual debriefing, renewal, and pastoral care for the global worker. Their 5 day retreats cost 120 USD but scholarships are available. https://www.elimretreats.org/
Missionary Care Ministry offers rest and restoration at free lodging for up to a month in a guesthouse on 11 acres of land about an hour from Atlanta Georgia. Singles, couples, and large families are welcome. http://www.missionarycareministry.org/
Quiet Place Ministries in Michigan Our purpose is to provide retreats for individuals, married couples, and families serving in Christian ministry. At no charge, pastors, missionaries, and those in vocational Christian service can enjoy a time of renewal, relaxation, and refreshment. We invite them to “come….. to a quiet place and get some rest.” http://www.quietplaceministries.org/
Beside Still Waters at Playa Del Sol is a program that recognizes the pressures of being in ministry in this day and age. Our goal is to provide a place of rest and refocus for those in need who are in the service of the Lord. This program is open to experienced pastors, ministers, missionaries, bishops, priests, or rabbis, etc. Explore our website to learn the details of how you can come and stay with us in sunny Gulf Coast Florida. The only cost is for professional cleaning after your stay. http://www.beside-stillwaters.org/home/
Lawrence Wilson has a list of Christian ministries that offer guest, retreat, or vacation accommodations for those in ministry. Some are simply guest houses, others are full-blown conference centers, and a few offer counseling and or other therapeutic services. A few of them are free for clergy. http://www.lawrencewilson.com/free-retreats-vacations-pastors/