Big Break!

Friday, June 1st, 2012
Group picture at Big Break 2012

Group picture at Big Break 2012: 27 students and 5 staff from UP Cru

Northern's experience at Big Break was very uplifting. We had 5 students that went for their first time, and 3 that had gone in previous years. During the drive down, before we even got to Panama City Beach, we could feel God's presence with us. We were following a line of severely damaging storms all the way down, and made it through some minor car troubles - all in all we made it in once piece! Through the week our group underwent a tremendous transformation, spiritually. Each individual ran into challenges in growing in their faith, whether it was personal devotions, or stepping out and initiating conversations. Through regular interaction, and constant encouragement from the main presenters and each other, we were able to take a step back and let God take control.

Upon our return to NMU, out group found a new excitement for getting out and sharing the Christian faith with other people on campus. Big Break had been a huge stepping stone for some, and a solid reminder for some of what our role is in serving God. Our Cru ministry started an outreach night before each weekly meeting, where students would get together and start spiritual conversations on our campus. It was a great way to see the lessons learned at Big Break applied to our campus.

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Freshman testimony at Big Break 2012

Michigan Tech freshman sharing about outreach experience at Big Break 2012 (photo credit: Sarah Allen)

We had 19 Michigan Tech students go down to Panama City Beach to grow in their faith and share the gospel with college students on the beach. This included 7 freshmen! We took 2 Tech vans down and had a great road trip. Once we got there, we had some good bonding between MTU and NMU, the first time in a long time we had the same Spring Break! Led by Roger Hershey, the main talks were great and encouraged us to share our faith more boldly.  Our group paired up during the day and did outreach on the beach for 5 days.  At the end of each day, our students had numerous stories to tell about what God was doing in us and through us.

One day in particular when we were sharing on the beach, Olivia Munoz, Erich Alden and I had an amazing with a group of 4 middle eastern girls.  Olivia started off by introducing us and inviting them to go through the perspective cards with them. They did, and we found out that they considered themselves to be a mixture of religions - Christian, Atheist, Practicing Muslim and Non Practicing Muslim. Through our conversation, they were able to hear the gospel and we could see the Holy Spirit stirring their hearts to question their current beliefs and consider Jesus.

In Panama City Beach, the older students knew that if we went back home, we would be "spiritually high" for a few days, and then drop back to near where we were before we left. Knowing this, as a group we decided to do a "Big Break Tech" outreach when we got back to Tech.  Our goal was to have people meet and do outreach, every night, for the 2 weeks after we got back to Houghton.  As soon as we got out of the vans in the Wads parking lot, we wrapped up the group, prayed, and people signed up for nights during the first week back.  Each night during this first week, people met in the Campus Cafe in Wads or by the coffee shop in the library, and went out to engage in spiritual conversations with people.  There were many spiritual conversations with Americans and International students, people heard the gospel for the first time, and even a few students accepted Christ! We didn't reach our goal of going out every night for 2 weeks, but we came close.  The evangelism that we did do, really opened up my eyes to what outreach should and could look like on our campus.  During my years at Tech I just thought that people were too busy, and not interested.  "Big Break Tech" broke that stereotype for me, and I'm now more excited to share the gospel on campus than any other point in my life at college.

Fellowship at Big Break 2012

Evening fellowship at Big Break 2012 (photo credit: Erin Norton)

Praise at Big Break 2012

Conference praise & worship at Big Break 2012 (photo credit: Erin Norton)