The Gathering, our annual statewide BCM retreat, took place during the first weekend of February as students from O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island gathered to worship God and to be equipped in their faith.
This year, Hilo BCM hosted the event at Makapala Christian Retreat Center in Kohala with 50 college students in attendance, including 25 traveling from O‘ahu. BCM partnered with Dr. Adam Groza, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services and Associate Professor of Philosophy at Gateway Seminary, to introduce our theme for this year’s retreat: “Let’s Talk Story.”
In four sessions, Dr. Groza spoke about knowing and living out God’s story in our everyday lives. As he introduced the importance of theology, ethics, evangelism, and apologetics, he challenged students to engage deeply with their faith in Jesus Christ through reading and cherishing God’s Word. The Kokua Crew from YWAM Kona, comprised of six individuals from Germany, Brazil, South Korea, and the United States, also led worship during each
Although initially unfamiliar with each other, both O‘ahu and Big Island students took every opportunity they had to spend time together through our different activities, free time outings, and daily meals together. Hilo BCM was gracious in providing dinner to O‘ahu students shortly after arriving on the island, giving everyone a chance to be acquainted prior to driving up to the camp together.
The students were also split up into small groups to discuss questions introduced in each session and to share stories of God’s work in their lives—stories of coming to faith, stories of victory, stories of hardship, and stories about the unexpected hand of God working in different situations. It was encouraging to see students engage in deep conversations about God, Scripture, and life during the small group discussions and even during free time. Although most students that attended the retreat were believers, many were inspired by Dr. Groza’s challenge to devote themselves as “students of the Word” and to share the Good News on their respective campuses.
At BCM, missions is not merely part of the program—it is the heart of what we do as a ministry. In the spring semester of each school year, we strategically encourage and plan for deeper student involvement in missions. Among others, the Gathering is one of the vital steps towards this goal.
Although the retreat is over, our hope is to build on what Dr. Groza taught by continually equipping students with practical, Biblical tools necessary to live in obedience to God.
Already, we have seen students express a reignited excitement for reading the Word, sharing their faith with others, and going on mission trips this summer. All this would not be possible without the support of HPBC, churches, and individuals who faithfully invest in our students and in BCM—for that, we are immensely grateful.
Please continue to pray for BCM on both O‘ahu and Hawai‘i island, for students to love Jesus and others wholeheartedly, and for the name of Jesus to be renowned on every college campus in the state of Hawai‘i.