Here are a few stories from guests for whom King's Fold matters...
King's Fold has been woven into the tapestry of my life since I was a child. As a pastor, my dad would come here on retreat. I remember being so excited to pick him up - the duck pond being the main attraction, of course! As I grew into adulthood, I began to understand the importance of King's Fold in a deeper way. I learned the value of having a safe place where I could rest, explore and reflect. After a time, I wanted to give back, and began looking for ways to help. My first volunteer task was to set up the Christmas tree in the library, the year Virgil Stauffer [former director] passed away. I remember feeling the heavy sense of grief in the air at the time. But it helped me learn that every-thing has a place - sadness, grief, joy, suffering - and that if we allow enough time and space to experience our journey, it can be deeply rewarding and meaningful. There is a deep calm here. I can breathe. I can allow myself to feel whatever I need to feel, and I can trust that God is in control. The lessons I have learned in the spaces at King's Fold are priceless. This is one of the most impactful, safe and transformative places on my journey, and I am truly blessed to be part of King's Fold's journey as well.
- Cara Henry, King's Fold Guest
Every time I'd walked down the path towards the river I could only get so far. This day was no different. I was afraid of going into dark, unknown, treed spaces, alone. I would get as far as the second switchback and there I would stand, longing to go on, but couldn’t because of my fear. “Oh God help me overcome this irrational fear,” I cried out. Suddenly there was Cooper, sticking to my left leg. And away we went! It was like he was leading and encouraging me to come with him on the trail into the dark forest. He stayed close to me. He seemed to know I needed him and he knew what to do. We crossed the river side-by-side and up the hiking trails we went. He must have sensed my growing confidence because every so often he'd race on ahead and be out of sight, but I always knew where he was… it just so happened that a skunk had recently sprayed Cooper and though the staff had cleaned him up, he still had an odour about him. So though I couldn’t see him at times, I could smell him! We went all the way up to the meadow. He would be at my side, then race away, and be back before I knew it - happy, excited, celebrating. I'm so thankful for him being in this place. And now when he isn't available for a walk, I can do it alone - thanks to God's gift named Cooper.
- Kathy D., King's Fold Guest
It was a number of years ago when I first went to King's Fold on a silent weekend retreat. I remember turning into the driveway and experiencing a sense of 'being home.' I was struck by how quiet it was when I turned off the car, opened the door, and inhaled the pure forest air. It was a rather large retreat that weekend and I was trying to inconspicuously wipe away my tears. Without singling me out, the director at the time addressed the group and said, "Sometimes we don't know the meaning of our tears, but God does." That weekend of silence and solitude was life giving for me. I had come to the retreat so thirsty for God, and I left knowing that God was thirsty for me. A rich segment of my spiritual growth has happened at King's Fold.
- Lis Speirs, King's Fold Guest
When I first came to King's Fold I was so stressed out. I lived at high speed. It is at King's Fold where I have learned to slow down and savour the journey. My favourite place is in my office with the view out to the trees. In the summer, the hummingbirds visit the feeder in front of my window. I have watched them fly back and forth, fight for their territory, and bring their babies to feed. I marvel at the intricacy of God's creation that surrounds us. Through it I am drawn closer to God and I am invited to slow down, observe, and savour. I am so glad for the way King's Fold has shaped my life.
- Marlene Adrian, King's Fold Community Member