Monday, December 5, 2016

November Update


ROC Students serving at Lifeline Christian
Mission in Columbus, Ohio on Nov. 19
Well it’s almost time to wrap it up and put a bow on another semester! As I write this, our ROC students are finishing up their final assignments and papers while preparing for exams next week. To help with the stress of finals week we will be transforming the ROC house into the “Finals Survival Station.” All next week we will be providing food (healthy, hearty, and junk food depending on your choice) to help students successfully navigate their way through their finals.

We’ve had a great semester, and I am literally reeling in amazement at how good God is. One reason for the success of our semester is due to our excellent volunteers who pour their time and energy into our students. With that in mind, this month we have decided to give a little credit where it is due, and spotlight a couple of our volunteers; Annie Holbert and Cara Lawless. I continue to be impressed by these ladies and the impact that they are making in the lives of our students.

November 19th was ROC’s Day of Service. A group of our students traveled to Lifeline Christian Mission in Columbus and spent about half a day working in the warehouse. Our crew organized supplies, sorted through donations, and packed containers that will ultimately be shipped to missionaries and mission fields all around the world. This is the second year that we have served at Lifeline and have had such a great experience both times.

We were incredibly blessed to have some guests at Crosswalk over the course of the past month. First, we hosted our friends Donna and Al Hartson from Team Expansion in Louisville, KY. You may recall that Jessica Brantmeier served on the mission field in Bosnia last summer with Team Expansion. Al shared with our students about similar mission opportunities that centered around reaching unreached people groups with the Gospel of Christ. The following week another one of our ROC volunteers, Darren Jackson, shared with the community in my absence. Finally, my friend Matt Hayden from Tri-Village Christian Church in Pataskala came down to share with our students and participate in our Wednesday evening services.

As we finish another semester, I’d like to invite you to join the ROC students and staff in praying for a couple big events coming up. First we are a little less than 30 days from our departure date for the Dominican Republic. Please be praying for our team of 14 who will be spending a week serving there. We still have a few people trying to finish up their fundraising efforts, so prayers for support would be terrific! In addition we already have a group of 8-10 who have expressed interest in serving in New Orleans with Crossroads Missions over Spring Break 2017.

Sorting through donations
bound for foreign mission
fields while at Lifeline
Also, I would ask that you continue to lift up the campus of Ohio State University as they continue to deal with the fallout from the attack that happened on campus this week. ROC’s good friends and partners in campus ministry Student Christian Fellowship at Ohio State are all safe following the attack. My counterpart at SCF, Seth Aldridge shared the following on his Facebook page following the attack:  I'm thankful for the many who have asked about us. There are always questions and uncertainties after these things happen, and we welcome your prayers as we and our Ohio State community sort through those in our hearts and minds and with each other. May the grace and truth of Jesus continue to come together in and through us.”

Thank you for your support of the ministry of Reach Out on Campus and for your love and concern for our students. We so greatly appreciate your support in helping us in our mission to expand the Kingdom of God here on the campus of Ohio University.

In Christ,


-Dodger Vaughan

Thursday, November 3, 2016

October Update

It’s been an eventful October around the ROC Community. We’ve been on the road visiting churches this month, making the final push to get everyone fully funded for the Dominican Republic mission trip happening later this year, and hosting several outreach events. We’ve been incredibly blessed to see God at work in so many areas; I’d like to share a few of those with you.

ROC's Student Ministry Summit
First, on Saturday October 22nd ROC hosted our first annual Student Ministry Summit. We had a little over 50 people in attendance, as well as students and youth leaders from 5 different churches. Our students organized and led all elements of the day including games, teaching, and small group times.  They did a phenomenal job. We were also blessed to have Kentucky Christian University’s praise team Elevate lead us in worship throughout the day. The best part however, came later in the week when a youth leader let me know that one of his students chose to accept Christ and be baptized, and that her experience with the event was part of her motivation!

ROC's Halloween Hotdog Outreach
This past weekend was Athens’ annual Halloween Block Party. This year our students decided that they wanted to engage the community during this event and share Christ through a hotdog outreach. I am so incredibly thankful for the many churches and friends of the ministry of ROC who contributed financially to help us purchase and give away 1,000 hotdogs that night. I am also indebted to the volunteers from Athens Church of Christ, Middleport Church of Christ, and Ripley Church of Christ who showed up to help us work the event! Many of whom stayed past 2am to make sure all hotdogs were given out and that things were cleaned up.

I wanted to pause here and explain why I am so excited that 1,000 people received a free hotdog. To me, this is more than just a free hotdog. Because of your generosity and the hard work of some friends and students, 1,000 people received something to eat and hopefully got home safe that night as a result. Even more importantly, 1,000 people were able to both hear and read that they were being given free hotdogs because Jesus loves them. Sure it might have gone unnoticed or even unappreciated by some, but I know for some it was also very appreciated and unexpected. For others, it was maybe the first time that they had ever heard the name Jesus or heard that He loves them.

ROC sisters Dava and Courtney Clark
were recently featured in the Marietta
Times regarding the Winter Dominican
Republic ServiceTrip
But none of what we do here would be possible without folks like you; people who regularly pray for us, encourage us, and provide the financial support for the ministry of Reach Out on Campus. We are so incredibly blessed by you.

