January Update

Here we go again! We are less than a week away from the start of a brand-new semester and another year of ministry at Ohio University and the University of Rio Grande. We are excited about the possibility of having more students return to campus at OU as well as welcoming back a few of the familiar faces from our community that we’ve only been able to connect with virtually up to this point. As we begin, most of our meetings and events will remain virtual in order to comply with university and CDC guidelines, but we are hopeful that as the semester progresses, we will be able to host more in-person events. 

Passing out our “Finals Survival Kits” at the end of last semester

As we begin this new year, we want to take a second to say “thank you” to all of you who have supported and encouraged us through the pandemic! While it has certainly been easy to find reasons to be discouraged through all of this, your love, support, and faithfulness have been an incredible blessing to us and a reason to remain optimistic. Because of your financial support of the ministry, we were able to finish the year financially positive! God continues to prove that He is able to provide, even in the midst of a pandemic, through the faithfulness of His people. What a blessing! 

If you’ve been reading our updates for any length of time, you’re likely already aware that service is a vital part of the ROC community. In fact, “being sent to love, serve, and disciple” is one of the three core values that drive everything we do. That’s why we’ve been so excited to have the opportunity to serve alongside one of our supporting churches, Athens Church of Christ, in helping to provide their free community meals every Tuesday evening throughout the month of January. We also really enjoyed getting to serve in conjunction with Fellowship of Faith church in Rio Grande in doing a meal pack through Lifeline Christian Mission back in December. These meals will be shipped to mission fields all over the world to help feed families who lack access to regular meals. Being able to serve in the midst of the pandemic has often been a little tricky, but it’s been a blessing to have opportunities like this through our partnership with local churches. 

ROC student Gionna Russo at the meal pack at Fellowship of Faith

We are also looking forward to the opportunity to serve one of ROC’s long-term mission partners, Mountain Mission School in Grundy, Virginia. ROC has served at MMS as far back as the early 80’s as far as I can tell. We had initially planned to return there this month but due to Covid restrictions at MMS they are, understandably, not allowing outside teams in to serve. While this was a disappointment, I was excited to get a call from Mt Hermon church inviting us to participate with them in a supply drive for the school. Throughout the remainder of the month, we are going to be challenging our ROC students to collect items such as dish soap, paper towels, disinfectant wipes, Ramen noodles, and outdoor basketballs which will later be delivered to MMS. If you or your church would like to join with us in collecting or donating some of these supplies, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 740-591-1692 or email me at reachohio@gmail.com. 

Finally, I just wanted to remind everyone that one great way to stay current with what is happening in the ROC community, as well as getting to hear from our students and learn about what Christ is doing in their lives is to visit our YouTube channel (YouTube.com/user/ReachOutonCampusOU). One positive thing to come from the pandemic is that we have had to be creative in the ways we have gone about getting the Gospel message out! Check it out for yourself. I pray you’ll be blessed by the ways that God is using and leading our students. (Check out the video below from our 5 Minute Friday Devotions featuring our ROC Students).

Many Blessings, 

-Dodger Vaughan