My husband and I had been considering the possibility of attending a lifestyle retreat program for quite some time before we came across information regarding the LifeStart Seminar programs. As I did further research I discovered that there was a location, A Pattern Health Retreat, in Bourbon, Missouri, which was within driving distance from our home. When I called for further information I was welcomed and blessed by the prayer that Joyce Grivas, the presiding physician’s wife, shared with me over the phone.
When we arrived at the retreat we were graciously received and quickly adapted to the routine of exercise, worship, meals, and the various cooking and health classes and lectures. My husband met individually with the doctor for a health review and daily received medical advice and guidance. Hydrotherapy was provided as well and he learned about and experienced both the invigorating and soothing effects it provides for the body. Special attention was given to the preparation of his meals to ensure that they were delicious while meeting his dietary requirements. We also enjoyed our outings to Onondaga Cave State Park and the St. Louis Zoo.
I believe that the Lord led us to A Pattern Health Retreat. Their focus is on Christ, and His care for the physical, mental and spiritual health of each guest. We appreciated the family atmosphere. Seeing the principles of Christ’s teachings lived out each day provided us with “A Pattern” that both my husband and I could take home and endeavor to live out in our own lives.
I suffered from depression, stress, body and joint aches, and insomnia. Although I visited doctors for my ailments, my condition worsened. But one physician was different. I had been a patient of Dr. A. Scott Grivas off and on since 2017. I believed in the simple natural approach of healing he shared, and I wanted to come to the residential health retreat he directed. But I had been unable to do so for financial reasons.
In 2020, I moved to Texas, due in part to my health situation. I was so discouraged. I still had trouble sleeping; I developed panic attacks, was suffering from GERD (acid reflux), and my blood pressure was high. I prayed to God to help me know what to do and where to go for help. My mind was sick, too, and crowded with gloomy thoughts. I so desperately wanted to be well, and I knew I needed physical, spiritual, and mental help. I decided to call Joyce Grivas, the doctor’s wife and office manager, and ask if they would accept me at the Health Retreat. She warmly encouraged me to come.
At last, I arrived at the Retreat. For me, this place was a piece of heaven on earth! Such a pleasant atmosphere! It was so quiet and peaceful. I was welcomed by Dr. Grivas and Joyce, the friendly, loving, approachable Retreat staff, and the other lovely lifestyle guests.
During my lifestyle session, I was so blessed by the study time for God’s Word. Singing and praying together was wonderful. I loved the lectures, hydrotherapy treatments, healthy meals we were served, the walks every day with staff and guests, and the outings to nearby state parks.
I made a commitment to God that, with His help, I would change my lifestyle and follow His laws of health. I learned to more fully trust the Lord and claim all His wonderful promises to me. My stay at A Pattern Health Retreat changed my attitude, and helped me be more humble, patient, faith-filled, and trusting in my heavenly Father. I promised Him, too, that with His help I will take good care of my body since He created me to be His temple, and paid for my salvation with the precious blood of Jesus.
I am sharing this health message with my children and family, so we will prosper and be in as good health as possible while we look forward to our Lord’s return.
It was August 3rd, 2020, at the department of Nephrology and Hypertension of Mayo Clinic. We were faced with very depressing news: my husband’s kidneys were dangerously failing, soon to require dialysis.
You see, in September 2019, one of his close buddies had died of kidney failure after a lengthy struggle with dialysis. The effects of the treatment upon his body, the manifold restrictions and the mental and social taxation that this man suffered, made this option dreadful to us.
So we requested a two-month delay from the Clinic before commencing dialysis, with the intention of going to a wellness center first.
Thus the journey began. The choice and decision to attend A Pattern Health Retreat, is a story too long to tell. However, after a “spectacular” response to my request for a sign, we opted for that facility.
Soon we departed for the two-day journey. Being the lone responsible driver and having very recently undergone iliac artery aneurysm surgery, I felt in a constant state of anxiety. By afternoon the second day, after directions from the facility’s staff, we made it to our rendezvous spot, from where we were to meet and follow staff back to the health center. But suddenly we experienced phone dysfunction!!! No ability to call the Center. All inquiries from gas station to police station were of no avail. One final inquiry from a traveler pointed us to a certain road, to which we drove. But uncertain of where to go from there, we stopped, stumped, fatigued, weary, mentally exhausted! And feeling defeated, I decided to turn around and head for home.
