RETREAT OPENS FOR PEOPLE WITH AIDS
About 60 people gathered to dedicate and open the Riverwood Retreat Centre on June 10 . The half-million dollar complex built on 12.6 acres is designed to provide an opportunity for people living with AIDS and other terminal illnesses to come to terms with themselves, their illness, and their spiritual state.
The centre is the dream-come-true of Bert and Marilyn Peel, who began caring for people with AIDS after reading an anecdote in Chuck Colson's book The Body and at the Congress on Pentecoastal Leadership (COPL '93) in October 1993.
Prior to moving into Riverwood, where Bert and Marily will serve as hosts to their guests, Bert was the custodian at Mississauga Gospel Temple. The Peels expressed appreciation for the support they've received from staff and friends at MGT and particularly for the prayer group which meets regularly to uphold their ministry in prayer.
During the course of purchasing a property, securing zoning approval, and hiring a contractor, the Peels experienced several answers to prayer. Having prepared themselves to invest their entire life savings into the project, it soon became evident that Bert and Marily might have overextended themselves financially.
"It was at this moment that the Lord provided another miracle," says Bert. "Having heard what we were doing, a man approached us and offered to pay for all the land and buildings."
"Sometimes God makes the miracle so big and obvious," adds daughter Erin Todd, "that we know it was He who did it so only He can receive the glory."
The centre can house up to four terminally ill patients at one time, for weekends or stays of up to a week or longer. The only requirement is that guests be able to administer their own medications. The ministry has charitable status and can be reached by writing: Riverwood Retreat Centre, RR#1, Belwood, Ont. NOB 1J0; or Phone (519) 843-9982.
from The Pentecostal Testimony, September 1997, Volume 78, Number 9
Visit the Retreat Centre page.
The Riverwood Retreat Centre and B&B has an extensive lawn and a beautiful garden.