1,800 miles, 2 flat tires, and countless bathroom breaks later, we are back from another amazing week of serving in New Orleans. This year our team of 25 met up with 15 friends from Kingston Church of Christ in Tennessee (whose generosity in hosting and feeding us was an amazing blessing). These groups worked together on a variety of projects throughout the week including hanging drywall, pouring concrete, building raised beds for local urban farming projects, serving in a kids camp, distributing food alongside New Orleans Mission, and hosting a cookout for the community at St Roch park. I could go on and on about what an amazing week it was, but I think I’ll let some of our teammates share in their words…
|It's a ROC family reunion! Getting to|
catch up with some of our ROC family
in New Orleans!
“I’m glad I went to New Orleans, and I’m so happy that I got to help out at the mission and help the kids at the kids camp feel loved. This has been the most fulfilling trip I’ve ever been on, and the best group I’ve ever been with, thank youfor introducing me to this wonderful place. Next year can't come soon enough!” –Kristi M.
“When I signed up for this mission trip I walked in thinking that I’d probably make very little impact in NOLA. I never realized how much the trip was going to change me and my perspective so much. The bonds I’ve made with these wonderful people are indescribable. I will never forget this trip and the impact the community made on me. I feel so blessed to come share the Lord with others and see the Lord shining in them. I will definitely be doing this again and very soon. I’m going to miss my mission team family so much so much!” –Samantha B.
One particularly impactful moment from the trip was having a long time resident of New Orleans, Mark Madary come and share with us at lunch one day. Mark told about what it was like growing up in St. Bernard Parish as well as his experience as a survivor of Hurricane Katrina. Most importantly he spoke about the good that has been done in the city by volunteers since Katrina, and how it has largely been groups of volunteers that have helped to rebuild his hometown. Mark said “If you want to see the face of restoration, look in the face of a volunteer.”
While in New Orleans, I was excited (and very proud) to get a text from a friend of mine who had led a team to Crossroads Missions Appalachia that had met up with our very own Noelle Mash! You’ll have the opportunity to read more about what Noelle has been doing this summer in our Student Spotlight for this month.
|Building planter boxes to be used for|
food plots in the Lower 9th ward of
Good things are happening all around the ministry of Reach Out on Campus as a result of the way that God is working in and through the lives of our students. I’m incredibly grateful to have a front row seat for all of it. I’m equally grateful for all of you who faithfully pray for us, provide for the needs of the ministry, and encourage us. Thank you for all you do!
Also, it’s almost time for ROC’s annual cookie outreach. Each year ROC welcomes new students to campus by offering them free cookies. We accomplish this with assistance from many individuals and churches that help us by baking cookies. It’s just a small way that we can demonstrate Jesus’ love by offering students something familiar (like a homemade cookie) in the midst of a very chaotic and unfamiliar time (like move-in weekend). If you are interested in helping us, please see the additional information about the cookie outreach that we have included with this update. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to call or email!
|The gang's all here! The ROC group with our friends from Kingston, TN!|
PS... make sure to check out some highlights from our week in New Orleans below!