Spiritual retreat helps CBU students grow in their faith
Riverside, Calif. (Jan. 23, 2019) – Shelby McDonald, a psychology junior at California Baptist University, has a new hunger for the Gospel message thanks to a Spiritual Life Retreat she attended Jan. 18-20.
McDonald and hundreds of her peers spent a weekend in the mountains reflecting on their Christian walk.
“The mission field starts now, and I must take advantage of where God has placed me in this season [of my life],” McDonald said. “I must remember daily that my cause is to live for Christ and the sake of His Kingdom.”
Some 300 students and 65 faculty and staff from CBU attended the retreat organized by the Spiritual Life office at CBU. The weekend getaway, held at the Pali Retreat Center near Running Springs, California, was open to all CBU students. Steve Shadrach, author and executive director of the Center for Mission Mobilization, served as the keynote speaker for the retreat. Students also attended several workshops throughout the weekend that were facilitated by staff from the Spiritual Life office.
The purpose of the retreat was to help the participants grow spiritually, said Jacob Ravenscraft, director of university ministries. The theme of the retreat was “The Story.”
“What does it look like to have a healthier, fuller picture of the gospel, of discipling the nations, of being a follower of Jesus who makes disciples?” Ravenscraft asked. “We want to invest in lives who then in turn develop followers of Jesus.”
“We’re trying to address the misconception that God becomes part of our story—‘I’m managing where God fits in my story,’” Ravenscraft said. “That’s not it. It’s how do we become part of His story and what does our role look like in that?”
America Suarez, a creative writing senior, said the retreat reminded her that God is in control and is at work in His children.
“He will prove Himself in His own time and way. I just have to be willing,” Suarez said. “Something that really hit a lot of us this weekend was the question of whether we were genuinely and fully able to pray this prayer: ‘Lord, I am willing to go anywhere, at any time, and to do anything for you.’”