Two SLCF students, Bria Cooley and Taylor Ruble, share about the SLCF spring break trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee:
Bria: SLCF decided to head to Tennessee this spring break for a time of relaxation, fun, and fellowship. We stayed at a beautiful cabin in the mountains, a few minutes from Gatlinburg. We filled our days with an extended quiet time in the morning, followed by a full day of activities (like hiking or shopping), and a lesson with worship in the evening.
Taylor: I had high expectations for the spring break trip to Gatlinburg. I had heard from multiple people last year that the trip had a big impact on their walk with God. They all said that the trip was one of the highlights of their year.
Even during the van ride down, the trip was already living up to my expectations. Before we had even made it to Indianapolis, we were listening to a sermon and discussing what it had to say about witnessing. It was so cool to see a bunch of college students discussing biblical topics and challenging each other even during the car ride. This pattern carried on throughout the remainder of the week. Any free time we had, whether we were hiking or hanging out around the cabin, was punctuated by the sound of “What did you read this morning?” or “What have you been learning on the trip so far?” It was great to experience such encouragement and accountability.
Bria: It was so awesome to see God working in our hearts over these few days. Abraham taught on Psalm 23, giving me a new appreciation for the Psalm and revealing the essential character quality of God as Shepherd. I especially loved talking about the rod and staff, used to fight off enemies and grab hold of the wandering sheep. This illustration is a perfect reminder of how lost I am sometimes, and how God, time after time, comes to recue me.
Taylor: One of the most beneficial parts of the week was the time alone with God in the mornings. It was a little daunting at first to spend two hours every day in time alone with God, but after just the first day I was already looking forward to the next morning’s devotional time. It was very beneficial to be able to slow down and take part of the morning to pray, reflect, and study Scripture. Most of the growth and learning I experienced on the trip occurred during these times.
Bria: God definitely grew relationships within the SLCF ministry during the trip, too. It was very encouraging to see the hearts of people open up as they shared how God was working in their lives. A highlight of the trip, for me, was simply getting to know others better while preparing meals together, praying on hikes, playing sardines, or chatting in the van. I am excited about how God worked on the trip, and pray that He will continue to unify us and grow us closer to Him.
Taylor: If I had a chance to go on this trip again, I would take it up in a heartbeat. And I would encourage any college student to do the same. I could not have asked for a more beneficial spring break.