A few weeks ago, we at Love & Hope Children’s Home embarked on our third annual family retreat. This year, we changed location from the mountains to the beach!
Tio Julio, who takes charge of the retreat, spent the last few months preparing. He divided out responsibilities among the adults at Love & Hope Children’s Home, planned devotions for the retreat, and had t-shirts made.
While in past years, we have camped in the mountains, this year, everyone stayed at La Tortuga Verde, located right on the Pacific Ocean on Intipuca beach. We had visited La Tortuga Verde before just for the day. Even though it is far, we love it for the shallow water and not-so-strong waves.
We left for the retreat early on Tuesday morning. Almost every child and staff member went: the whole family! Upon arriving at the beach, we found our accommodations for the night: two huge beach houses on the grounds of La Tortuga Verde with enough room for everyone. The kids and staff were divided up and everyone had a bed. There was even air-conditioning: a real treat!
Next it was time for devotions. Tio Julio planned two devotions for the trip, based on the theme “Dios tiene el Control,” “God has the Control.” The corresponding Bible verse was Psalm 60:12. It says: “With God we will gain the victory and he will trample down our enemies.”
Later on Tuesday afternoon it was time for team games. This year the group was divided into two teams. They competed in not only physical games, but also thinking games like puzzles, word searches and Sudoku! On the beach, the teams went head-to-head in soccer and frisbee. In the end, the teams were tied and both won a dinner at Pizza Hut for the next week.
On Wednesday morning, some early risers got up to see the sunrise and walk on the beach. They found so many shells!
We spent a lot of time swimming in the pools and playing on the beach! La Tortuga Verde even had surf boards we used to play around in the waves. Tio Roberto, who is an avid surfer, tried to teach a couple of the kids to catch some waves during the retreat.
Around 2:00 pm on Wednesday, we loaded the cars for the long ride home. Everyone was exhausted but happy. These annual retreats are a great time for our kids and staff to build stronger bonds and enjoy fun and spiritual growth together. Our donors and sponsors make events like these possible! Thank you!