My wife and I were greatly ministered to during the week of August 29 – September 2 at SHOR. I did not realize how tired we really were. It took at least 2 full days to relax and not think about the kids or church. My wife and I, once we were back at home, thought about this verse and wondered if we were possibly disobeying Scripture in not getting away and resting and eating properly. We have been to retreats and conferences that keep you busy (up late at night and up early in the morning) and return home the same way you left – tired, weary, exhausted, and looking for the next time “just to get away.” With SHOR I saw and experienced a rest and peace in my wife and me that I had not seen in a while. If we wanted to sit on the deck and drink coffee, we did. If we wanted to sleep late, we did. If we wanted to stay up late and work a puzzle, we did. There was no set agenda or program.
We were able to talk of the ministry’s joys, hurts, discouragements, and failures, and always received a listening ear from the years of pastoral and counseling experience of both Bro. Charlie and Suzanne. We cannot express to you the need of the pastor and wife to get away and rest and eat properly. I never thought I would hear these words from my mentors in the ministry: ‘I am getting divorced and getting out of the ministry,’ and ‘My wife left me, and I had to resign my church.’ I have personally heard these from my dearest, closest mentors in the ministry. To me it is time to take seriously the burden we are under – and not just us, but also our wives who are under the same stress and burden that we are. Thank you with all our hearts for taking care of us for four wonderful days and nights. We would love to do it again!
When the invitation of this week came, the possibility was non-existent financially. Then we were told the expenses for the week would all be covered. We were shocked! The timing could not have been better immediately following our resignation. We came hurt, full of anxiety about the future, confused about our ministry (even if we had one) and most of all weary, weary, weary!!! The first night we felt like we had come to a foreign land! It had been so very long since we had been the recipient of care and ministry, we did not hardly know how to handle it!!! God’s timing is always perfect and this week has helped us to work through hurts, and most of all to be loved by people who truly understood the life of ministry and all its hurts. This is such a desperately needed ministry – like getting a drink of water in the largest, driest dessert! This should be a must for every pastor and wife. We cannot thank you enough or tell you just how much we needed this.
Thank you so much for your ministry in our behalf. We had a wonderful week. It was the first time in 32 years of ministry that anyone has made it possible for us to come aside and just rest. The accommodations were splendid. The meals were excellent. Thank you both for the evening meals that you worked so hard to prepare and serve. We especially enjoyed the relaxed schedule. It was such a blessing to have time to read, meditate, and listen to the Lord. The fellowship with the rest of the couples was such a blessing as we sat around the table and just talked. Thank you so much for the times of conversation and prayer that both of you shared with us.
It is with joy that I recommend to you a new ministry . . . SHOR. Most pastors and their wives are hurting and need some time away to relax, refocus, and be renewed. That is what SHOR Ministries is seeking to provide. We feel so strongly about this need and this ministry that we have included SHOR Ministries in our mission budget. I would encourage my fellow pastor friends to do the same. The laws of sowing and reaping are true in this area as well! Recently our area hosted a SHOR retreat. Our people looked at this as a local mission opportunity. Sunday School classes and ministry groups from our church provided meals, encouragement, and service to some of God’s choicest servants. The pastors and wives were blessed immensely, but so were our people. Also, it was a real joy for this pastor to see his flock “equipped for the work of the ministry” and sharing God’s love to those on the retreat. The work God has called Charlie and Suzanne Grigsby and Dr. Gray and Mrs. Voncille Allison into is very much needed. I hope many pastors/ staff persons will afford themselves of this great opportunity and I pray that other churches will come alongside SHOR Ministries and be like an Onesiphorus whom Paul said, “often refreshes me” (II Timothy 1:16).