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                                              NOVELLA RETREATS

"Seeing God in the short stories of our lives and ministries"


The purpose of these retreats is to be a time of encouragement for missionaries — a time specifically designed to deal with many of the issues missionaries face on a regular basis. The themes of the sessions will include: "The call to follow,” "Loss (counting the cost),” "Recognizing our continued need for God,” "When it's time to leave (shaking the dust off your feet),” "Failure,” "Where is God when I need Him?," and "Transitions.” There are seven sessions in all. We will begin with supper together on Thursday evening, followed by our first session. Then, Friday through Sunday, there will be one session each morning and evening, with plenty of downtime in between. The retreat will conclude on Monday morning, with breakfast and a time of worship.

Why “Novella”? A novella is a short and pointed story. “Novella” was the name given to an album that our son, David Stukenberg, produced a few years back. The songs were the result of the thoughts and feelings David had experienced while growing up in a very transient ministry family. There were many trials that we faced over the years as a direct result of "following our call" as missionaries. Writing music about his experiences was David's way of dealing with the stress of missionary life.

It wasn't until a few years after he produced this album that the Lord began to show us that this music also expressed the thoughts and feelings of many other missionaries and their children. The seed was planted in our hearts to use David’s music as the inspiration for a retreat for missionaries. The music is honest and full of relatable emotions. The messages that we will present will be honest as well. We will talk about things that are very real to us and, we believe, real to many others who have traveled a similar path. We want to provide a safe place for people to process their own stories — between themselves and the Lord. We like to refer to this as a "guided retreat.”  Our hope is that these songs and messages will be an inspiration point for your time alone with God during these retreats.


Can we bring our children? 

Although we love children (we have raised four of our own and have three precious grandchildren), this event is designed for adults only — with the exception of nursing babies. Our goal for this retreat is to provide an atmosphere in which individuals can get alone with the Lord and reconnect with Him. In so doing, we hope to help you go back to your ministry refocused and refreshed, ready to face new challenges as they come your way in the future.


If you have questions, please contact us at

So am I - Stükenberg
Beuland - Stukenberg
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