Charity Spotlight: This post was provided by Edith Hulcoop, a volunteer staff member at His Secret Place, as part of our ongoing charity spotlight series.
Did you know 80 percent of missionary’s burn out and return home before completing their mission? It’s a sad statistic, but it is oftentimes a reality as missionaries are often faced with several challenges during their time away from home.
Not only do missionary’s need to adapt to different cultures or dangerous social environments, they are also living far from their family, friends, church, and conveniences of home while attempting to maintain a healthy marriage and family unit from afar. Unfortunately, due to these pressing challenges, many missionaries are overcome with the feeling of guilt and are led to experience severe burnout and depression.
It’s unfortunate, but it’s a reality His Secret Place works to counteract on a daily basis.
Newfoundland’s Best Kept Secret
Derm and Viola Westcott were called to be missionaries at a very young age. They have served the poor and impoverished children of Honduras since 2003, but deeply rooted in their heart they have always felt another calling from the Lord — they have always wanted to encourage missionaries who dedicate themselves to their challenging duty. With this intention in mind, they founded His Secret Place.
His Secret Place (M2M) is an international retreat designed to equip, encourage, empower and refresh missionaries from around the world in order to help them remain in their field. The retreat is an opportunity to allow missionary’s to take time for themselves and renew passion for their work and find restoration in His presence.
Since its inception in September 2009, our annual missionary retreat takes place in late August at Rocky Harbor, Newfoundland, right next door to the popular Gros Morne National Park. Missionary’s attending M2M are fully pampered and experience the best of Newfoundland’s hospitality and culture while overlooking a picturesque ocean view from their hotel room. During their stay, missionaries are treated to a variety of activities including sea kayaking, boating, hiking, golfing, and massages, among other activities, including the option of solitary, peaceful, and much needed quiet time. We even have volunteer retreat staff always available to come alongside missionary’s if they need someone to talk to, pray with, or just give them a warm hug.
“Our time at His Secret Place was an opportunity to relax and spend time together as a couple without feeling guilty. The activities were a wonderful way to facilitate this time and retreat volunteers were amazing at making us feel loved. The retreat was such an amazing environment.”
– A testimonial from a missionary who attended our M2M missionary retreat.
Because missionaries are often on limited budgets, His Secret Place also strives to make the retreat accessible to all missionary’s, even if they are on a shoestring budget. Through the generosity of donors, His Secret Place is able to subsidize the entire getaway for our missionaries – including the tips! The only cost incurred by our missionary’s is the cost of transportation to get to and from our retreat site.
Over the past few years we have had missionary’s attend our retreat from many different parts of the world including, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Africa, Bangladesh, and Central America, among countless others. Once they have had their stay, it is always encouraging to see how relaxed and refreshed our missionaries are when it is their time to leave us. They are ready to step out with a renewed spirit and attitude, and that is exactly what we strive for at His Secret Place!
To learn more about His Secret Place, please visit their Charity Profile Page »