Wednesday, June 20, 2018

June Update

ROC Students and Dodger at OVCA
Senior High Camp
I sometimes hear parents who are a little older than me talk about the “empty nest” phenomena, and can’t help but wonder what that will be like when Brooke and I get there (not that we are in any hurry). While I can’t say for certain, I’m guessing it’s a little like the ROC House in the summer. Most days it’s pretty quiet as Jean and I work away. Sometimes a student will pop in to see us and say “hello” or have lunch with us, but for the most part our community is out serving on the mission field or working. I guess I’m saying that I miss our students! 
But don’t fear, Bobcat Student Orientation, camp, and church visits have kept us pretty busy since our students have left. Just last week, 6 ROC students joined me in working senior high camp at OVCA. We had a fantastic week full of adventures including a high ropes course, shooting sports, and white-water rafting. The theme of the week was “Go” which obviously centered around the idea of students being active in their faith and fulfilling the Great Commission. One highlight of the week was that a young man named Nick made the decision to put his faith in Christ for the first time! Nick was planning to be baptized in his home church when he returned in order to allow his family and friends to witness the event. Please join us in praying for Nick as he begins his journey with Christ! 
OVCA Sr High Campers and Staff
In addition to Senior High camp I had the privilege of preaching during campfire on Sunday evening of Middle School camp. It was a pleasure to be able to go and share while also getting to catch up with many of the students I have met over the past couple years at the OVCA Winter Retreat and the ROC Student Ministry day here at OU. Three of our ROC students are working this week of camp doing everything from worship, to teaching, to leading small groups. Next week kicks off 5th-6thgrade week of camp, where… you guessed it, even more ROC students will be serving and making the week special for a group of young people seeking to grow in their faith. Also, I forgot to mention that ROC student Stephen Bishop spent last week working at a JR/SR High camp at Round Lake Christian Camp near Loudonville, OH. I am so grateful to be a part of a community that loves serving as much as these ROC students do. 
All of this AND I haven’t even begun to share about the 3 ROC students serving on the mission field this summer! Over the course of the next several months, we will be updating you on each of these students, the things they are doing, and the ways that God is using them. This month the student spotlight is on our very own Blayne Smith. Blayne just wrapped up his freshman year here at OU and is currently serving with the American Indian Christian Mission in Show Low, AZ. I had the opportunity to facetime with Blayne just last night and I was both encouraged and amazed at the ways that God has been using him. I hope that you all will take the time to read his update to hear from Blayne in his own words about the work that is happening at AICM. 

White water rafting was one of the
highlights of this year's camp!
As you can tell, it’s already been a busy summer, and it certainly doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. We still have a few weeks of camp left in addition to the New Orleans mission trip happening July 7-15. Right now it’s looking like we will have about 30 people on the trip including middle and high school students, ROC students, and parents all serving the communities of St. Roch, Chalmette, Arabi, and of course New Orleans. Once that wraps up we will shift things into overdrive as we prepare for fall semester at OU!  

Once again, I want to thank each of you who are investing in the lives of our students by providing for the needs of the ministry, praying for us, and encouraging us. I am so grateful for each of you! I hope that you see your efforts are making a real impact in the kingdom of God here in Athens of course, but additionally all over the world! What an exciting thought… through investing in a local ministry like ROC your gifts are being blessed by God and expanding globally to reach people with the message that Jesus loves them. That is just one reason I truly love campus ministry!

Many Blessings,


Monday, May 21, 2018

May Update

I’ll never forget stepping out of my car onto Court Street after graduation weekend my first year of campus ministry. It was a truly odd feeling to walk around Uptown Athens and feel like I’d somehow stepped into an alternate dimension. Everything was quiet and nobody was outside on the streets… I briefly considered that perhaps I had stepped onto the scene of an old-fashioned Western Show-down when the reality hit me; this is summer time in Athens! 
ROC's Giving Campaign is off to a
great start, but we still have a long way
to go. Would you prayerfully consider
joining ROC's support team?
Summer is an extremely important time in the life of the ministry of ROC for many reasons. First, summer is one of the first opportunities that we have to meet the class of 2022. ROC is actively involved with Bobcat Student Orientation where Bobcats-to-be and their parents come to get housing assignments, take placement tests, finalize financial aid details, and prepare for life in Athens this fall. ROC will be tabling along with other campus ministries to share information about faith community options at OU. 
Secondly, summer is an important time for ROC students to “Be Sent” (one of our 3 core values). As you may recall from Noah’s update last month, in addition to ROC students who will be joining me on the mission field in July and those serving with me at OVCA in June, we have 3 students who have been given some incredible opportunities to serve this summer. Noelle Mash, who will be our incoming ROC Student Org President this fall, will be serving in Kentucky with Crossroads Missions. Blayne Smith, incoming ROC Student Leader, is serving with the American Indian Christian Mission in Show Low, AZ. Finally, Abby Cohen, incoming ROC Student Leader, will be serving at Children’s Hospital in South Africa. 
Baptizing our friend Tera Hogue at
Year End Bash!
Asyou may have guessed, summer is an important time for fundraising to provide for the needs of the ministry. We are on the go a lot during the summer meeting with current supporting churches and donors as well as talking to new and potential supporters who are considering joining the ROC Financial Support Team. If you are a current supporter or are interested in becoming one, please get in contact with us! We would love to talk with you about what God has been doing in the ministry this year. 
Along those same lines, we are pleased to give you an update on our summer fundraising progress. This month our supporters came through and picked up new monthly support in the amount of $300! We are so incredibly encouraged by this generosity, but we still have a good ways to go to meet our goals! 

