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,

-Dodger