Jeske Cabin Retreat
Every year, the NBI class takes three days and heads out to a cabin for fellowship. The Jeske family, old friends of camp, owns the cabin, and their son, Mark, is an NBI alumnus from the early 2000s. They allow different ministry groups to use the cabin to get away from the busyness of life, and just enjoy some peace and quiet. So, we did just that--we scheduled the time off school, assigned students to cook the food and clean the dishes, loaded up the van, and departed. Twenty people all together in one cabin, with almost no cell service, and nothing to do besides eat food, play games, and worship the Lord. The days and nights were spent playing games, enjoying good food, and hanging out together. In the mornings, a student led a devotional about something God had been teaching them. In the afternoons, some of us would take a hike around the lake, and we found some simple campsites, while others spent time chatting with friends, or in quiet reflection of times past. On Wednesday night, we held the annual Farkle tournament, a team-based game that literally depends on the luck of rolling the dice. It was a blast to see the shouts of joy and the cries of agony as people won and lost, and had fun doing so.
For some classes, this is a time that the class really comes together, as a time to remind us to devote ourselves to the Lord in fellowship with one another. “And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42) My peers fight the idea of doing what is traditional. We think that what is new is better, but the Bible calls us back to some old ways of life that seem to be lost in the crazy, hectic, modern era in which we currently live. Yeah, it’s basic. Sitting and eating with each other isn’t a novel experience. Playing board games or chatting with someone face-to-face are things we find boring. But when was the last time you were with someone and had nothing else pressing for your time or attention? When was the last time you simply enjoyed someone else’s company, regardless of your daily planner? It is discouraged in our society to not have plans for every second of your day. We make plans, keep schedules, and feel unsafe without our phones being charged. As a society, I think we’ve lost something. I think we’ve lost fellowship. So, in an attempt to counter this issue, we retreated to go recapture this idea.
“I think we found a small spark of hope for our future. Even though we were all raised in different places, even though we’ve only known each other for five or six months, and even though we all have different personalities, backgrounds, and tendencies, regardless of all these things, we can still come together in fellowship as believers in Christ.” –Daniel Jao, NBI Student ’17-‘18