Gospel. Gaga. Games. Good Time. — Fall Retreat Recap

48 students came with us to Skycroft for Fall Retreat last weekend, 8 of which were nonbelievers. Of those 8 nonbelievers 6 were international students. (Praise God!)

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10 of my little freshies and their freshmen leaders!
10 of my little freshies and their freshmen leaders!

The weekend consisted of large group sessions, breakout sessions, late night games, a (short) hike on the Appalachian trail, a bonfire, and tons of pictures.

Each morning started early and not everyone awoke as chipper and ready to go as I was (who would have guessed that college students aren’t excited to wake up at 7 AM after only a few hours of sleep!?). We had early mornings and late nights so that we could squeeze in all the fun and knowledge that is essential to everyone’s fall retreat experience.

This included Gaga ball:

Hassan with the mad hops!
Hassan with the mad hops!
Nobu going so hard!
Nobu going so hard!

Nerts:

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9 square:

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and an animal sound game (you can get a look at it if you watch the full Fall Retreat Recap from the 10.20 announcement video here).

The speaker was AWESOME! He clearly presented the gospel in everything he taught and the way God used him also brought  conviction to the believers there. It was so encouraging the way that he pointed to the gospel focus of each passage he talked about.

Not only was the gospel shared at large group sessions, but it was shared individually as well. A few servant leaders got up early to do their personal devotions with the intention of walking through devotions with International students during the scheduled personal devotion time.

Many students also commented that they learned a ton through breakout sessions. These were one hour sessions focused on a particular topic (i.e. shame, business, missions, and personal Bible study). These sessions were instrumental in opening up further conversations with students as well.

Overall, Fall Retreat was great! Students were confronted with the gospel, convicted of their sin, reminded of the practicality of the gospel, encouraged to do missions, instructed in how to study the Bible, reminded of God’s grace, and encouraged by fellow believers.

Here are some of what the students said they learned:

“I learned that I don’t have to be ashamed of my past failures because Christ died so that I don’t have to be ashamed. God can use my past failures for his glory.”

“My favorite part of Fall Retreat was hearing from the speakers about spreading the gospel to unreached nations. It inspired me to pursue mission this summer.”

“I learned that all Scripture points to Jesus!”

“I learned English and the Bible at the same time.”

We have not knowingly had anyone confess faith in Christ, but a few students have been expressing interest in a relationship with God and have been asking good questions!
I hope you are encouraged by how God is working at BSM, I certainly am! Please continue to pray for the students, and as always, please contact me with any questions or comments!

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Freshmen Retreat Recap!

This past weekend was Freshmen retreat (my first one 5 years after being a freshman—better late than never!). The weekend started with a 2-hour car ride down to Rehoboth Beach on Friday night which (in my car) consisted of blasting some high school musical Pandora and playing my favorite ice breaker game: two truths and a lie. When we walked into the house, the group that had come down earlier was already engaged in a heated game of Nerts. We played Move if, the classic toilet paper game, and Trigger.

This was one of the servant leaders attempting to do her sign, which was the worm.
This was one of the servant leaders attempting to do her sign, which was the worm

Clearly there was a lot of laughing involved throughout the night. Realizing my age and the fact that I no longer have the ability to stay up super late (let’s be honest, I never really had that ability), I went to sleep with the earlier crowd. The other group stayed up until 3 AM playing Nerts! Let’s just say Nerts was a big hit with the freshmen and it is definitely making a comeback in BSM (shout out to Jamie)!

Saturday morning, we got up and headed for the beach. It was pretty windy, but we had fun attempting to play some games in the wind, eating thrashers fries, and going to the candy kitchen.

All of the freshies.
                        All of the freshies.

We headed back to the house, ate lunch, and began our devotion. We emphasized to the students that while it’s great to have fun and play games, what we are really most concerned about is God’s word. The passage we chose for the devotion was Philippians 2:1-12. The Freshmen Leaders did an awesome job choosing this passage, because it clearly presents the gospel and exhorts Christians to love others well treating the needs of others as more significant than their own. This was particularly significant because 5 of the 11 students that came with us do not profess to be followers of Christ. Almost everyone participated in our discussion and we encouraged them to talk to the leaders if they had any questions. It was a great way to open up the door for future conversations with them.

