SINCLAIRVILLE, N.Y.—In a first for the Northeast Fellowship, its Marriage Refresh retreat came to western New York.

The Northeast Fellowship hosts this retreat in central New York annually, usually between Christmas and New Year’s Day. This year the fellowship brought the retreat to Bethany Camp May 7–8. Over those two days several speakers who live or minister in New York shared their thoughts on the theme “(Not So) Secrets of Marriage.”

On the opening night, speaker Mike Paris, pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Ithaca, immediately rechristened the event “Marriage Camp” and set the theme’s groundwork with “Happily Ever After Takes Work.”

Also speaking that night were Kevin and Juliana Leary and Frank and Karen Snyder. The Learys, parents of 10 and pastor and wife of First Baptist Church in Hamburg, addressed the topic “Never Let Your Children (or Any Other Blessing) Come Before Your Marriage.” The Snyders, pastor and wife of Calvary Baptist Church in Akron, shared the powerful story of God’s work in their marriage and salvation.

The next day recently retired detective Jim Woodward and his wife, Chris, offered key insights in “Making Marriage Work When Life Is Not Routine.” The couple described their commitment to the Lord and each other amid the unpredictable schedule of a career in law enforcement. They concluded their session by renaming their theme “Making Marriage Work Because Life Is Not Routine.”

John and Robin Proios talked about putting up with each other’s quirks and celebrating the differences. They also talked about their experiences as missionaries on the Amazon River in Brazil and shared the story of their lengthy wait to meet and marry. They are now pastor and wife of First Baptist Church in Eden.

Mark and Cindi Massaro addressed “The Need for Mercy and Grace in Marriage,” pointing out truths from 1 Timothy 1:12–17 and sharing meaningful illustrations from their lives. The Massaros are pastor and wife of First Baptist Church in Dunkirk.

In “Facing Storms Together,” Dan and Kelly Prewitt, pastor and wife of First Baptist Church in Mayville, recounted God’s goodness to them. In “Mixing Ministry and Marriage,” David and Ingrid Semans, pastor and wife of Faith Baptist Church in Dundee, talked about how serving together can strengthen marriage. And Brian King, director of the Northeast Fellowship and his wife, Judy, drew attention to the principle “Keep Christ First.”

In addition to hearing insight from these speakers, the couples enjoyed Bethany Camp’s relaxing background and warm campfires, plus fun activities, including a zipline, paintball, and hatchet and tomahawk throwing.