By Cassady Detrick, Senior, Ohio Dominican University
A year ago, Ohio Dominican University (ODU), home of the Panthers, had eight students attend the Fan into Flame retreat (FIF) and that was what the Lord knew we needed as a community and a campus. However, this year, the Lord expanded our capacity to care and love for others and brought 22 faithful students from ODU to this retreat to encounter the Holy Spirit and only 5 of those students, including me, had attended the year before. These students came from all different backgrounds and for some, this was one of their first encounters with SPO. However, we were confident that the Lord would show up in more ways than we expected at Fan into Flame like He has been doing all year long at ODU.
During Fan into Flame, it was incredible to see how the Lord was bringing our ODU community closer. People desired to sit next to each other during talks and at meals and spend time with each other during rec time instead of going and hanging out in their cabin or by themselves. The Lord placed the desire for community on the heart of those who attended FIF from ODU. Since the retreat has ended, I have seen this desire remain with the people who attended. There has been a game night where a lot of the students who attended the retreat came together on campus to play games and eat pizza as well as a student led opening of the Lord’s day, a dinner where we come together to honor the Lord and set aside the day, two weekends after FIF. The Lord has built an everlasting desire for community within the students from ODU who attended FIF.
As a student leader in the ODU community, it was amazing to see how the Holy Spirit was pouring His love out upon those who have never felt His love before. There were many wounds healed and hearts opened at the end of the time of worship and praying together Saturday night, and when the retreat was over they were Panthers on fire with the Holy Spirit. These students knew that the Lord loved them and desired to be in a relationship with them and they wanted a relationship with Him as well. They could now go back to ODU and share this treasure of the Lord’s love with other students, staff and faculty on campus.
At Fan into Flame 2018, where students learned how to worship as a part of the SPO community, claim Jesus as Lord of their lives and how to live a life in the Spirit, the Lord brought 22 students from ODU to encounter His Holy Spirit and equip them with gifts to show them His love and build His church. Now, these 22 students are a part of an army of Catholics on fire with the Holy Spirit at ODU, fighting to show others on campus His love.