What happens when almost 840 people converge onto Muskoka Woods? You have the BIGGEST BLIZZARD EVER! While there was a mixture of excitement and anxieties heading into this, God had his plans already in mind.
With Mike Gordon as our speaker and Life Support leading worship, we explored that foundational question we all wrestle with: Who am I? More importantly, who does God say I am? Mike used the story of Jacob to delve into who we think we are, how others influence our identity, and how our identity becomes grounded in Christ. The most vivid moment was the smashing of the mirror which symbolized all the “identity elements” others put on us (and what we put on ourselves as well), and revealed that ultimately our identity must be defined by Christ himself.
Here are some of the comments from group leaders:
- My students had a blast going deeper with each other, and establishing new friendships with students from other groups. Usually by the time we hit Saturday night and Sunday morning we see our students really starting to examine themselves and encounter God in tangible ways. It is a privilege to be a part of, and a blessing to see it happen. The weekend itinery is jam packed with lots of fun stuff, yet also leaves space for students to be still and hear from God.
- I was concerned when I heard the size of the retreat that we would lose some of the intimacy achieved previously… overall, I believe we were all challenged to take a look at who we are. I loved the complexity of the themes tied together (clues, keys, hammer, mirror, cross). It was a great weekend to witness and sense the work of the Holy Spirit.
Although there were some hiccups along the way, Blizzard 2016 was that 1 degree shift for many students in their journey towards Jesus. I believe God spoke clearly in defining who we are: we are his.
I agree that Blizzard was a hit this year – one suggestion though, would it be possible to arrange for early arrival so that we could get there before dark? Dinner would be an extra charge of course.
That’s something that could be considered. Remind me for Blizzard 2017.