I was asked to write a few words about a college retreat that I attended as a leader when I was in college. The reason I am posting what I wrote is because just writing it impacted me and there are some of you who I think would like to hear about how God moved and impacted a group of College students. Here is what I wrote:
When I look back at the spiritual growth in my life, which basically went into action when I was in college, that winter retreat is by far the most memorable and impacting of all spiritual growth events in my life, except for the day I chose to follow Christ for the rest of my life.
I have a poor memory, but few things stand clear in my mind that I will never forget. I remember Katie Christianson so touched by the power of God that she left that retreat a different person entirely. I got to minister with here on the Track team at Fresno State and see the response from our teammates when they saw Katie’s transformation. I remember Katie Wilkinson, now Pope, giving up a trip around Europe for the summer with a clear call from the Lord that she needed to go to El Salvador that summer on the short term mission trip. In hindsight, that trip to El Salvador impacted her even more, as well as introduced her to Nick Pope, her future husband. I remember 40 of us waking up at 6:45 to be at the prayer meeting at 7 the first morning we were there – I expected 5 of us to be there. I remember the next morning waking up at 5:45 to be at the prayer meeting at 6. Josh and Paul showed up late to see the same 40 + people waiting for them. I almost felt led to start with out them. Thank goodness they showed up. J Those two prayer meetings set in motion the Holy Spirits transformation of the College group. We increased in size, depth, and hunger for the Lord like I have never seen in ministry before. It was the closest thing to a Spirit led revival that I have ever seen, if it wasn’t actually one.
This event was a movement of the Spirit – it was not Paul’s Idea or Joshes plan. It was God’s plan to transform the lives of several college students that spread to an entire church. I don’t believe it is something that can be recreated by our own effort, discipline and determination but only by our humble submission to God through humble Spirit led prayer. I have begged God to allow me to be a part of a revival like that again, to have a hunger for the word and for prayer as I did that year. In a way, that year has set the highest standard for my spiritual barometer.
I wish I could be with the college group at this retreat, I know that God will move his hand in many ways and is willing to touch every person that goes on this retreat. I truly believe this, but I challenge every person going, if God is ready to move, are you ready and willing to humbly submit and be moved by Him.