Stand on the hill in front of the Welcome Center when no one else is around early in the morning and what do you hear? Squirrels scampering, birds chirping, cows mooing in the distance and a woodpecker pecking on a tree. Stand in the same spot on a weekend and what do you hear? Laughter, conversations as people walk by, squeals of enjoyment from the Zipline, go-kart motors, singing and many other sounds of people.
At Joy El, a Christian Retreat Center in PA, we host church groups and ministry groups on the weekends. They are all ages and have different purposes for coming. Their connecting thread is taking time to come away from everyday life to find time with the Lord. Some of their people find a brand new relationship with Jesus, some need that reconnection that has seemed to disappear, and some will find a collision with God that they were not expecting followed by a peace that cannot be explained.
We help groups be able to find these moments by making sure they don’t have to worry about anything but themselves and their program for their retreat. Everything leading up to the retreat is planned out, their rooms are set up for them, their lodging is open and ready for them to move in. When they arrive a host greets them and takes care of details the whole time they are here.
summer staff, past and present, help run activities. The Zipline, Go Karts, the Climbing Wall, the Flying Squirrel, Archery and the Challenge Course allow the groups to encourage each other as they participate.4.12 students serve guests their meals during their stay. The 4.12 students ended up playing dodgeball with a recent group and that interaction was exciting for the children of the group. 4.12 students and
Some groups come for the quiet moments and we have places for that also. There are swings all around camp to sit for Bible studies or small group talks. The outdoor chapel is a great place for a campfire service and sharing testimonies from the retreat.
You are never too old to come on a retreat! You never know what God has in store for you when you make time to actually listen. You may come away with new friends from your group or one of the others while you are here. You may find you want to volunteer here and we can help you do that too.
If you are looking for a place for a group at your church to come, we would love to have you here at Joy El!