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Photo: Christian Reformed Home Missions
Photo by Christian Reformed Home Missions

The Deeper Journey, a ministry of Christian Reformed Home Missions’ Great Lakes region, strives for the stillness and quiet reflection that Jesus practiced and mentioned many times throughout his teachings.

After feeding the five thousand with a few loaves and fish, for example, Jesus said to his disciples, “Come with me to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Deeper Journey is a series of eight retreats held over the course of two years designed for pastors, church staff, ministry leaders, and other Christ-followers.

Located in both Michigan and Illinois, each retreat focuses on a different spiritual discipline as Home Missions comes alongside to support, train, and equip leaders and pastors.

“The Deeper Journey has consistently provided soul-nourishing time to unplug and draw near to God,” said Neil, a participant in a recent Deeper Journey retreat.

 “The combination of solitude, hearty fellowship with fellow pilgrims, small-group reflection and prayer, and moving times of worship has offered a sweet taste of God’s presence, power, truth, and grace to me, leaving me renewed to serve in his world.”

Most recently, Deeper Journey in Rockford, Ill. completed a retreat entitled Invitation to Self-Examination. This retreat focused on confession and repentance.

“Many entered the retreat with fear and anxiety about what God might uncover in their lives,” said Ruth Kelder, Ministry Developer for Home Missions.

Beginning with the understanding, however, that God is a God of unconditional love made the process a gentle one, she said.

During this retreat, a pastor gave testimony to transformation in his life. So much so that an elder recently told him, “Something is different about you.”

Through the understanding and spiritual disciplines, he developed through Deeper Journey, he now has a deeper relationship and dependency on God.

That’s what Deeper Journey is all about – being in God’s presence and hearing his voice.