MACU Students Attend Weekend Retreat for Fellowship and Fun
April 1st, 2019
by Emily Ferrell
As a former resident chaplain, the spiritual health of the MACU campus has always had a special place in my heart, so opportunities like the MACU Women’s Retreat are dear to me. Every year, the Campus Ministry staff plans men’s and women’s retreats for MACU students and staff. These events are held off-campus, offering students the chance to get away in the middle of a busy semester and reconnect with God and their peers.
This year, the MACU Women’s Retreat was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Twenty students and staff loaded up in MACU vans and headed off for a weekend retreat. The theme for the event was “Let Go and Let God,” and the theme verse was Proverbs 3:5-6. The goal was to encourage young women to surrender to the Lord’s calling on their life.
The MACU chaplains invited the Assistant Director of Admissions, Madison Warren, to come and speak about mental health awareness and learning how our past can impact our lives if we do not fully surrender to God. In addition to working as a part of the MACU Admissions team, Warren is a MACU student herself — she is currently enrolled in the university’s Master’s in Counseling degree program in order to become a licensed professional counselor. She encouraged students to stay connected with a solid Christian community and to be open about what we are struggling with.
MACU alumna Leah Dees served as the keynote speaker for the weekend, sharing 24 life lessons she has learned in her 24 years of life. Highlighted throughout her session was her connection with the Holy Spirit. Dees emphasized that the Holy Spirit should be a close friend of yours, and once you have this friendship you will not only be connected to the power of God for life, but you will have a friend that will never walk away from you.
The final speaker of the retreat was Pam Barton, a MACU ministry professor. Barton led students through an activity called “Dear Fear,” in which students had to quite literally address their fears by penning letters to what scared them the most. The exercise helped the students trust the Lord and ultimately overcome their fears.
The rest of the weekend was filled with food and fellowship. Students ate well and grew closer to the Lord and to each other. Before leaving, students painted canvases that represented what God conveyed to them over the weekend, allowing them to encourage one another and be creative at the same time.
MACU student Alicia Alarid, who serves as a resident chaplain on campus, described the weekend as fun, creative and formative.
“It was interesting to see students from all different backgrounds share what God was doing in their lives, and it honestly was so impactful. I witnessed my fellow students respond to the Lord in such a powerful way, and could not keep from getting emotional myself.”
At MACU, it is evident that students are incredibly cared for and their spiritual development is a top priority. Seeing students, faculty, staff and alumni come together for the Glory of the Lord was just what was needed for the female students here. I am so thankful for the support that I have here, and cannot wait for the next retreat.