Participant’s Experiences & Testimonials

Participant’s Experiences

Boundless Compassion Retreat
Allen Nohre

allen norteI decided to enroll in the four-day “Boundless Compassion” retreat at Spirit in the Desert when I read in the brochure: “Compassion can change a heart, change a life, change a world … ”

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Learning how to Lead Well
Matthew Short

pastor matt short

Eight years ago, Matthew Short was the pastor of a growing Lutheran congregation in Wisconsin. He said, “At the time, I didn’t know how to do strategic planning, manage staff, or conduct performance reviews. The congregation needed me to have those skills.”

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Boundless Compassion Retreat
Donna Campbell

donna campbellRecently, I attended the Boundless Compassion Retreat at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center.  My initial purpose in attending a retreat was simply to step into another space and time to quiet the noise of my life, slow down, and clear my head.

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Lutherhostel Retreat
David & Carol Berg

david and carol bergThis was the first time David and Carol Berg had attended the Lutherhostel retreat. Asked what he was hoping for at the retreat, David said, “My expectations weren’t well defined but I wanted an experience that would stretch me and that happened.”

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Spiritual Food for the Soul!

That which is loved, whether absent or present, will remain in one’s heart forever. Food is its own language of LOVE. It gives richly! Thank you, Julie, for being fluent in this ‘language.’ I will forever enjoy your Caesar Salad dressing recipe. Thank you for sharing it. With love…from a guest.

~ Scottsdale, AZ


Went this past weekend for a women’s retreat. Grounds are fabulous. Serene, spiritual. Rooms near registration far more superior than in two story building across the way. Bring your own shampoo, conditioner, blow dryer etc….no TV. Weird for me but was perfect for the retreat I was attending. Meals served three times daily were fabulous. Salad bar always well stocked. Definitely freshly prepared. Ample parking. I’m excited to go next year!

~ Goodyear, AZ


I have stayed here annually for a retreat event that happens in late February and early March for over ten years. The center is an oasis by itself with peaceful surroundings and well prepared food. And yet is close to interesting shops and restaurants for those who want to leave the Center. The accommodations are spacious, but it is a retreat center so no TV’s in sight and the wifi works well most of the time.

~ Witchita, Kansas


I didn’t want to leave and cross back over the pond to London. I know I’ll be back again and until then will savor the thought of delicious food, hospitable hosts, and desert beauty that amazed this old Brit!

~ London, UK


… and I almost didn’t come because of the trauma I wrestle with and the fear of being with others…but your staff, the leaders of the workshop and the quiet and safe campus held me there and I’ve found a new sense of peace and healing.

~ Combat Veteran


Your hospitality is truly “world class” and your facilities are outstanding. You have provided the place for my soul to be touched.

~ Orlando, FL


I recently spent 4 days at Spirit to pause and let my spirit catch up with me…as a very busy pastor my days are filled and weighted…but here I can read, write, pray, run, walk and enjoy the saguaro, coyotes, sage, sun…Jacuzzi…what you do for clergy is nothing short of wonderful and life-giving!

~ Ashland, OR


I registered for a leadership conference thinking I would be here 7 months pregnant, excited and expecting my first child…3 weeks before leaving I delivered my child stillborn…I was angry, devastated, and wasn’t sure if I should still come…a call to the program director ended with encouragement, prayer and the grace I needed to still come and I am so glad I did and so grateful that someone would take the time to pray with me and encourage me through the pain of my journey.

~ Riverside, CA


I came to a retreat that helps people with shame and tragedy in life…if it were not for the staff and this beautiful place, I might have run and not finished the retreat…but every day I was met with words of encouragement and love…and I left experiencing a sense of wellbeing and more joy in my journey.

~ Sun City, AZ


To all the staff … you are all truly God’s servants in your ministry to all visitors. Thanks for going above and beyond to help us with the challenges we experienced. Your smiles and kind words sustained us. The Spirit of our God roams these buildings and landscapes—you are blessed to be able to work here and we are blessed when we come!

~ Forest Lake, MN

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HOSPITALITY AND SERVICE! This retreat center and its surrounding natural beauty always makes me feel so loved when I visit. I appreciate the sanctuary your spot provides and the stillness you foster. It allows me to better hear the loving calls of the Spirit. I am now ready to return home and be His love in the world. With much love♥ Shannon B.