By Dalton Hall, Missionary
In my past two and half years serving as a missionary with Saint Paul's Outreach, I have seen many incredible things that defy explanation; that one could simply file away under absurd or miraculous (sometimes I file things under these categories simultaneously). One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how young people accept to give up a weekend of their lives, especially in their youth, to become open to what God has planned for their life. I apologize if my words have been too abstract, I will bring it down to the here and now.
This past weekend, Saint Paul's Outreach in Ohio put on a Fan into Flame retreat. The retreat presented students and staff with the opportunity to give their lives to Jesus and receive the gifts that He has for them.
The retreat started as most college retreats do in my experience: excitement, anxiety and a healthy dose of apprehension. Over the course of three days, though, I saw something amazing happen. I saw these students being pursued by God. These students who came in so apprehensive were, by the end of the retreat, even one step closer to the Lord.
The retreat itself consists of young men and women going away for a weekend to listen to talks given by both student leaders and missionaries. We were also blessed enough to to have a priest on hand so that we could have mass and adoration. Throughout the retreat, students are led by a small group leader (either staff or student missionaries). Finally, on Saturday night the students had the opportunity to pray with the members of their small groups.
It is a profound experience to witness to youth seeking after Him who seeks them. 'Where do I go from here?' is a commonly earmarked question following retreats of this nature. I see this as a sign of courage and a response to a call of action. The young people of the Church today amaze me and inspire me to seek Him who first seeks me.