Every fall, several campus ministries across the Northwest US join for a weekend of bonding and spiritual refreshment at the NW Campus Fall Retreat in Spokane, Washington. This year, the theme was “Rise Up!”

This awesome weekend was kicked off with an inspiring and thought-provoking lesson by Jeff Smith, a fierce and faithful campus minister from Dallas, Texas. Jeff, along with his wife Kelli, were the keynote speakers. Throughout the weekend, Jeff and Kelli shared wisdom and inspired conviction, and shed light on how to be bold and courageous disciples throughout this stage of life.

The rest of the retreat was filled with several classes like “Rise up and Serve” and “Rise up and Lead,” along with some powerful testimonies of campus students around the NW. Each class was packed with personal experience as well as practical advice on how to be a dedicated and effective disciple throughout the campus ministry years.

One class in particular titled, “Rise Up and Fight for Repentance,” as well as the testimonies shared on the first night, left a lasting impact on Kiki Stephens, a UW student who had been studying the Bible. These moments played a key role in motivating her to be baptized the following week once she returned home on November 17th. When asked how the retreat inspired her decision, Kiki said, “Leading up to the retreat, I was thinking about baptism, but I felt truly inspired and compelled after I heard the testimonies shared on the first night. I’m grateful for the retreat because it gave me the opportunity to connect with my new family, as well as learn the different ways God presents himself in our lives.” Convicting moments like these continually inspire deep, spiritual conversations that lead to change, as well as provide opportunities to bond with other disciples who are in the spiritual battle with you.

After a full two days of learning, sharing, and praying, the weekend ended with a congregational service that brought the family of churches together throughout Eastern Washington. The Spirit was felt throughout the room while we praised Jesus as one family.

The annual NW Campus Retreat was a rejuvenating and uplifting time that continues to inspire campus students every year. We are grateful for the efforts made by each ministry to put this incredible weekend together and we look forward to next year!