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Navigators' Experience Weekend

By Nikhil Jelaji
On October 5, 2012

This past Friday, 47 Xavier Navigators spent a weekend retreat called "Experience Weekend" in Sharonville, Ohio.
The Xavier Navigators is a Christian inter-denominational organization on campus that focuses on building a relationship with God.
During a weekend away from the "Xavier bubble," the Navigators spent time building community and learning about developing a relationship with God.
The worship team set the tone for the night with music for everyone to prepare their hearts for the retreat. The night focused on where God has left fingerprints in a person's life.
Navigators staff member, Mark Bruner, gave a speech based on the story of the Prodigal Son in order that students would be able to relate to the story.
After Bruner gave his talk, students had free time where they could spend time getting to know one another.
Some students played cards, some went to Steak N' Shake and others just talked and bonded.
Many relationships were formed throughout the weekend which was evident since people were hanging out until 3 a.m.
In the morning, a complimentary breakfast at Max and Erma's was provided for students.
With a 9:30 a.m. start time, people took the opportunity to spend time with God.
Saturday morning kicked off with worship songs and skits prepared in advance to provide laughter. The talks revolved around sin and barriers.
Testimonies were shared by juniors Miranda Gerber and Jack Hatterschide.
They led Bible studies, and they were given the floor to share what their life before they grew closer to Jesus.
In the afternoon, there were six hours of free time where students could go eat, go to Sharon Woods to play sports or hang out in the hotel.
Several students chose to go to Sharon Woods to play Ultimate
Freshman Kate Lee said, "A rather intense game of ultimate Frisbee took place.
The competition was great, but what was even greater was the fact that everyone got involved in the game some way."
Gerber and Hatterschide finished their testimonies on Saturday night by talking about when they came to Christ.
Their stories gave some insight heading into a group reflection.
This reflection was a time when people shared how this weekend had impacted them.
"This weekend was special," Hatterschide said. "It was amazing to witness students grow in their faith and strengthen their relationship with each other and God."
Gerber also enjoyed the retreat. "The wonderful thing about sharing my testimony was that it really allowed me to see how God moved in my life," Gerber said. "I got to share with other people the character of a God who is living and active rather than somewhere in the sky, God was able to use my story to advance the work He is trying to do here, right now."
Sunday morning gave an opportunity to reflect on how to build a relationship with God.
Students heard personal stories from junior Mary Zbacnik and sophomore Reid Schultheis.
Zbacnik shared about how journaling helps her spend time with God.
Schultheis shared about how scripture memory helps him build his relationship with God.
With these talks, students were able to have alone time to reflect on where they stand in their relationship with God.
Many freshmen who are just getting to know Navigators found this retreat to be enjoyable.
"My favorite part was being in community with other people and knowing they genuinely care about me and put Jesus first," freshman Rachel Eklund said.

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