Well we’ve reached the point of the summer where, in the past, every student would already be heading back to school or at least preparing to return. Obviously, a lot can change in a year. Actually, just about a month ago we were planning to take this week to collect, pack, and label cookies to give away to OU students as they arrived back on campus. In case you missed it, that has changed as well. The majority of OU students will now begin the semester virtually with hopes of returning to campus slowly over the semester.
So, you may be thinking, what does this mean for Reach Out on Campus? Well I’m glad you asked! ROC has been hard at work as a staff in coordination with our student leaders to offer a “hybrid” ministry model for the fall. As fall semester kicks off, the university has expressed its desire to keep all gatherings at less than 10. With that in mind, ROC is planning to host 3-4 weekly, in person, small group Bible studies. For our students still at home however, we will also be hosting an online version of the Bible study for students to log into and participate in. Additionally, we will continue hosting “Virtual Crosswalk” (our larger weekly worship gathering) throughout the remainder of the semester. We will also be uploading our teaching and worship to YouTube to allow students who can’t log in on Wednesdays at 7pm to stay up to date with the ministry.
If you’ve been following Reach Out on Campus on Social Media or have been reading our updates each month, you’re likely aware that we are planting a new ministry on the campus of the University of Rio Grande. While launching in the midst of a global pandemic wasn’t part of our ministry plan, we believe that God is faithful to provide where He leads. Rio students will begin move-in Thursday and Friday August 27th and 28th. ROC plans to be there both days to welcome students to campus by handing out freezer pops and inviting people to participate in our weekly Bible studies at Rio.
Speaking of ROC at Rio, one of the big hurdles to starting a new student org is finding student leaders. In the same way that ROC at OU’s student leaders allow us to maintain our student org status, ROC at Rio leaders are necessary in order to be recognized as a new student org. With that in mind, I’m beyond excited to announce that one long-time friend of ROC, Kristi McKnight, has agreed to be our first ever ROC at Rio President. You can read all about Kristi in this month’s student spotlight. Throughout her high school years Kristi has spent time with our community at camps, mission trips, and more. We are beyond excited to welcome her as our first member and student org president.
One thing is for sure, 2020 has definitely thrown us a lot of “curve balls” but we continue to see God’s goodness demonstrated throughout this time and through His people, just like you. Thank you for continuing to pray for us and support us through this season of ministry. We ask that you’d join us in praying for all students through this time as they head back to campus, either in-person or virtually, in the midst of a lot of uncertainty. We are grateful for each one of you.