On January 30th over 100 students descended upon Alton Castle for the annual Winter student retreat. The theme of the retreat was “Return of the King” and the location was appropriately grand. 12th century walls framed the bridge which lead to the awe inspiring castle that would be our home for the next few days. Snow covered picturesque woods provided an amazing backdrop to an already beautiful view.
The location inspired awe, and our spirit-filled guest speakers Jeff Henderson and his wife Amanda reinforced who we should be in awe of. The King. The King who we should worship, who has shown His majesty and character through His creation. His creation on this earth and beyond! The King who we should live for and dig deep to obey and follow. The King who is coming back to make everything new!
On the Saturday evening we realised the Lord of the Rings undercurrent to the retreat and devolved into teams to get our Frodo and Sam on. The journey game was a lot of fun uniting as teams and building memories together.
We grew in faith and were inspired to live for the King at our Universities. We also saw Raina Salim make the decision to live for the King as the clock approached midnight on Saturday. With snow on the ground and no proper hose to use, our inflatable pool was filled by the more than 30 students who carried one pot and pan after another to see Raina’s sins washed away. It was a baptism of epic proportions.
The 2015 Winter retreat was an amazing experience in growing closer to the King, our King, the only King. As the departure came on Sunday afternoon there was that bittersweet sense. We bid old friends and newly made ones adieu. In the modern age however we said farewell knowing that its not too hard to keep in touch at all!