In a world with a lot of suffering – broken families and broken hearts – there is help to be had. In an otherwise ordinary American little town, Vandalia, Illinois, there is a ministry called Our Sorrowful Mother’s Ministry (OSMM) which has monthly retreats and a yearly conference (last weekend of October) in which world-class speakers come from almost every every continent (North America, South America, Europe and Africa) to share their understanding, their expertise and their compassion with those who have suffered and endured and wish to overcome their personal troubles.
I have seen people go from being disheartened, distracted lonely individuals to strengthened, more joyous members of their families and society from attending these ministry retreats through the power of God’s grace working through this place and these generous volunteers. For most people the opportunity to settle down, to pray in a very peaceful, beautiful and inspiring environment does not happen every day or every week or every month. Some times it never happens. But here you do not HAVE to pay anything – the ministry survives on donations alone – all you HAVE to do is listen to great speakers who remind you about the most important things in life – the purpose of your existence and the great love God bears His children and pray for yourself and all those you love. Recently we had a priest from Rwanda who lost many of his family members to the genocide there and he was the gentlest, kindest man I have ever met who is on fire with love for God. Amazingly his terrible experience did not crush his spirit but rather he has been led to help those who have faced horrible grief so that they too can reach out to the One who can truly heal our wounded spirits.
If you are looking for a flashy miracle or a startling revelation then perhaps a movie would do you more good than a retreat but if you are looking for a sincere reconnection to the God who made you and an opportunity to spend some quality time with Him, a real retreat from the hubbub of the worldly-world, then perhaps OSMM would be the place for you to spend a weekend. Look them up (osmm.org) or call for more information at 618 292-8039 or 618 267 3876 (leave a message if no one answers)
God gives us everything – our lives, our food, our homes, our families – isn’t it time we gave him something – maybe even a weekend?