March Update

I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that although last week was Spring Break, I still wake up to frost on my windshield in the morning. Actually, I can’t complain because today is a beautiful sunny day in Athens, and the ROC community is still buzzing from an incredible mission trip to Wallace, North Carolina last week. 
Last week we packed a van full of ROC staff and students and began the eight-hour drive to North Carolina’s coastal region. We then spent the rest of the week helping with the rebuilding process for homeowners who had been impacted by Hurricane Florence. The ROC crew was blessed to be able to serve four different homeowners throughout the week. Our students did everything from wiring outlets, to framing, to drywall, to building steps, and even cleaning. It was awesome to see them learn new skills while serving the homeowners with joy. 

ROC’s 2019 NC Mission Team and
homeowner Steve and family. 

We were blessed to be able to serve with a disaster relief ministry called “Helping His Hands.” HHH has been on the ground serving in disasters all over the United States including Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and the EF-5 tornado that struck Alabama in 2011 just to name a few. HHH’s Director, Scott Shipman, says “For these people this is the worst day of their life and it is for that reason we want to bring hope and a hand of service to those in need.” That is precisely what I got to witness our students do this past week. I watched the way they loved on and cared for each homeowner and how their presence and willingness to help made an impact in the lives of the people they were serving. 
Our team enjoyed being able to serve alongside one of our sister campus ministries from Vincennes University in Indiana (Christian Campus Fellowship). I always enjoy watching our teams bond with other mission teams and groups. One special moment was observing the two groups come together in a special unplanned time of worship on one of the first nights of the trip. I think this truly set a tone for the week and helped the two groups deepen their bonds in Christ. 
ROC students Noelle and Sara with
homeowner Melba.
As terrific as spring break was, we are already looking forward to everything that the second half of the semester brings. This weekend we are taking a group of current and incoming leaders on our annual leadership retreat where we will be doing a Room Escape adventure. This will be the first time that our incoming leaders will be working alongside our existing leaders and it’s always an incredible bonding and learning experience. Also, Ohio Teens for Christ is exactly one month away as I write these words. The ROC community always loves being able to serve at the convention even as we enjoy the teaching and worship. Will we see your high school and middle school students there? I hope so! Come find our table at the convention and we will hook you up with some ROC Swag. 
Finally, we want to make a special invitation to you! Each year ROC holds its annual appreciation dinner where we get to celebrate with you all of the things that God has done in our community throughout the year. We would be honored if you would make plans to join us on Saturday evening April 13thfrom 6 to 8pm at Athens Church of Christ (785 West Union Street, Athens, OH). There is no cost associated with this event, as we truly just want to share with you what your love, prayers, and partnership are accomplishing for the kingdom. If you would like to come we simply just ask that you RSVP using the enclosed form or email us at jeandifilippo@yahoo.comwith the number of people you are bringing with you. We hope to see you there!