Upon arriving at the retreat, we welcomed the cool air that came with the high altitude. We gave the college students a grand welcome when they got off the bus, and we jumped right in to ice breaker games.
After we had all worked up a sweat, we moved over to the chapel where Jamie and Aaron led us in worship. It was meaningful to sing mostly in Spanish with some English alongside our Nicaraguan brothers and sisters. John and Jamie stood up and gave their testimonies. They did a great job relating to some of the struggles the students might be facing. We then split up into small groups to discuss and ask some soul-searching questions. Listening to the Nicaraguans speak, I realized that many of the trials they face are the same as us. We were able to provide some insight since we have been in most of their situations before.
We concluded the night with dinner, followed by watching the movie “Blindside” and eating popcorn. The whole day we treated the students as our guests and served them to let them know they are loved and encourage them to finish college and continue with their faith. Tired from a long, day we all went to sleep in dorms mixed with the Nicaraguan students.
The next day, it was neat to see bonding between us even though there is a language barrier. Taylor and Zach give their testimonies. It was great hearing from all four people from our team and share their life experiences to help connect with the students. Each one provided a different insight and background, which can be used to connect to people in different stages in their life. We followed this with a group prayer walk where we prayed about different topics and corresponding Bible verses. Next, we had a couple of hours of free time where we et them choose between photo booth with props, arts and craft, and open gym again. It was great to allow them to choose what they wanted to do and just have fun.
After lunch, we had our closing and prayed over them Nicaraguan style. We then had about 30 minutes of cameras being exchanged and everyone posing for pictures. It was encouraging for us to see the appreciation and love they have for us and how much this weekend meant for them.
My prayer for the college students are to challenge them both scholastically and in their faith. I hope we were the hands and feet of Christ, and that His face was shown during this weekend, not ours.