One word to describe last week’s Spring Break Retreat with UCSD students: INTENSE. This was my (Anna’s) 7th year teaching inductive study on Mark and every year, the Lord moves in my own heart as he moves in the students. One of the key themes that struck us during the week was how people/humanity are valuable to the Kingdom of God. In Mark 3:27, Jesus talks about how he is the “stronger man” binding the strong man, Satan, to plunder his goods, which are people. I love that Jesus is willing to fight for people. That was a truth that struck many of the students during the week as they were fighting through the ways that other people and situations have made them feel NOT valued.
The photo above shows one of the powerful moments of the week. It was about midnight on Wed. night and we had just finished studying the section on King Herod beheading John the Baptist. We looked at how daughters are treated in the Kingdom of Herod versus how daughters are treated in the Kingdom of God. This was a powerful night as we looked at how even our gender identities live in the tension between the Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Satan and can cause brokenness, confusion, and sin. So we ended the night with the women praying affirmation over the men and the men praying affirmation over the women. It was a powerful example of what healing and restoration can look like in community.
This was just a snapshot of what God did during the week. The Lord spoke to me personally even affirming my call by promising that just as he gave me more than I gave in the past 7 years in ministry, he has even more still for me in this next season. I’m so grateful to know that I myself am valuable to God’s kingdom and that I can be a part of Jesus “plundering” his loved ones for his kingdom. 🙂