Some of the ROC Community at Year
End Bash. 
We want to encourage you to join us in celebrating. Just a few short weeks ago at ROC’s annual Year End Bash, we had the privilege of baptizing our friend Tera Hogue into Christ! What an incredible exclamation point on an amazing year of ministry. Tera has been an active part of the community for several years now, participating in Crosswalk, Bible Studies, retreats, and even our Spring Break Mission Trip. This year she decided to take that all-important step in her faith and be submissive in baptism. We, of course, couldn’t be more excited. 
As we look forward to summer events, we can’t help but think about the amazing things that God has in store for us this fall. Of course, we believe that YOU are a big part of our success. We know that without your prayers, encouragement, and ongoing commitment to the ministry of ROC, none of this would be possible. For that, we are eternally grateful. 


Monday, April 23, 2018

April Update

ROC Summer Fundraising Drive 

Some of you may be reading this and wondering why we have included this giving pyramid. The short answer to this question is simply that ROC is ALWAYS trying to identify and encourage new partners who would commit to meeting the financial needs of the ministry. If you’ve been reading our updates, you’re no doubt already aware of all the amazing things that GOD is doing in the ROC community as well as in the lives of students. This is only possible because of the faithful support of churches, alumni, and friends just like you! As we enter the summer months we are making this push to invite new friends of the ministry to partner with us to help meet our current needs so we can continue to provide students with the same opportunities that ROC has provided for nearly 43 years. So let me ask, if you are a current friend of the ROC community but do not yet regularly support the ministry would you prayerfully consider beginning that partnership with us this summer? Obviously if you are a current supporter and God moves you to give an additional amount we would welcome that as well (also you all are amazing, thank you). We will be sharing this pyramid each month and crossing off each new partnership and giving level from the pyramid so you can celebrate with us! 

From the Intern's Desk...

Hello everybody, it’s Noah the ROC intern. Hopefully, you guys saw the spotlight on me at the beginning of the year, so I won’t share too much about myself. I am from Dyersburg, Tennessee and worked for CrossRoads Missions on and off for the past couple years in Mexico and New Orleans, which is where I met Dodger. Anyways, this month’s update is going to be from my perspective instead of Dodger’s, and I’m also going to share a few instances where I saw God work earlier in the semester.

ROC Student Leaders were locked in
an escape room but managed to get out
in less than an hour! 
We are coming to an end for the spring semester at Ohio University, so that means good weather will get here….eventually (it’s still snowing in April?). With the good weather comes every student’s favorite time of the year, EXAMS. When exams come, the ROC House is transformed into a place where students can come to relax with a snack, rest up between exams, cram a study session in, or silently cry in a corner as they realize all their hopes and dreams are coming to an end.

With those warm and fuzzy feelings in mind, let’s get to the cool things I got to experience while a part of ROC. First, we went up to Mohican State park with our partner student ministry ACT! (Active Christians Today) from University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University for our Winter Retreat. While there, students got to learn a lot of different spiritual lessons ranging from different prayer techniques to being thankful for all the little things that God puts in our lives every single day such as the environment we live in. One of the coolest parts about that weekend was when we got to go out in the beauty of nature and see God’s handiwork while on the different hiking trails.

