Here is a simple truth – leaders cannot give what they do not have. As spiritual leaders, the greatest value our graduates will bring to ministry is their spiritual maturity and deep love for Jesus. Therefore our top priority is developing the spiritual foundation of each student. To further deepen our students’ spirituality, we teach and practice disciplines like prayer and fasting to strengthen the students’ spiritual foundation.
Each year Highlands College students participate in a prayer and fasting retreat called Saturate. Here, students disconnect from the world while connecting with God through times of worship, diving into the Word, and engaging in community through small groups.
Before this year’s retreat began, we asked three current 4th-semester students how Saturate has impacted them.
Jaden Hammock walked into Saturate 2020 with no idea what to expect. He’d heard about small group times being a place to open up vulnerably, but he was nervous about letting people into the most personal parts of his life. Despite Jaden’s fear, he felt encouraged to share freely and decided to speak truthfully. Because Jaden took a step towards authentic relationships, he says, “I’ve found the best friends ever have in my life because of that moment of choosing to be open at Saturate.”
Mali Sterban remembers being at Saturate, feeling drained emotionally, mentally, and physically by the questions surrounding her. Was Highlands College the right pick? Do I really belong here? During a personal reflection time, Mali felt the Lord provide clarity, and every bit of discouragement fled. The Lord reminded her that she was exactly where she needed to be. From that moment, Mail’s felt extraordinary peace, and it’s encouraged her to press into God like never before.
Kennedy Robinson recalls a powerful time of worship that marked her. As the band stopped playing and only Highlands College students’ voices sang, she felt the Lord remind her to be fully present in the Highlands College journey. It’s easy to get distracted by all the responsibilities a Highlands College student juggles. But, Saturate provided Kennedy a time to disconnect from school and realign with God.
Testimonies like these are just a small glimpse of the transformation our students encounter during Saturate. Our prayer for students is Psalm 1:3. “They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.” We believe the spiritual disciplines of prayer and fasting helps make our students like trees planted by water, capturing into a life of bearing fruit in every season.