After our devotion we played fishbowl (my favorite game), packed up, then headed to dinner at the Keck’s house. The Keck’s are the family of one of the Freshmen leaders who graciously opened their home to us and prepared dinner for all 17 of us! Not any old dinner though, they had quite the spread of BBQ Chicken, party potatoes, salad, glazed carrots, and the most amazing homemade rolls <3. All of us were raving about the food and wishing we could move in with the Keck’s. We played backyard games and ended our time there with a bonfire complete with S’mores (not only normal S’mores, but Reese’s s’mores as well).

All of us just before dinner.
             All of us just before dinner.

The hospitality of the Keck family was a great example of Christ’s love to our Freshmen. Those who did not know Christ were able to see a great testimony of his love, and those who did know Christ were able to see a great example of how to love and serve others.

Over all, the weekend was a lot of fun. The freshmen were able to meet new people, bond, laugh, and see that BSM is a fun place to be where we take God’s word and his commands seriously. Please be praying for these freshmen to continue to come to BSM, and particularly for those who do not know Christ to come to know him as they continue to hear the gospel preached and see it lived out in the community of BSM.

About Me

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Hello! My name is Allie Murray and I am interning at BSM this year! I graduated from University of Delaware in 2014 with a bachelor of civil engineering degree and a minor in math. Last year I taught high school math at Ursuline Academy, an all girls Catholic School in Wilmington, DE.

Before my time at BSM, I was not actively seeking the Lord. I did not grow up in a Christian home, but I always believed in God and tried to do the right thing. In high school I became involved in Young Life. At Young life camp I heard and believed the gospel for the first time, but returning from camp I didn’t really know what a relationship with the Lord looked like. I struggled with this until my Junior year when I attended fall retreat with BSM. After this retreat, I became more and more involved in the ministry and grew exponentially in my relationship with the Lord. During my senior year I was a servant leader serving in the roles of evangelism coordinator and girl’s small group leader.

Upon graduation, I knew that I did not want to pursue a career in engineering, so I accepted a job as a high school math teacher at Ursuline. Throughout the year I realized that my passion was not in teaching the girls math, but it was in the moments that I was able to share scripture with them, pray for our class, or share my faith with them. Being a Catholic school, discussions about faith were welcome, but not prevalent. Even my students noticed my passion for God’s word to the point that they would tell me I should be a theology teacher at their school. I loved the girls deeply and created great relationships with them, but my passion was in teaching them the word of God, in the little moments I had, rather than in teaching them math. Because of my realization that math was not something that I was passionate about, and God’s word was really what I wanted to teach, I decided not to return to Ursuline and I began to pursue my masters in Christian Ministry. I am currently enrolled in the masters of divinity program at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

As I considered what would be next for me after teaching, the first thing that came to my mind was BSM. I dreamed about working in the environment that I grew so much in and being able to invest in and share truth with the students at this vital time in their lives. That dream became a reality and I am so blessed to be able to be an intern at BSM this year! I will be focusing on our Freshmen Ministry and leading our group of servant leaders who are focused on freshmen. I am super excited about this opportunity, and I love being back on the campus of UD and being able to serve in the ministry that means so much to me.

I’m looking for people to partner with me in two ways. Primarily I am looking for people to pray for my ministry at BSM. Without prayer and reliance on God, this ministry means nothing. I am also looking for people who are willing to partner with me financially so that I may focus on my ministry at BSM and meet my financial responsibilities. Thank you in advance for your support!

Ways to give:

Payable to: NAMB

Memo line: 10317

NAMB

Attn.: Accounting-MSC

PO box 11643

Atlanta, GA 3068

Please feel free to contact me (alliem@udel.edu) with any questions or comments. I will be posting updates to this blog throughout the year. Also, on the left you will find prayer requests for the ministry at BSM that will be updated regularly, so check back here! You guys rock, thank you for reading this post and taking interest in my ministry at BSM!