Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August Update

We are just a few short weeks away from move-in at Ohio University, and the staff and students at ROC are eagerly anticipating this exciting opportunity to meet new students. Along with a new year of ministry (ROC’s 42nd and the beginning of my 4th) comes a rush of outreach events, social gatherings, and pizza parties all planned in an effort to connect with students as they arrive on campus for the first time.

Dodger with students from Ripley
Church of Christ (Mani & Franki Harrah
and Shelby Anderson) who were part of
ROC summer mission team. 
I’m asking all of our supporters and ministry partners to pray for our staff and student leaders during this very important time. Please pray for meaningful connections to be made and for God to be glorified through our outreach efforts. While our outreach never stops, the first few weeks after students arrive on campus tend to be some of the most fruitful.

From my time with ROC, I’ve observed that the ebb and flow of students entering and leaving the ministry is one of the most bittersweet parts of the job. Each year we say good-bye to students who have been influential parts of the community, while preparing to meet those who will shape the face of the ministry for the next several years. We prayerfully watch those who depart, excited to see where God leads them, even as we eagerly anticipate the students we will be investing in over the course of the coming years. This cycle is repeated year after year. Thankfully, the constant is, and has always been, God’s faithfulness.

Sometimes we are blessed to walk alongside students for four or more years, sometimes the blessing comes in knowing them for just a season. In this month’s student spotlight, you’ll hear about the latter. Reagan entered Ohio University as a freshman last year and got involved with ROC very early on. During her second semester at OU she went through ROC’s leadership training in preparation to serve the community this fall. But God had something different planned for Reagan. Reagan spent the summer serving at a church camp in Idaho. While there she made the decision to transfer to Lincoln Christian University this fall. As I mentioned before, while we are sad to see our friend go, we are excited to see what God is doing in and through her life, and are blessed to know that ROC played a role in God’s design for her.
2017 Adventure Camp students with ROC Students at Old Man's Cave 
In the coming weeks I am certain that we will be meeting the students who will be helping us carry out our mission of impacting the campus of Ohio University in the name of Jesus Christ for a new generation. Our supporters have always played an all-important role in this process. First, as many of you are aware, our cookie outreach is one of the most successful outreach events we hold each year. Because of your commitment to this event in baking and supplying cookies, we have been affectionately named “the cookie people” on campus. It’s amazing to see what a homemade cookie (something familiar) can mean to students during an overwhelmingly hectic time like move-in (something unfamiliar). It’s equally remarkable to hear how many of our current students’ ROC stories begin with “well I first heard about ROC when someone gave me a bag of cookies.”

Secondly, our supporters provide for the needs of the ministry both prayerfully and financially. There would be no outreach, no student org, and no ROC community without people just like you. For this reason, each month we include a student spotlight like Reagan’s so you can see the real impact that your support is making in the individual lives of our community members. I am eternally grateful for your encouragement, prayers, and commitment to seeing lives changed. Thank you!