What is the Big Event? The Big Event is a retreat that takes place in the last weekend in October. It’s a little weekend retreat where college students from different campuses all over NYC, Long Island and New Jersey come to experience Jesus through worship, various activities, and free time. Before coming to Big Event, we are given the opportunity to select the track that we are interested in for our time in the retreat. It took place from October 28-30. Some of the tracks included this retreat were Evangelism, Leadership, Living For Jesus, Mentoring, Scripture and Redeeming Sexuality. If your thinking about going, just sign up.
So it was my first time ever attending Big Event. I attended Basileia back in May and it was beyond a blessing. I didn’t even think twice about attending Big Event. This time around while registering, I looked over the description for each track and I felt a tug in my heart to partake in the Mentoring track. Upon registering, I prayed and asked God to have his way as I went to this retreat.
I went to the retreat with two of my sisters in Christ. We rode there together but we were all in different tracks. The people from my campus were already there. When we arrived, it was really dark outside and chilly. We had to go and check ourselves in before we were given the numbers to our rooms. After check in, we had a night of worship. I was mind blown by the amount of college student in the auditorium. Students from NYU, Farleigh Dickinson University, Columbia University, Juilliard School, Baruch College, Rutgers University, Montclair State University, Cooper Union and etc. The list can go on.
The track that I selected was Mentorship as I mentioned previously. This track focused on transformational relationships using the examples of Paul and Timothy in 2 Timothy as a model. We explored the ways to help our friends mature in their faith by mentoring them through Scripture, Prayer, Conversation and Bible Study. On the first day in our tracks, we were given a Blue folder. Then, we were instructed to go around the room to find someone whose birthday is close to us. That person was going to be our partner in every activity we had to partake in during our time at the retreat. After, we watched a clip from the Lion King to demonstrate the relationship between Scar and Simba. We also had to go into our folders to get a paper and list anyone in our lives that we could mentor or we knew that haven’t given their lives to Christ. This activity was interesting but at the same time thought provoking. After our time of writing and sharing with our partners, the staff shared their experiences and we listened to praise and worship and after we were dismissed for the night.
This is a picture of a few girls walking to the Prayer Room. Prayer started at 8:00am. It amazed me because everyone woke up and was ready to be in the presence of God whether they were sleepy or tired, we arrived ready to hear the word. After prayer, we went to eat breakfast. Upon eating breakfast, we went to our designated tracks. For my track, we were given 30 minutes of quiet time before meeting up together as a group. In our folders, we assigned scriptures to read and questions for us to answer. So during my quiet time, I went to the lake. There is something about nature that makes my Spirit at peace. Honestly, when I arrived at the lake I was excited to take pictures. I spent a few minutes taking pictures of people by the lake. Here are a few pictures I took. 😊
After taking pictures, I took time to read the Scriptures and the questions assigned. I enjoyed reading the scripture. We were assigned to read the book of 2 Timothy. It was an interesting read. After I walked to my track with a person from my mentorship track. During track time, the staff shared their experiences and showed us different techniques in approaching situations. We also went outside and played a game with our track members and staff leaders. We were given one ball. It had questions all around it. We were supposed to throw to someone from our track and wherever their hands landed, they had to read the question out loud and answer it. Here are a few pictures:
After lunch, we were had free time for two hours. There were activities for us to partake in such a rock climbing, zip lining and many more. I didn’t partake in anything. I was too busy being a social butterfly and taking pictures of the scenery/God’s people. I had a photoshoot with people. I wanted to create memories of the time spent at this retreat. Below are some pictures I took during my free time.
During this time, I also got the opportunity to worship with a few students from other colleges. We sang to Sinking Deep by Hillsong and a few other songs. It was beyond a blessing. I feel like crying just thinking about it. Tears of joy. God is so good.
After our free time, we headed to our tracks for the last time for the night. We spent at least 2 hours in our track. We learned more about mentoring even more than the day before. We played a game where we were given 1 minute to vent to our partners about anything. It was so random. This activity was played to illustrate how it feels like when we are frustrated. We had to give our partners advice in regards to their situation. After there were a list of questions on the projector that we had to ask our partners. It was s great activity. I can definitely say that I took something away from this track. After our track, it was time for worship. I can say that this was everyone’s favorite part. We all got excited and just so ready for the sermon and worship time.
Some of the songs played during our time of worship includes:
1. Holy Spirit You Are Welcome Here.
2. Every Praise: Hezekiah Walker
3. Great Are You Lord
After worship, we headed out to our rooms. We took our showers and prepared for the next morning.
Final Day of The Big Event: 10/30/2016
It was so bittersweet walking to my track this morning. Before heading to our tracks, we had to change our bed sheets and take it to the designated place. I headed out to my track only for me to arrive and see no one. I was confused because the schedule said that we were supposed to meet at 8:00. When I got there no one was there. I was sitting to the point where I rose up several times to see if anyone was outside heading to my track but unfortunately no one was heading my direction. So during my time in my track alone, I prayed. When it was 8:45am, one of the staff members arrived. I was asked to place some papers on each chair for my track members. I enjoyed placing the papers on each chair. A few minutes later, my track members arrived. During our last track time, we prayed for one another and the staff members prayed for us. The papers I passed out had a survey and a questionnaire for us to answer. Upon our arrival, we were given granola bars. It was such a precious moment in our track time. One the staff members played a song which still resonates with me. It’s a song by Amanda Cook called Shepherd. If you get the chance, listen to it. I really enjoyed every moment in this retreat especially during my track time. My partner gave me a note and creates note card with Psalm 139 written on it. After our last time at track time, we headed to brunch with all the students that came to this retreat. Here are some pictures.
After brunch, we all went to the prayer room where we gathered for worship and the sermon for Big Event. It was a blessing being able to see people give their lives to Christ. Overall, going to Big Event was a great experience. If your thinking about going, pray about it. Don’t worry about the money. Ask your campus leader. There’s always provision. Won’t God do it? Yes he will.
Pictures I took before we left the retreat. (Final Day of Big Event)
“Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” -James 5:16
Isaiah 43:19: See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wildnerness and streams in the wasteland.
Many times, it may feel like God has forgotten about us. We tend to look and compare our lives to everyone around us that we don’t even count our blessings. I’m here to tell you that God hasn’t forgotten about you. As this year wraps up, take time to reflect on all the things that God has done for you this year (2016). If it means writing it down, feel free to do so. Pray over the list. Write down a list of all that your still trusting God for. Pray over it. Looking back in this year, I can say that it wasn’t easy but God brought me through. I can say that this is the year I drew closer to God. It has been a blessing. I’m forever grateful for all the experiences, trials and the people I’ve met in this year. Thank you Lord. So with this said, stay rooted in the Lord, read the Bible, pray for others and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. I’ll be praying for you all. Thank you for everyone that stops by my blog. God bless you all.
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. -Psalm 126:3