Reflections from a Christian Retreat with Muslim Friends

Last week for Spring Break we tried something different. We did a Christian Campus Community service retreat at Camp Eagle, but…. We took some Muslim students with us. The idea was to take a trip that would allow us to invite our international student friends that we have made this semester so they could have a “camp” experience with us.

God blessed this effort immensely!

We had a fairly large group of our own students and additionally 6 fun and energetic guys from Oman who are Muslim. (Don’t know your Mid-East geography? Oman is between Yemen & UAE, south of Saudi Arabia). We all had a blast!

This trip gave us a unique opportunity to serve and play alongside each other, while learning from each other, and sharing the Gospel with them. We shared through group discussions, which they gladly participated in and Gospel messages around the campfire each evening, to which they respectfully listened.

Another awesome experience and teachable moment was when a friend who came with us decided he had put baptism off for far too long. Lorne Glenn, a good friend of Patrick Bostice was baptized into Christ in that cold clear water of the Nueces River! Praise God! Lorne’s confession, passionate testimony and baptism were another a powerful presentation of the Gospel our friends experienced.

However, they weren’t the only ones who were learning more about God. This was the most time I had ever spent with any of my Muslim friends all at one time. I was very impressed with their devotion. They were dedicated to their prayer times and rituals, regardless of the inconvenience and business of our retreat schedule and activities. Before praying, they would wash themselves, if not a full shower, at least their feet, legs, arms & hands. They made certain they were facing Mecca each time, using their prayer mat correctly, bowing as they were supposed to, and not eating bacon! Did you hear that? They didn’t eat bacon, that was sitting right there on the table in front of them!

One thing I certainly took away from this experience is a stronger desire to show reverence to my Lord God. I want to pray more humbly, more reverently, more focused, and more frequently. I want to have more self discipline in my walk with God. I want to be more counter cultural as I follow my Lord.

While at the same time, I also gained an even greater appreciation for the freedom that we have because Jesus Christ is our righteousness and we are saved by His amazing grace! It’s that same overwhelming feeling of gratitude that you get when you read Leviticus, and think “Thank you God for salvation through Jesus, instead of perfect law keeping and works based righteousness!”

I’m so thankful that my relationship with Christ doesn’t require a bunch of external religious rituals; I don’t have to face a certain way, or meet a certain quota of prayer time for each day. I can “pray without ceasing”, and have a Father – Son relationship with the almighty Creator! Praise God for Jesus and the Gospel of liberty, because this certainly is “Good News”!

Join me in thanking God for this incredible experience, for the friends we’ve made, and for the way His Gospel was powerfully proclaimed to every one of us in various ways!


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