“O Lord!” I cried, “Must I return!?” Suddenly a vehicle pulled up beside me, and through an opened window, the driver called my name: “Miss Denise??” Relief had come, at the critical moment, in the person of one of the APHR staff members who had been earnestly trying to connect with us!
Remember, we went there for physical healing, which is progressing. But, oh, did we find more! Spiritual healing! It is an experience worth living—a staff dedicated and spiritually minded! Total reliance on divine intervention and prayer! Feeling the Holy Spirit’s presence in every activity. That was our experience. My husband especially appreciated the peaceful surroundings, and treatments with his personal therapist.
We thank the LORD for directing us to APHR; we are ever grateful to the staff, and aside from some tangible memoirs we returned home with, we hold these who ministered to us in our hearts.
Praising the LORD always!
Lionel and Denise Abrahams
When I started to think about going to A Pattern Health Retreat, I remember being totally depleted mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I think I’d been experiencing burnout for a long time. Then Covid came, and that just added to the overload. I knew I needed rejuvenation, rest, and peace and quiet away from everything and everybody in everyday life. I also had become concerned about some arthritic symptoms that were getting worse, especially in my fingers. And I was ready to quit my many years-long habit of drinking coffee every day. From the moment I walked in the door of A Pattern Health Retreat, I was overwhelmed with love and blessings from each staff member! I was pampered in every possible way and introduced to so many amazing and God-ordained practices. I was prayed for and with every single day, multiple times a day, and I could sense God's presence continually. I was truly rejuvenated, blessed, and connected with God in a very real way. I felt like I had a fresh start in my life and with God. Praise Him, I am still caffeine-free, and although the lifestyle changes are not easy, the results are amazing when God is in charge.
When I arrived at A Pattern Health Retreat, my weight was over 200 pounds, my blood pressure was very high, and I had just found out that I had type 2 diabetes. I was giving myself two shots a day. One year earlier I had received the diagnosis of second-stage pancreatic cancer. After a seven-hour surgery, my pancreas was removed. But my doctor didn’t tell me that as a result of the removal I would become diabetic and need to take insulin shots for the rest of my life.
A dear friend of mine who lived in the vicinity of A Pattern told me about their health programs. So I got in touch with Dr. Grivas and his wife about coming to their facility. Although I didn’t have the funding, God had a plan. A client whose home I had cleaned for over 25 years had told me if I ever needed help to let them know and they would do what they could. So I sent them a message, sharing that my biopsy showed that I had liver cancer and that I wanted to go to the Retreat in Missouri to learn about God's natural healing therapies. Shortly before going, I went to a cancer center where they advised chemo meds. So when I got to the Health Retreat, I had gone through a few weeks of chemotherapy .
During my 12 days at the Retreat, the physician gave me a physical exam and carefully went over all the medical records I had brought with me. The meals were plant-based; they didn’t serve any meats, sugar, or sodas—only healthy foods. The staff monitored my vital signs, and gave me herbal supplements and drinks three times a day to help the healing of my liver cancer. Early in the morning we had stretching session. We were encouraged to walk after meals, and I would also walk on the treadmill 45 to 60 minutes a day. This helped me to lose weight, which the doctor said would help my heart and the painful arthritis in my knees and joints. I also enjoyed the opportunity for personal prayer time during those walks.
I want to thank Dr. Grivas and the staff at the Retreat for all the help I was given through the meals, the steam baths, the classes and presentations, the cooking classes, and other information I learned during my stay. By the end of the session, I had lost 12 pounds, my blood pressure came down to 120/ 82, and I was taking only half a pill and 1 insulin shot a day.
When I got back home, I had an appointment at the cancer center for more testing. My doctor was so amazed at the results! He told me to keep on doing whatever I was doing since my liver had started healing! He said he never seen a change like this in all his practice. I shared with him about the lifestyle program I had attended and what I had learned. Since then, I have continued to follow the lifestyle program, and my latest test results show a 90 percent healing of my liver. God used A Pattern Health Retreat to give me as a wonderful gift for my health. His promises have brought much comfort and courage to my heart. Each day I repeat, "I will live and not die."
Dora Hunter Rogers