This past weekend, twenty eight students from Monmouth College, Knox College, and Joliet Junior College gathered together for the Ignite Encounter Retreat. They took time away from school, put aside homework and work, and spent the weekend seeking after God.

There were speaking sessions focused on rejoicing in all God does in our lives, the need to lay a solid foundation on Christ, learning to speak God’s word over the dry bones — or impossible situations — in our lives, and an ending devotion challenging them to take what happened at the retreat and bring it to students in need of Christ’s love. There were multiple times of worship, opportunities for prayer, many conversations amongst students, and some very genuine encounters.

While every encounter retreat is powerful, during this semester’s retreat God did something greater.

  • One student heard God speaking to him for only the second time in his life.
  • Another student found the courage to face the issues in her life and seek God’s healing.
  • Another student realized there were dead areas in her life and found the determination to see them come back to life.
  • Multiple students found answers to questions they were wrestling with for awhile.
  • Some students discovered the power of fully worshipping God.
  • One student received healing in her foot during a discussion session. We didn’t even pray over it, but by the time the session was done, the pain was gone in her foot.

But one of the greatest moments of the retreat happened Saturday night, as students took time to pray for their schools — and the graduating seniors took time to pray for the underclassmen to continue building upon the work already done at their school.

God promises to do greater things when we wholly surrender ourselves to Him.

The students on the Ignite Encounter Retreat experienced something greater this weekend — in their lives, in their relationship with each other, in their relationship with God and, ultimately, on their college campuses — and so can you.

God doesn’t call us to be perfect, to know everything there is to know about Him or the bible, to have all our “stuff” together. He simply asks us to give Him ourselves — every aspect of our lives — so He can do something greater in us.

No matter what you’re facing, no matter what circumstances have risen, no matter what areas in you life feel dry, dead, or impossible, in the hands of our great God, He can take whatever we give him and make it into something greater.

But it starts when we unashamedly and fearlessly seek after Him.

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