This semester is going by so quickly! This past weekend we were able to have our Autumn Retreat, where over 30 students from Wellington and Palmerston North joined us for an entire weekend to discuss the Gospel! There was great teaching on how believers should live in light of the Gospel and all that Christ has done for us. Sometimes we think of the Gospel as something we hear once, accept and then move on. But, as followers of Christ, everything we do should stem from the Gospel - our desire to serve Christ, our love for one another, and our ability to communicate God’s love with others. We are so thankful Bob was able to come down from Auckland to teach us!
We played a lot of games...
I was able to lead a training on how students can naturally talk to their friends and family about Christianity. It was fun to hear all of their hesitations in talking about their faith and help to overcome those. And show that it doesn't have to be weird or awkward.
Ha, and Adam read his Bible. I found this picture on my camera later, and I'm pretty sure it's staged. But, we did try and give time throughout the weekend for students to spend time reading their Bibles and reflecting.
Ryan did a great job leading a mens’ talk - they are all still talking about it! There were a handful of students that have been Christians for less than a year (and one for a few weeks!). It is such a blessing to help them grow in their understanding of Christ and what it means to walk with God for a lifetime.
Here Daniel is giving a training on something. I think it had to do with the Gospel :)
We ended up having good weather on Saturday, after it poured Friday evening.
Autumn Retreat is also important for new students to meet one another and start to be challenged in their faith. Many have either recently come to Christ or they are beginning to really make their faith their own. It is an exciting time to wrestle through what they really believe and what that should mean for the rest of their lives. What does it actually mean to study engineering, biology, english, or education and honor Christ and to love their fellow students??
And we always have a blast as well. Even though it was chilly that didn’t stop these Kiwis from taking a ride down the water slide into a nice dirty lake.
And, we played on the swings...
On Saturday evening we had a Summer Project trivia night, where we had a trivia competition with questions about our different summer project locations: Nelson, Australia, Fiji, and East Asia. Here's Cody decked out in Fijian apparel.
We drank a lot of hot chocolate, and enjoyed smores by the bonfire. For some reason the bon fire is always everyone's favorite part.
And on the final morning we had women's time, which was one of my favorites. Dale shared with us what she has learned about contentment and finding joy in all circumstances. She and Bob has lived all over Africa and now here in NZ, so she has some amazing stories - and some difficult things the Lord has brought them through. It was such a joy having her and getting to learn from her wisdom!
And, a final picture of the group! Overall, I think everyone had a blast, myself included. We have such wonderful students this year, and I feel blessed and challenged to be leading them. From the tough questions they ask, to the encouragement seeing the pieces come together. It's fun, I think I might have the best job :)