Spring Challenge Weekend March 4-6, 2016
The South Bend/Elkhart Chapter had their Spring Challenge Weekend March 4-6 and had 26 men attend. We had a good amount of younger men in attendance as well, about a third of the group! The Lord is good and definitely blessed our time! I had the privilege of leading a small group of younger guys that weekend and some amazing and powerful stories came from that group. We discussed the struggles of the college culture and trying to put on the armor of God and live out our Christianity in a positive way. We also discussed the struggles of the young professional life. Very few companies that we get to work for have an openly Christian culture so it presents challenges. One guy from our group shared that he has his “Jesus” buddy at work. They come into work together, read their daily reflection together, and put on a Christian song to start the day off right. It was inspiring to see such a young guy take such initiative to create a positive environment and literally bring Christ into the workplace. He is on fire for CIC now and wants to put on a weekend in his local town of Indianapolis, about 3 hours from South Bend.
Another guy on the weekend had been struggling with depression that forced him to drop out of school. He was the first to jump in and share what he had been going through and what he hoped to get out of the weekend. By the end of the weekend he was smiling and joking with all the guys, completely filled up with a new kind of joy, the joy of Christ and his love.
Two other guys came on the weekend and admitted they were a little hesitant to come, saying “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I told myself if I get 50% of what I should really get out of this weekend, then that would be good for me.” After the first night, they both came up to me and shared that the weekend had already exceeded their expectations and they had gotten 110% of what they thought they would get out of the weekend. One even said that he had been on a retreat the weekend before but had been getting so much more out of the CWE. He was being pulled closer and closer into an intimate relationship with God and was being built up by being surrounded with other likeminded guys being built up in the same way that weekend.
Our theme song for the weekend was “Soul on Fire”, and I don’t think there was one soul in that room that was not set on fire with the love of the Lord and his Holy Spirit. Guys were set free from depression, from chains of fear, and other men were given a sense of faith-filled direction in their lives that they had never experienced before. I think it did a lot of good for the older men to see so many young guys soaking in the weekend and being set on fire for the Lord.
Praise God for CIC!