During Easter holidays around 10 couples from different nations came together for a Blessed Couples retreat in Oostduinkerke in Belgium. The retreat consisted of guidance and discussions on the topics of how to build up a God-centered marriage and the meaning of leading a Blessed Lifestyle, as well as how to help heal each other and fill the relationship with true love.
We were fortunate to have with us a diverse range of participants; there were several couples who had just received the Blessing in March, as well as couples who have been Blessed for more than 3 years. Together we could explore a range of topics and learn from each other, based on the input from the main educators; Yebuny, Geros and Patrick.
Besides the guidance and discussions, there was enough free time to relax, re-energise, and to really enjoy the time as a retreat. On Saturday we spent the afternoon on the beach and in the dunes, playing games as a group or taking time to talk as a couple. The bonding time continued after dinner, with competitive and entertaining team games, ranging from orange-passing to charades.
On Sunday we had the opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Bruges. We biked along the former city wall towards Damme, a cute port town, and then cycled along picturesque biking trails back to Bruges. The traditional windmills, peaceful canals and the overall historical character of the area made it a perfect spot for sight-seeing. After some coffee and conversation complemented by delicious apple puffs in a nice cosy tearoom, the group split up again into couples for dinner. Three topics with points for reflection were suggested, as a basis to help the couples to take a deeper look at their respective relationships. This was an optional activity over dinner, but most couples were so fully engaged in discussion that they could not even finish one topic.
As well as providing opportunities to develop our relationships as individual couples, the retreat also helped to make us all more aware of our potential to grow as couples to serve a greater purpose. We were reminded that each couple has a value beyond just the couple itself – and were inspired to find ways, as couples, to offer our time and energy for something greater. Overall, the retreat provided a good balance of content and time for interaction; enabling meaningful insights for each couple’s unique journey ahead, complemented by time for bonding, both as a couple, and as a wider community.