As I write these words it’s the beginning of week 9 of fall semester which means that we are halfway through what is easily the strangest semester at ROC since I began my tenure as campus minister. Although this semester has certainly had its share of challenges, there have been plenty of blessings as well. Through it all, we know that God is faithful and He continues to bless our community through our students and each one of you who so faithfully support and encourage us.
As I’ve stated before, one of the most bittersweet parts of campus ministry is getting to be a part of students’ lives at a very crucial time in their lives and watching the ways that God develops and leads them where He chooses. Which means that at some point, we have to say “good-bye” to these special people that we’ve spent the years serving, worshipping, and growing alongside. But sometimes this also holds true for our staff. Many of you know firsthand how much of a blessing our Associate Campus Minister Noah Mulvaney has been to the community over the past 2 ½ years. Recently, through a lot of prayer and seeking God’s will, it has become abundantly clear that God was opening some doors for Noah to return home to Tennessee and pursue some educational goals that he had put on hold to serve at ROC. No words I write will truly do justice to what Noah’s presence has meant to the ROC community, my family, and myself. Clearly, we will miss him greatly, but we are also very excited for the opportunity that God has laid out before Noah. Would you please join me in praying for God’s blessing and guidance for Noah in this next phase of his life?
As you pray for Noah, please also keep Noelle Mash, our ROC at Rio coordinator, in prayer as she continues to serve the campus of Rio Grande. Noelle is now fully moved into her new apartment at Central Christian Church of Gallipolis. This is exciting because it allows her to live in the community where she will be serving and gives her access to the campus with just a short commute. I am so incredibly grateful for the folks at Central Christian Church, not only for their generosity and partnership with ROC but for the incredible hospitality that they have shown to Noelle since she has moved in. I love the ways that the Body of Christ works together for the sake of the Gospel, and it has been a blessing to see this so clearly through this body of believers.
If you’ve been following local health updates, it appears that Covid-19 numbers are steadily increasing on both OU’s and Rio’s campuses. I would ask that you once again join us in praying for the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff of both campuses as they seek to minimize the spread of Covid. ROC, with the direction of our board, has been trying to handle these challenges responsibly while also recognizing the importance of connection. With that in mind, in addition to smaller, socially distanced activities, we have tried to find ways to get people together outdoors while still encouraging all safety and health protocols. One of which was last night as a group of ROC at OU and Rio students gathered at OVCA Camp for a bonfire. It was a great night filled with lots of laughter, s’mores, and worship. Times like these make me look forward to how sweet it will be when we can all once again come together in person and fellowship.
Thank you for your incredible generosity, which has allowed us to continue to meet the needs of students in the midst of one of the most difficult seasons of ministry that campus ministry has faced. We pray that you are blessed in hearing stories of what your support and encouragement are achieving in the lives of students, like this month’s student spotlight, Austin Mahr.