108 students from Bethel and Northwestern attended our Winter Retreat hosted in North Branch, MN. The retreat included snow tubing on Wild Mountain, hot tub and pool at the hotel, group games, and key note speak Marshall Segal, writer for DesiringGod and author of Not Yet Married.

The goal of the retreat was to gather students around fun activities and introduce the gospel through a topic that is usually fascinating to the college age student. Students were engaged over the topics and the retreat seemed to serve to foster like minded community and new friendships. Several mentioned a big takeaway being how God loves them perfectly and specifically and has a plan for their lives in relationships.

Marshall spoke three times on the topic of relationships encompassing dating, friendship, and relationship with the Lord. He started the weekend painting the picture that “Love is looking for you,” that relationship with God is the point of our existence and where we are headed for eternity. Further, all of what we believe about this affects how we date and marry. Marshall challenged the students that no one can love someone well if they do not love God more than that person. He also highlighted the importance of community and having people who know you to be present in your dating relationship. 

In following up with students after the retreat, it was encouraging to hear about the Lord has used the retreat in clearer understanding of what it means that God really loves them and that our relationships here on earth are imagery of God and his character. Our student leaders were also very inclusive and engaging with new students which was a definite blessing on top of an impactful 20 hours away!

Elli Van Zee
Campus Outreach Northwestern Staff