Thursday, February 11, 2016

It’s a snowy day in Athens and the university even cancelled morning classes. Hopefully this allows our students to catch up on some much needed sleep after an amazing weekend. ROC kicked-off the weekend with a lock-in at the Athens Church of Christ. While I bowed out gracefully at midnight, some of those crazy students (and a mildly disturbed adult volunteer) stayed awake all night playing games, laughing, and having a fantastic time.

We returned to ACC just a little over 24 hours later for a Church visit where we shared about all the exciting things God is doing in and through the ministry. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and are always warmly welcomed by the folks at ACC.

Later that evening ROC held our annual Super Bowl party at the home of Chuck and Shirley Higgins from ACC. The Higgins’ have been holding this party for us for many years now and are such terrific hosts. We are so richly blessed by so many folks like Chuck and Shirley who go out of their way to show hospitality and love to our students. I am always blown away by how terrific our supporters are to us.

Last week also kicked off our Discovery Workshop. Discovery is our “new believer” workshop, and is also the foundation for leadership training, which will happen later in the semester. We had 4 students the first week, and I’m looking forward to spending the next 5 weeks of the workshop with them.

Speaking of ROC Leadership, I am excited for our Leadership Retreat that is planned for the weekend of February 20th. I will be taking our current student leaders for a day of team building, fellowship, and learning. Please join me in praying that God would richly bless the investment we are making in the leaders.

As I look over all of the events coming up in the ministry, as well as all the things we’ve already done, I can’t help but get excited when I see God blessing our efforts. Each of these activities has propelled us toward one of our three core values. “Belonging to Christ and One Another, Becoming More Like Christ, and Being Sent to Love Serve and Disciple.” Sometimes it’s difficult to see the “fruit” of our efforts, but I feel like God has blessed us to be able to see some tangible results this year. New faces within the ministry, students getting plugged into the ministry and using their gifts to serve, seeing lives changed by the Gospel; these are just a few.

Another exciting “fruit” is seeing students choosing to allow God to send them. It seems like this year there is a much greater interest within the community to “Be Sent to Love, Serve, and Disciple.” We recently returned from the Mountain Mission School in Grundy, VA where our students worked on projects at the school, helped teach and serve in the classroom, and minister to students through a variety of activities including dramas and worship.

One such student who has heard God’s call and has responded “here am I Lord, send me” is our very own Jessica Brantmeier. Jess was challenged by a message at Crosswalk in reaching the unreached by Al Hartson from Team Expansion. She prayed about the opportunity and chose to apply for Team Expansion’s Pathways Internship and was accepted. You can hear more about her story and her passion for missions in the “Mission Spotlight” attached.

As always, none of this would be possible without your faithfulness to the ministry. If I can be a blessing to you or your congregation by coming and sharing about what God has done through the ministry, please do not hesitate to contact me.

In the love of Christ,