January 17, 2019

Family Ministry Retreat Brought Unexpected Healing

LAKE REGION—On the weekend of Aug. 24–26, 2018, Michiana African Seventh-day Adventist Church (MASDAC) held its third annual church retreat at Camp Wagner, Cassopolis, Mich. The retreat, organized by the Family Life Ministries of MASDAC, brought together more than 100 people of all age groups to a fun-filled and action-packed program. 


The theme of this year’s retreat was “Come to Rest Awhile”; the Sabbath preacher was Carmelo Mercado, Lake Union Conference, general vice president for Multicultural Ministries and Strategy. Mercado expounded in a very clear way the importance of rest. He challenged the participants to think of one thing that each one can take away from their lives and one thing they can add that will help them get rest perhaps even in a small way. For example, a day with no media or whatever else in order to have more time with God and family. 


Some of the highlights of that weekend included a program on Friday evening called “12 Steps”  where participants were led through 12 different stations with instructions on what to do in order to appreciate what Jesus has done to take away our burden of sin. There was corn roast after Sabbath, swimming, games and fun-filled social activities. Men prepared a special breakfast for all on Sunday morning which was preceded by a 5k run/walk within the vast Camp Wagner grounds. The climax of the programs was the Sabbath afternoon special discussion with the parents, youth and young adults called “Let’s Talk.” The open but respectful discussion covered especially the area of communication in the family. The program was an eye-opener because, for the first time, young people were able to directly question parents in an open and non-judgmental setting on areas not previously ventured and parents were able to do the same. What was considered obvious to both sides turned out not to be and some misunderstandings were cleared up. The Family Ministries leadership promised to hold more of these forums in the future.


Powerful testimonies were given Sunday morning, relaying the great things that God had done during the retreat. One person said, “I had a very heavy burden before coming here and now it is gone.” Another one testified through tears how much a blessing the retreat had been to her and her family. One guest said, “I have decided to make MASDAC my church family.” 


The 2019 retreat will be held on the same grounds on August 23-25 with plans to include more members of the community.