This past weekend, Ignite Student Ministries had the privilege of hosting the bi-annual Encounter Retreat at Camp Summit in New Windsor, Illinois. These retreats are intended to give students the opportunity to get off campus, disconnect from homework and responsibilities and work and stresses from school, and focus on encountering God.
We had 21 students from 6 different schools attend, including Monmouth College (Monmouth, IL), Carl Sandburg College (Galesburg, IL), Culver-Stockton College (Canton, MO), Illinois State University (Normal, IL), Ashford University (Clinton, IA), Galesburg High School (Galesburg, IL) and United High School (Monmouth, IL), along with three Ignite staff members.
Students were excited to take part in a number of sessions geared to growing their faith. These sessions included:
- Be Prepared, on the importance of preparing yourself to encounter Christ;
- Silence, where students spent an hour and a half in silence in order to hear God;
- God of the Impossible, that nothing can limit God from fulfilling his promises to us;
- Defending Your Faith, on how to use apologetics to defend your faith;
- Discovering You, where students took a number of personality and leadership quizzes; and
- The Butterfly Effect, on how a simple action can have a huge impact.
They also enjoyed times of worship and prayer, extended free and fellowship time, lots of food and a lot of of fun….and not one came back the same.
Tyler Fox, Ignite Sandburg Student Leader, had this to say about his time at the Encounter Retreat:
Over the past weekend, he [Ignite President and Visionary Leader, Jason Vana] spoke some words to me that hurt. Frankly, some of them were a slap to the face.
Were they true? Yes.
Did I need to hear them? Yes.
Am I grateful? More than I have been in a long time.
He explained that I’m in a time of change. And told me to get over what I’ve been feeling. To get over the pain, the hurt, everything, and move on. He said what I didn’t want to think.
Read more of the story on Tyler’s blog.