Being a former intern for a missions organization, I’ve got to talk about all the different ways that ROC served this semester. The first opportunity we had to serve was at OVCA’s junior and senior high winter retreat. ROC students led worship, ran group discussions, washed dishes, and made sure that no kids killed each other the whole weekend (this is by far one of ROC’s greatest achievements in my book). The next big chance we had to serve was on the Spring Break service trip to Arizona at the American Indian Christian Mission. I know Dodger has shared about our trip already, but I’m going to throw in my two cents. The students of ROC jumped right in to the work projects and the blue bus ministry with absolutely no hesitation, which is no easy feat. I’ve helped lead volunteers that came to New Orleans and Mexico, and I can truly say with all my heart that the students of ROC are a special group on the mission field. The love of Jesus Christ was shown through every single person that went on the trip. Whether it was loving on kids on the reservation, building a deck, or just helping out the staff at AICM in any way possible, ROC was making a positive impact.

Speaking of missions, let me brag on some students that are being sent by the Father this summer to go do some awesome things. Abby Cohen was graced with an opportunity to study abroad in South Africa for the month of June. Abby will be working with the Red Cross’s children’s hospital in Cape Town to help kids cope with being hospitalized. Yet, she’s not done there as she will also be chaperoning kids with cancer from Detroit to Camp Make-a-Dream in Montana, where she will also serve as a camp counselor for the week. Also, Blayne Smith has been called to serve with AICM in Show Low, Arizona. Blayne felt led to serve on the reservation after we got back from Arizona, and was accepted as an intern just last week! He’s going to be there from the end of May through the month of July. Last, but definitely not least, is Noelle Mash. Noelle has accepted God’s call for her to serve in Appalachia with CrossRoads Missions. She’s going to be in Eastern Kentucky for the whole summer serving as a Storyteller intern. I ask that everyone who reads this joins me in prayer for Abby, Blayne, and Noelle so that they are safe and successful in their endeavors this summer while serving the Lord.

As my time comes to an end here at ROC, I can’t help but think that the semester flew by. I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing though, because “time flies when you’re having fun” right? I want to thank everyone that supports ROC. Whether you’re a parent of a student, a member of a supporting church, alumni, or whoever, you should be proud of your students. Not only have they shown God’s love through their various acts in various places, but they are growing together to become men and women of Christ. Lastly, I want to thank Jean and Dodger for serving at ROC and investing in students every single day.

-Noah Mulvaney 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

March Update

And we’re back!!! What an amazing Spring Break! All semester long, ROC students had been fundraising for our mission trip to the American Indian Christian Mission in Show Low, AZ. On Saturday March 10th we took off from Cincinnati to make the long trek across the US via plane and rental cars for Show Low. We departed from Athens at 8am Saturday and arrived in Show Low about 3:30am Sunday morning (which, accounting for the time difference, was 6:30am Eastern).
Our team of 18 students and adults spent the week serving in a multitude of ways including work projects on the mission (painting, stripping / waxing floors, building a deck on one of the dorms, and more) as well as participating in AICM’s Blue Bus Ministry each day (mobile Vacation Bible School on the Reservation). It was incredible to see God working in and through each of our team members throughout the week.
ROC's Spring Break Mission Team at
the Grand Canyon in AZ.

A particularly awesome blessing for me was serving alongside my father and my son on this trip. This was actually the second time they have both joined the ROC community on the mission field (the first was in the Dominican Republic). One memorable moment for me came when one of the kids at the mission asked if Trey could stay with them instead of going home with our group. (I briefly considered this but then realized that would likely land me in hot water with my wife. Hahaha.)

In similar ways each one of our team members left their mark on the mission and the people they served. I was asked several times throughout the week by the staff at AICM, the students, and the people of the White Mountain Apache reservation when our group was coming back.  I can’t think of a more sincere compliment!

ROC students Gionna Russo
and Alexis Dille doing crafts
on the Reservation. 
While the team took a well-deserved rest after we returned, we aren’t slowing down for long. Next weekend, March 30-31, is Ohio Teens for Christ. Our ROC students will be serving at the convention in a number of ways such as working the ROC booth to let OTFC students know about Christian Community at Ohio University, helping with the service opportunities, and our very own Cara Lawless and Annie Holbert will be teaching a workshop on relationships this year.

ROCWomen's ministry
leader Cara Lawless on the
Blue Bus! 
Finally, we want to ask you to mark Saturday April 21st on your calendars. This will be ROC’s 4th annual “Friends of ROC” dinner. The event will be held at 6pm at Athens Church of Christ (785 West Union Street, Athens, OH). The purpose of this dinner is to show each of you our sincere appreciation of your support of the ministry of ROC and to tell you a few of the ways that God has been working through our community. We would love for you to come and be our guests for an evening of fellowship and sharing.

As always, thank you for your many prayers and the continual encouragement that you send our way. Your partnership and faithfulness to the ministry of ROC is an incredible testament of your love of our students.

Many Blessings,