Sophomore students went on a day of reflection this week. The students split into two groups on different days and participated in small group sharing, community building activities, witness talks, and prayer experiences facilitated by a NET Ministries Team at St. Anthony Church. Sophomore Zach Van Wie shares this reflection:
I was grateful to be part of a retreat where I not only learned more about God and my faith, but more about myself. This retreat was different than any other retreat I have been on. Most retreats are pretty boring and nothing super interesting really ever happens. Today we played multiple games that really drew in everyone’s attention and caused us to be more invested when the more serious topics came around. We even learned how to make prayer more fun.
During the retreat we often split up into small groups so that the leaders could speak to all of us and so we would all be involved. All of the leaders really cared what we had to say and I think that is really important. They wanted us to say what we thought and they wanted us to be included because they know that we will only get out of the retreat what we put in. This allowed me to not only learn about the leaders, but also about my classmates, which was very interesting and allowed me to understand them better.
On the retreat the leaders did not just tell us the basics that we always hear such as you matter, but they explained in much more depth why we matter. They told us why we were important. We learned about the lives of our leaders and they would tell us how they have seen God in their lives, and I really listened to them and I could relate with them. By doing this I learned how I have seen God in my life in ways I didn’t realize. Everyone knows the phrase ‘God works in mysterious ways,’ but by going to the retreat I really learned the meaning of that phrase.
My favorite part of the retreat was going to the church at the end of the retreat because they gave us so much knowledge and ways to talk with God, and by going to the church I was able to talk with God. My small group leader challenged me to pray for five minutes every day. I am going to take this challenge, and not only try to complete it every day, but also challenge others to pray for five minutes every day. This is because the leaders and I both know that the most important way to grow in our faith is to establish a good relationship with God. To do this, we should communicate with him through prayer. Prayer should not be a chore, but rather a way to express your feelings to God. He is always listening and always ready to help you.
Going on this retreat has definitely helped me grow my faith. There is a famous quote: If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish you feed him for his life. This quote is definitely applicable to this retreat because they did not just throw information at us to help us learn about God today. They showed us how we can constantly grow our faith wherever we are and whatever we’re doing. As long as we are willing to accept God into our lives he will always be willing to accept us as his children.
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