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!)
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:
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!