Cultivate 2019: Jesus is Better

Unexpected snow began covering the muddy ground at Camp Spofford. It accumulated as students and campus ministers trickled in to the dimly lit sanctuary for the first worship gathering. Slowly the room filled and conversations filled the space.

Students from all over New England gathered April 5 to 7 for a weekend focused on growth. There were schools represented from five out of six states, with over seven schools being in attendance. In total there were about a 150 people present for the weekend, 100 of those being students.

The weekend was spent at Camp Spofford in New Hampshire and started off with a worship gathering that was led by Josh Lin, Santi Paredes, and Sean Hayes of Mill City Church. Curtis Cook of Hope Fellowship Church in Cambridge spoke throughout the weekend at each worship gathering. Curtis tackled hard topics like suffering and contentment in Christ. Curtis led those in attendance through some New Testament Scriptures and Lamentations, digging deep into seeking God in the moments of lack and suffering.

One student, Amy Massinger,  from Worcester State University was impacted by the weekend. “This weekend allowed me to learn a lot, make new friends, and take a step back and focus on God,” Massinger said. At the start of the weekend, she made it her goal to focus on Christ and that is what she did.

Students from Worcester were not the only ones who were impacted by Cultivate, students from other parts of the region were also strongly affected.

Christian Student Fellowship from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell brought the largest group of students to Cultivate. Those students felt the transformative power of the Holy Spirit during the weekend.

It was a marvelous mish-mash of friends and fellowship, permeated by the Holy Spirit,
— John Saniuk

Not only was he able to fellowship with friends and be moved by the Holy Spirit, but he also was able to reflect on this being his fourth Cultivate weekend. “Despite four years of attendance, God always uses it to teach me a new way to love, live, and lead to Christ through faith, fellowship and genuine friendship,” he added, “This retreat helped transform me from a passive Catholic to an active Christ follower.”

While the weekend was full of fun, laughter, late night foam ball, and fireworks, it was also filled with soul transformations throughout the students across New England.

Emily Greer is the communications intern at the Baptist Convention of New England. She also serves as a collegiate ministry associate in Worcester, MA. Find her personal blog at