On a cold Friday afternoon in January, a bundled up group of students gathered outside Seton Hall University with a sleeping bag in one hand and duffel bag in the other. The group grew larger and the chatting grew louder. Soon enough, there were 90 students ready and waiting to get off campus for the weekend. Where were they headed? The Fan into Flame retreat at Camp Tecumseh, Pittstown, NJ.
And from that moment on, their lives would be different. This weekend, the shivering group of 90 excited students would have the opportunity to choose Jesus Christ as their Lord and live more fully in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The students heard inspiring talks from the SPO staff along with student witnesses on how the Lord has worked in their lives. They learned how to praise the Lord through music and adoration, and learned more about themselves through deeper discussion during small group break out sessions.
Over the weekend, there were constant prayers for a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And man, did the Holy Spirit come! The Lord ruled in His awesome power and touched the lives of the students in ways that no other human could ever accomplish. On Sunday afternoon at the closing session of the retreat, a few students got up to share glory stories.
One small group leader reflects on the retreat:
This year, I attended my second Fan Into Flame as a small group leader. Being a leader was a totally different experience because I was able to help others grow in their relationship with God. It also helped me realize a lot about myself in terms of where I am in my religion. I realized the purpose of life is to please God, not others. I lived my life solely for the purpose of pleasing others because I wanted to be accepted by everyone. This included partying with my party friends and then going to church with my church friends. After Fan Into Flame, I changed my old habits of partying in college because I realized I was not legitimately happy. Being involved in SPO has honestly been life changing.
-- Kristen Drake, sophomore
The students left the weekend with a deeper understanding of God's love for them, and the power of His Holy Spirit.