Loss Of A Child
By Susan Thomas
Bro Steve Wilson of Potts Camp, MS. was only one-year old when his Dad, Bro. J. Frank Wilson moved to Potts Camp to pastor the Bethlehem Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. “My tenure serving this church began in 1968, as Assistant Pastor, Associate Pastor, Pastor and then Senior Pastor. I retired as Bishop of the church in 2009,” states Bro Willson.
“My wife and I suffered a tragic loss of our only son June 13, 1999. He was an alumni of Indiana Bible College and had returned home and served one year as youth pastor when the Lord called him home in a drowning accident. Needless to say, this was the trial of our lifetime. The untimely death of a child is an experience that will let you know what you really believe about God and the degree of his intervention in life. Ten days after the loss of our son, I was elected General Superintendent of the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ. This was a very difficult time in our journey,” said Bro Wilson.
“After about ten years had passed, and still struggling in grief, we decided we could not afford to “waste our storm.” The best way to heal was reaching out to others that were suffering as we were. We believe the Lord inspired us to begin an ANNUAL LOSS OF CHILD RETREAT and a Network for those that were on the same journey as ours. Our network reaches out to parents who have lost children and sends them care packages, thoughtful gifts, books, and Network information, Bro Wilson adds. “Once a year we gather together in an informal retreat and help each other as we share our stories, get to know each other and divulge our fears, hurts and disappointment in losing our child or children. The loss of a child is the most profound grief of all hurts— there’s simply no words to describe it. It is so necessary for these parents to feel they have somewhere to go, talk, and know they are understood and no one is judging them in the way they are grieving.”
It’s so easy to ignore a parent in grief because most people just don’t know what to say.
What you say is not nearly as important as just being beside them, expressing your love, concern and prayer for them. Most of the time, just being there not saying a word and letting them know they are in your prayers is the compassion they need at the time.
“We have seen such great results from our retreats. Couples come broken, weeping and grieving, and many leave smiling and feeling like “I can make it through this.”
The retreat is annually in March or April. It begins on a Saturday evening and goes until Monday morning. For ten years it has been at Whitestone Country Inn, Kingston, TN. This past year it was to be in Branson, MO., but was cancelled due to Covid 19. It is scheduled to be at Whitestone Country Inn again this year on March 13th and 14th, 2021,” informs Bro Wilson.