SPIRIT! (Spring Retreat)

I spent a few days of the last week in complete rest and quiet time with the Lord. I was surrounded by nature and so many others as well who were relaxing and taking a break from their busy lives. In fact, almost all of TCU had a break from their usual lives to spend more time in fellowship with others and with God. It was one of the biggest events in TCU, SPIRIT! (Spring Retreat – shortened to become ‘Spirit’) The Spring Retreat, held every year in the Spring semester, is a time set aside for “slowing down and facing the Lord,” while also getting to know everyone better. This year’s theme was “The Cross” and we were able to focus on Jesus’s sacrifice through the cross and reflect on the significance of that for our own personal lives.

For this year’s Spring Retreat, we went to the Yamanashi Prefecture for 3 days! Since it was my first time attending the Spring Retreat, I was amazed by how incredible everything was! The area surrounding the hotel was entirely green, with blooming flowers and unbelievably tall trees. In the hotel, most spent their time eating delicious food, in fellowship with others through games and worship, or exploring the scenic areas with a beautiful view of Mt. Fuji. And, I must say, the beauty of Mt. Fuji was genuinely beyond belief.

During the three days, everyone spent a large amount of time in worship and prayer together. After a big and appetizing breakfast, we started our day with worship, and then were fed spiritual food through messages. Over the three days, through the theme of “The Cross,” we studied what it meant to gaze, bear, and boast in the cross. I also loved that everyone got the chance to share their thoughts and learn from each other, through small group sharing. Through the randomized groups, it was also a wonderful chance to get to know your own group members better and deeper. Even after returning to TCU, there were students who shared that the time they spent in the small groups left a lasting positive impact, since they were blessed through the kindness and love they received.

Out of all that we did, my personal favorite time was the time allotted to spend quietly in conversation with God. After the message, everyone was given time to reflect on it as well as on themselves. During this time of around 15 minutes, I could quiet my mind and focus on the Lord and His word while looking deeper into myself.

I really feel like I have grown from this retreat and was able to get to know so many people better. I loved simply playing games and hanging out with people, while also having the chance to grow spiritually and build my relationship with God.

The entirety of the Spring Retreat from the food to the worship and message, games and so on, was all planned by the Spring Retreat Committee, and I am so grateful to everyone in the Committee who gave their all to prepare everything for the students down to the smallest details!

Although this was my first time attending the Spring retreat in TCU, I can confidently say that every single person had a fantastic time. I already miss the fellowship and the wonderful time of sharing, and I am already looking forward to next year’s Spring Retreat!