For college students, their years in academia produce major challenges and changes. This is one of the most pivotal points of their “Life in Transition.” As such, this was the theme (or LIT for short) of our Fall Retreat from October 7-9, where over 200 students from NJ and NYC gathered to hear excellent teaching and worship in community to be re-lit for the cause of Christ in their walks and on their campuses.
Jenn and I had a full plate of responsibilities. From set-up to worship-leading to parenting and panels, God kept us going all weekend.
One of the highlights for me was to lead worship with a mixed team of students and staff. I’ve played guitar for years, but I have not had the chance to lead for some time. It’s a joy that I not only get to preach and teach on staff, but I also get to photograph, film, mentor students and (as in this case) play music for the cause of the gospel!
Jenn was mostly busy being a mommy to our boys, but she also had the great opportunity to be part of a Q&A panel of staff during women’s time!
In her words: “I spoke about relationships and dating. The girls had questions, like, ‘What are some qualities I should look for in a potential husband?’ or ‘What can I do to keep from temptation?’ Thankfully, we had a panel with various backgrounds and struggles. One was single, another has struggled with homosexulality and another with pornography. It was a great time pouring into the future female leaders of our generation!”
Along with the great time we had, we were most blessed by seeing our students grow over the weekend. As an added blessing, 5 college students from our home church attended the retreat! One of them named Josh Ruiz, a student at Hudson County College, dislocated his jaw on Saturday! This led to us taking a 4-hour trip to the ER, where the doctors fixed the issue. He was so thankful to return to the retreat.
“LOVE THE COMMUNITY!” Josh shared. “It was so easy to talk to and feels great talking to other Christian students. It made me seek him out more, cry, and pray to him.”
Aaron Varghese, a student leader at Seton Hall, also shared that the speaker’s teaching was challenging: “Probably the biggest thing I took away from Rasool’s teachings was the importance of horizontal confession. While I knew confessing my sins to God (vertical confession) was important, I was always hesitant to do the same confessions to my fellow believers (horizontal confession). Overall, my time at LIT2016 was very “lit!” The worship, the sports, and the times for fellowship were all awesome and rejuvenating for me as a Christian college student at a more secular university.”
Jenn and I love what we get to do for a living. Thank you for being a part of the journey with us in prayer and generosity! Please let us know how we can pray for you!