Maranatha High School: Cheers, Tears, and Friendship at Spiritual Life Retreat (SLR)

Published : Friday, January 22, 2016 | 1:40 PM

This weekend approximately 260 students and staff headed up the mountain to meet God at Maranatha’s annual Spiritual Life Retreat. Joe Smith, Associate Pastor from Mosaic Church spoke on the larger topic of “The Call: How Will You Answer?”. Students reported being struck by his idea of our walk being about other people. “We shouldn’t have the spotlight on us,” he said, “but the light should shine through us.” After all, he reiterated, “we can’t take our stuff with us to heaven, but we can take other people along the way.” Like the paralytic man’s friends, sometimes we need to carry people to Jesus. This message resonated with Holly Campbell ’16 who shared how great it was on the last night to sit around with her friends and talk about their faith. “For me at SLR, it was a great feeling to be there for my friends and be with them as they spoke with and got great advice from a staff member.” Chaplain Rohini Vyas ’16 also commented on her peers. “It was so inspiring to see students minister to each other.”

Besides a great speaker, students enjoyed spiritually moving worship by MSC, Mosaic’s worship band, a Q&A led by several staff members, and more personal small group sessions. There was also plenty of games and time to play in the snow. The traditional group games; including eating disgusting food, musical chairs, and the annual talent show; did not disappoint. And outside, students had their fill of snowball fights, building snowmen, and taking selfies on the sledding runs. Jazlyn Raymond ’16 shared how fun it was to bond in the mountain and build community. She said, “I felt God’s presence at SLR and it was a great time to build community and talk to new people.”

What makes SLR so special? Is it the fun games, sledding, great worship, or cabin time? What about the morning sunrise hike or the after-hours shenanigans? For everyone it is different, but as Rohini mentioned, “It was great to see such a broad range of people not only come to SLR, but experience God’s touch. Watching people you would least expect crying, worshipping, or responding to the altar call was amazing!” That is one thing we can always depend on – our God to do great things!

Maranatha High School, 169 S. St. John Avenue, Pasadena, (626) 817-4000 or visit



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