“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit…” With these words Tolkien's story of Bilbo Baggins’s great adventure begins. The beginning of another great adventure started in the middle of spring break.
March 24-28 ten of us journeyed from Athens to Joppa, MD then to Sterling, VA and back again to listen, learn and labor. Our time of listening and learning began Wednesday night in homes of host families of Mountain Christian Church. Thursday morning we learned about the passion the Mountain staff has for Jesus’ mission in Maryland and around the world. We learned that their mission, “making disciples—more and better disciples,” drives everything they do. We also learned from the staff of Restore Community Church in VA the importance of living out the values of relationships, serving and generosity. The importance of encouragement and leadership was made tangible through a time of rock climbing in the Great Falls National Park.
But we also labored. We sorted and marked clothes and did various other duties at a food shelf/thrift store called Tabitha’s House and a homeless day shelter both in MD. In VA we helped Restore rake gravel at the Good Shepherd thrift store and helped pack and deliver food to children who don’t have access to food during their spring break.
Those are the details. But the learning continues. On his adventure Bilbo left his hole in the ground and found that the world was much larger than he ever imagined. He found it was a wondrous world and that he had place in it. In fact both he and his nephew, Frodo, discovered that even a person small of stature could change things for the better.
At some point in the story Bilbo states, "The Road goes ever on and on down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow, if I can, pursuing it with eager feet, until it joins some larger way where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say.”
We hope that ROC students will catch the passion for Christ’s mission in the world expressed by the folks at Mountain and Restore and that they will leave their “holes” and pursue with similar passion the great adventure of being missionaries here at OU. We trust that the Spirit will empower them and use them to change the world as they trust in the One who leads them on this great quest of being Jesus in the world.