Monday, August 17, 2009

How Was Your Stay?

     Now that we've been open for several months, and many families have come to visit the retreat and stay in our cozy little cabin, we thought this would be a good time to open it up and hear from some of you.
     So if you have spent some time here at Elijah's Retreat, please take a moment to share a little about your experience.  We'd love to hear from you and I know it will be helpful to others who may be contemplating a trip here.
     Thank you and God bless you!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Beautiful Poem Written for Us by One of our Guests

Generosity from Afar


I remember hearing this single mother of five say,

“This summer I want to do something with my little ones, take a trip and go away.”


But after paying the bills and paying on other somewhat outstanding debt

It seemed impossible and caused her to doubt as she silently wept.


Not giving up on the thought completely as distant as it seemed,

To do something anyway would put everything to the extreme.


The time, the effort, the money, gas, room & board with this so say recession,

put everything at an unreachable cost,

And once again it would all appear to be, the going away, a total lost.


Then I remember her calling and saying, out of nowhere her phone rang with news that eased her feeling of despair.

News of real generosity from afar that with an inquiry online, a phone call would answer her prayer.


To a husband and wife with property and hope to share,

The child, the little one that to others seemed different and strange,

Had a special connection with the hearts of others whom she never met or even knew by name.


Their story was amazing or rather is amazing how they’ve chosen to reach out to others,

But what’s truly amazing is how much it really means to struggling fathers and mothers.


I’m not sure if the children will ever know how much it really means.

To them it’s just a get away, a time to play at a place they’ve never seen.


I can’t speak for everyone but I know for sure

That for this single mother, it was truly a blessing to be able to come here.


Working hard from day to day

 Just trying to provide food for the little ones and a place to stay


Waking up early and staying up late nights,

Making sure that clothes are clean, homework’s done, and all the children are tucked in tight.


And Taylor with her special needs sometimes wakes and walks

Sometimes wouldn’t even be heard if she didn’t also talk.


It is much more than just a get away

It is proof that God does hear us when we pray


What you all are doing is just another showing of God’s love

As He has blessed you all from above.


I know that there can never be words in my heart to truly express

What you’ve given to this mother, whose faith is constantly being put through the test.


One day in her shoes would give most people the blues but I’ve seen her time after time go and go and go.

So what you have given to her, especially Taylor, you will never fully know.


But I can tell you that it’s not just to get away, a summer trip taken via car,

But rather the largest showing of generosity from afar.


God bless you in all you’re doings and whatever your heart’s desire,

For your story, caring and generosity is truly inspiring.


And I know that your wish is to have 6 cabins on this property,

But there are much, much bigger plans in your future I see.


And you can rest assure that these three little ones, especially Taylor, will someday

Know what they really experienced, far beyond a “trip away”.


Hopefully to inspire them to do the same for someone else in your name someday


God bless you both from a friend of a friend

Whose life you have just sincerely added great joy and hope to.


Sherilyn V. Crow

July 18, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Praise God! He's done it again!

Isn't God's timing amazing?  He's always just in time!  Right when we've decided it's not going to happen, He comes through and wows us.  Whoever said the Christian life was not exciting???

We are praising God for the granting of 501(c)(3) non-profit status from the IRS yesterday.  Many of you know the struggle we've gone through over these many months trying to attain 501(c)(3) status (which means we are tax exempt & donations are tax deductible).  After a very disturbing phone call from the IRS a few weeks ago, it seemed doubtful that they would grant us 501(c)(3) status.  But once again Mercy Ships stepped in, got their attorneys involved, and the issue was resolved in fairly short time.  Thank you, Mercy Ships!  We love you guys!

So, with our first family arriving at the retreat this Friday, God's timing could not be more perfect.  The first family cabin is completed and ready for guests.  Now we can look forward to building the other 5 cabins and the recreation center.  We have a feeling that God's plans for Elijah's Retreat are much bigger than ours!  It's all yours, Jesus - your will be done!

So now all donations are tax deductible and 100% go to building Elijah's Retreat.  There are no paid staff or board members.  But there are many who have donated their time, energy and resources to help build the cabin, put up fences, clear trails, etc..  Thank you so very much.  God bless you.   

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Open for Reservations!!!

Praise God!  We are now ready to take reservations for the retreat, so if you have a child with autism, let us know when you'd like to come, beginning the first week of June and we'll get you on the calendar.  

We only have one cabin completed at this point, so reservations will be on a first come, first serve basis for our one beautiful little two-bedroom cabin.  We are requesting a donation of $30.00 per night for a stay in the cabin.  It has a full kitchen, including refrigerator, stove, microwave, toaster, coffee-maker, and a full size washer and dryer.  There's an adorable living room and dining area, and a front porch complete with a relaxing porch swing and even a ceiling fan to make sitting out there more enjoyable. 

The playground includes a swingset, slide, fort, rock climbing wall, a large sandbox and a hammock.  We're still adding to the playground, and have many great ideas to make it really fun, but it all takes money, so we're in a holding pattern at the moment.  

The opening of this cabin is just the first step in the vision for Elijah's Retreat.  Please continue to lift us up in your prayers as we move on to phase 2.  We have great dreams for Elijah's Retreat.  Seeing God bring this portion to reality only gives us greater faith that He will provide for the rest.  

To make a reservation, please email us at or call us at 903-589-0145.  

God bless you!  Thank you for your support of this ministry!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Praise God for His Provisions!

We are praising God for his abundant blessing over Elijah's Retreat.  In the past couple of weeks He has directly answered our prayers by providing the funds we needed to finish up the first cabin and complete the fences around the fishing pond and playground.  He has also provided the manpower to complete the tasks.  

Our beloved team of dear friends from the Denton area will be returning this month for the fourth time this year to spend a weekend working at the retreat.  These folks were here when the first wall was raised on the cabin last spring, and they have committed to see us through until we are prepared for our first family.  These wonderful, godly friends have not only supported us with their time and labor, but with consistent prayer and encouragement, and with their gifts and offerings.  They have collected furniture, appliances, bedding and toys, as well as donations of funds for Elijah's Retreat.  Amazing, amazing people who have become like family to us.  We love them dearly.

Other good friends from Jacksonville have been determined to see this project through, as well, and have supported us financially and with their labor.  We thank them for their love, support and great encouragement over the past year.  We could not have done this without them.  What a blessing they have been!

With these new provisions, it looks as though we will be able to open for guests by late April or early May.  We will be announcing our grand opening/open house celebration in the near future.  We hope you will be able to join us for a day of entertainment, great barbeque and joyous celebration and praise for all God has done to take Elijah's Retreat from dream to reality.