PA Retreat House Memorial Forest
We can reflect on several aspects of Joshua’s life here on earth, and his life in heaven. From a strictly human perspective, Joshua’s life here on earth was way too short. For those that knew and loved Joshua, we will never forget him nor will we ever stop loving him.
It is still difficult to imagine life without Joshua being a part of it. But as I said before, this is from a human perspective. From a Godly perspective we are comforted to know that Joshua is in the presence of the Lord. A place so wonderful we could not even begin to imagine what God has prepared for all of us.
The day Joshua left us, he only did so in a bodily way His spirit is as alive today as it was when he was born into the world. For us, the only difference is that we cannot see his smiling, loving face; a face that continues to shine and smile in heaven. And a soul that continues to pray for all of us.
Because Joshua now sees heaven, he wants all of us to be with him in the presence of our Loving and Merciful God. For us who knew Joshua, he continues to remain, and will always remain, a large part of our daily lives – both in memory and in his prayers for all of us.
Joshua’s life also teaches us how precious life is and how quickly it can end. We are not alone in losing someone that we have loved so deeply. All of us have lost loved ones in our lives. Maybe it was a grandparent, a parent, a brother or sister, a child or even a close friend. But no matter who it was, we will never forget them as they continue to live in our hearts and memories, we sometimes look for ways to keep these memories alive.
One of the ways, which many people have done, is to plant a new tree in that person’s name. It signifies that life has not ended but has begun to sprout in heaven. With this in mind we are looking at ways of honoring the lives of those who have passed on before us. The Joshua House will set aside a special area on their grounds where we will plant trees to memorialize those individuals that have touched our lives. If someone wants to memorialize a loved one with a tree, they can donate to the Joshua House and request a certain type of tree that we will plant. We will place a plaque at the base of the tree, honoring and remembering the loved one that has passed into Eternal Life. These donations will not only help the Joshua House, but also provide an avenue of keeping alive the names of all people that have impacted our lives. In doing so, we become one family in Christ, those alive in this world and those alive in Gods’ presence.
Currently the following deceased loved ones will be memorialized in The Joshua House Memorial Forest:
Baird Hershey Sr.
Reilly Patrick Smith
Retreat Center Pittsburgh Area
Following is a brief description of what will come to be as a result of Josh’s existence here beyond the Missionary Lodge in Haiti…
The Joshua House will be an interdenominational CHRISTIAN retreat house.
The Joshua House will be made available to Christ-Centered churches to use weekends throughout the year and full weeks during the summer. It is our intention to budget the project such that no church will be turned away because it, or any of its members have limited finances. We envision a facility that could accommodate approximately 20-100 guests.
We also feel it is important to have a Chapel and conference rooms available. The location will probably be within a 2 hour radius of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
We are asking for your prayers that God will provide us with a quite country setting that will provide the environment for future guests to discover, renew or strengthen their faith/journey with the Lord. The best way to describe the setting that will best suit The Joshua House is a segment from one of my favorite songs: How Great Thou Art…
“When through the woods and forest glades I wander, and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees. When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur, and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze. Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee, How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art”