It’s the week of Thanksgiving as I write these words, so I feel it’s appropriate to start by listing a few things that the staff members at Reach Out on Campus are thankful for. First, we are thankful for God’s goodness and grace that have allowed us the privilege and honor to serve at OU and Rio. Second, we are thankful for our amazing students who have shown dedication and tenacity during this semester to make the most out of a very strange season of ministry. Last, but certainly not least, we are incredibly thankful for each one of you who play such an important part in the lives of our students through your prayers, encouragement, and support of ROC.
November has been a good month for our community as we wrapped up another semester of Bible studies. Due to restrictions surrounding Covid-19, we’ve split the community up into several smaller groups that meet throughout the week (both virtually and in-person). These groups have met individually, but spent the semester going through the same studies as a community. Our vision for this was that even though we might be disconnected in other ways, by spending time in God’s word together He might draw us together.
Another highlight for November was our ROC Fall Retreat Hike. In a normal year ROC typically hosts a weekend-long retreat at New River Gorge in Fayetteville, WV. This being obviously not a normal year, we had to make some changes to the retreat. It had originally been scheduled for October but then got rained out, but God blessed us with an incredibly beautiful fall day on November 8th for the hike. We loaded up and left Athens early in the morning and made the trek down, stopping at a few waterfalls along the way. We hiked along the trail, had a sack lunch and some great fellowship, worship, and listened as Noelle shared a devotion with us. It was a great day and an awesome opportunity to get away from campus and studies for a day.
One more bit of good news for this month has been starting Crosswalk at the University of Rio Grande. Each week on Thursday evenings we set up in the student union at Rio called “The Storm Shelter” and meet in person while also broadcasting live for students who can’t be there. Unfortunately, while we were there this past week we found out that the university cancelled all in-person classes for the next several weeks, so for the next few weeks ROC at Rio will be coming to you live from my basement HA!
Three quick requests for each of you as I close this month… first, please continue to pray for our students, and all of OU and Rio as they approach finals as well as for health and safety right now as Corona resurges in Ohio. Secondly, take a moment to read our student spotlight interview for this month with my friend Katie Moody! I think you will be greatly encouraged by her words. Finally, we’ve been working hard to make our teaching and worship videos available online for students who can’t join us on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Please take a second to head over to YouTube, search for “Reach Out on Campus”, and check out our series entitled “Virtual Crosswalk” or “Five Minute Friday Devotions” and then drop us some feedback. We’d love to hear from you.
Finally, on behalf of the ROC Staff, Students, and Board of Directors, I’d like to take the time to wish each and every one of you a Happy Holiday season and a Merry Christmas! We pray that the joy, support, and encouragement we receive from each one of you would be returned to you during this season. May the love of Christ fill each one of you as you celebrate the birth of King Jesus.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Reach Out on Campus!