Stars, singing and a big sleepover. That’s pretty much all there is to know about the Fall Retreat. You go out somewhere in the middle of nowhere (where it’s possible to see the stars in Firth, NE), sing to Jesus at the top of your lungs because you can barely hear yourself among all the other voices, and bunk down with a bunch of your buddies to try and get some sleep before hearing more great messages in the morning.
College students from Manhattan, Kansas City, Omaha and Lincoln gathered together to hear from the Bible and reunite with old friends on September 26-27. “The music was awesome!” said Kacey, a view echoed by many others. “I slept out under the stars!” exclaimed Priscilla, with excitement in her voice. Praying that first night with everyone else really impacted my own heart and united us all with our brothers and sisters.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Jesus Said What?” and focused on the last words of Jesus to his disciples before his death. To start off the morning, Cody Hill from Vintage Faith Church reminded us to “believe in the reliability, the truth, the ability and the strength that is in Jesus. Trust, trust, trust, trust. Even when your dreams and expectations have been shattered.” Next, Johnny Vanderhorst from Cornerstone Community Church talked about “Praying in Jesus’ Name,” saying, “if you want to have any impact, if you want to have your heart healed and be able to heal others, you need to learn to pray in Jesus’ name.” He talked about aligning our minds with truth before we ask, and then acting after we do ask.
Beyond trusting Jesus and taking Him at His word and praying in His name, Mike Whitney, campus pastor of The Rock–Candlewood, called students to raise the bar: “You are a poor reflection of God if you are quenching or hushing the call of God. The people around you need to see God’s work in your life.” The reason we do any of this is because we love and need God desperately. “Only God can fix [our] peace problem. [We] need the peace of God. Only God has it. He made it to make [us] make it.”
Mike finished off the morning before lunch and in time for Kansas and Nebraska football games!