As we close out another year of ministry, I can honestly say that God has provided for the needs of the community in ways that I could never have imagined. For our part we strive to be the best stewards of the money entrusted to us. With current giving trends however, we are projecting a budget deficit, and as such are praying for people to step up to bridge this gap by making a year-end donation to ROC. If you would prayerfully consider helping us out by making a donation to allow us to continue to reach out in ways similar to those described above, we would greatly appreciate your support.Many Blessings,


-Dodger

Thursday, September 15, 2016

September Update

ROC students Courtney Clark and
Gionna Russo handing out cookies
during OU's move-in weekend.
Now that the craziness that typically surrounds move-in and the first week of the semester has died down, ROC students and staff have settled into a somewhat normal rhythm of life. The Cookie outreach this year was wildly successful. We handed out around 1,000 packages of homemade cookies to students during move-in and met countless new people. Funny enough, one of the larger sororities on campus made the cookie table part of a scavenger hunt they were hosting so we became a popular stop that day! A HUGE “Thanks” goes out to all who helped with the outreach in any way, including baking cookies and of course praying for meaningful connections to be made.

As I think about all the events we have the opportunity to do on campus, I think that outreach is certainly one of the more exciting ones. It’s a chance for us to find practical ways to share the love of Christ with people and engage students in conversations about faith. With a name like “Reach Out on Campus” I think there are some pretty high expectations that we do just that!

Speaking of reaching out, I am really excited about a unique opportunity that we have been presented with. As you are likely aware, one of the things that OU is well known for is the annual Halloween Block Party. This year the student leaders and ROC staff are planning an outreach during the event. Our goal is to hand out 1,000 hot dogs during the evening at the campus gate. We want to be very clear that this outreach is not to support or encourage the block party or drinking, but rather to engage people where they are, have some conversations about faith, and help people get home safely by giving them something to fill their stomachs. But most exciting of all, we want to invite you to be a part of this outreach. We are including details on how you can support the outreach (either by donating supplies, helping cook that evening, handing out hotdogs at the gate, or all three). We’d like to see this become an annual outreach event that includes our ministry partners like you!

As I wrap things up, let me just remind you of a couple of other activities that you can join us in praying for. First, ROC’s annual fall retreat is coming up September 23-25th at the New River Gorge area. Last year’s retreat was awesome and really set a solid foundation for everything else that happened in the community the remainder of the year. Secondly, ROC’s first annual Student Ministry Summit is coming up on Saturday afternoon October 22nd at OU’s Baker Center. We have an awesome afternoon planned for our local middle and high school students, so load up a church bus and make plans to join us for a memorable day with the ROC community.

Blessings,


-Dodger

Ephesians 4:11-13  So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

August Update

Although we’ve been planning and working toward our students’ return since Spring Semester ended, the reality that it’s about to happen has finally just hit me. In a little less than a week from the time I write this, students from all over the country (and even the world) will descend upon the campus of Ohio University. The first couple days will be a fury of moving boxes, traffic jams, meetings, and social mixers. Would you please join us in praying that students are able to connect with ROC in the midst of all the other things happening during this busy time?

New Orleans Mission Team
Speaking of connecting with students, I am really excited to be a part of ROC’s annual cookie outreach. It’s amazing how excited people get to receive a gift like homemade cookies (something familiar) during a process like move-in (something unfamiliar). We appreciate ROC’s many supporters who undertake this labor of love, which in turn allows us to show the love of Christ in practical ways and make meaningful connections with students as they arrive on campus. It’s amazing how many of our students’ “ROC Stories” begin with, “I first heard about ROC during move-in when someone offered me some cookies.” Thank you so much for your role in this incredible ministry.

As a new semester gets ready to kick-off, we are looking forward to another year of Crosswalk (our larger community worship and teaching time), small group Bible studies, social events, church visits, ROC lunches, and much more. These regular events are really the building blocks for our community and help propel us into some of our larger special events.

Speaking of special events, there are several that I am really excited about that I would ask you to join us in praying for. The first on the calendar is our fall retreat. This year fall retreat is scheduled for the weekend of September 23-25th. Last year’s retreat was fantastic, and really made an impact in the lives of the students who attended.

The second event is new for 2016. This is our “Student Ministry Summit.” This year ROC is reaching OUt to our local student ministries and inviting them to participate in a workshop designed to encourage and equip students in our local churches. This year’s theme will center around “Disciple Making” with ROC students leading the teaching times and small group discussions. Additionally, Kentucky Christian’s traveling praise team “Elevate” will join us for the afternoon and lead the entire group in worship! (If you know of a youth group or church that you’d like us to share this information with, please let us know!) 


Posing with part of the 2016 NOLA Team
The last special event that I’d like you to be in prayer about is our winter service trip. This winter break a team of ROC students will be joining with some adults and high school students from local churches and spending a week in the Dominican Republic serving, evangelizing, and growing together on the mission field. There is always so much that has to come together for a trip of this nature, so we are asking for our friends and ministry partners to join us in praying for God to pull together all the details and to move in mighty ways both in our group and in the D.R.

We are incredibly excited about all of these opportunities! But we are even more excited to know that we have people like you who through prayer, encouragement, and financial support make these types of events, and the ministry of ROC possible. I really wish I could find a way to adequately describe to you the eternal impact that your partnership is making in the lives of students. Maybe one day you can join us for Crosswalk, a mission trip, or even Year End Bash and see (if just in part) this for yourself. Until that time, just know that I am eternally grateful for each and every one of you.