Wow, what a great weekend! We just returned from our annual Winter Retreat with our friends from ACT at Bowling Green and University of Toledo and SCF at Ohio State University. For the past couple years, we’ve hosted the retreat at OVCA camp (just about 20 minutes south of Athens). In doing so, we’ve been richly blessed by the local churches that partner with us in feeding the students, which allows us to keep the cost of the retreat low and encourage more students to be involved. This year Mt. Hermon Church, Ripley Church of Christ, Glouster Church of Christ, Middleport Church of Christ, and Central Christian in Gallipolis all provided a meal for our group over the weekend. We also want to give a huge shout out to OVCA for working with us to make the weekend a memorable one for students.
The theme of the weekend was “A Better Way.” Throughout the weekend we talked about issues such as stress, anxiety, frustration, discouragement, etc. (probably a relevant discussion as midterms are upon us). We also looked at the ways that Jesus invites us into a better way of life. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Finding rest isn’t something that we value highly in our chaotic, fast-paced culture. But it’s certainly something we need if we value our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health. It’s when we surrender to the idea that Jesus’ way truly is a better we begin to find all this and more!
Do you like good surprises? (In fairness, I do, but I’m also terrible at keeping things secret. Hahaha). Do you get excited by big news? If you answered “yes” to either one of these then you need to be watching ROC’s social media accounts. We have some amazing news that we are going to be sharing on March 1st. Trust me, you won’t want to be the last to know. Make sure you are following us on Facebook or Instagram and then tune in on March 1st. In the meantime, each day we will be dropping some hints as to what the big news is. I can’t wait to share it with you.
In keeping with the idea of exciting things, we are less than 2 weeks away from our Spring Break mission trip to Piedras Negras, Mexico with Crossroads Missions. ROC has been working in close partnership with Crossroads for many years now: primarily in their New Orleans field. Last October I was invited to go on a leaders trip to Mexico to witness firsthand the ministry that Crossroads in doing in Mexico, particularly with the immigrants looking to seek legal asylum in the United States. Our students and adults will be serving alongside Crossroads to help them in their mission to aid the immigrants as well as serve the needs of the residents of Piedras. Would you please join us in praying for a great week of service and growth?
Speaking of prayer, last week was ROC’s Prayer Marathon. Throughout the week students took turns coming up to the ROC House to pray for the needs of our community, our campus, our friends, and our mission partners. We had an incredible response from both our students and those who submitted requests. This has actually become one of our students favorite events of the year. I love that we are a community that values prayer.
Finally, we also value you! Our friends, our prayer warriors, and our financial partners who make the ministry of ROC possible and whose encouragement is invaluable to our success. Thank you for your ongoing support and love.