March Update

Hello everyone! My name is Noelle Mash, and I am the ROC at Rio Campus Coordinator. I was so excited when Dodger asked me to write about what we’ve had going on at the University of Rio Grande over the last few months and what we have planned for the future.

As you may know, this is the first year that we’ve been on the University of Rio Grande Campus and it’s also the first time we’ve had to do campus ministry during a global pandemic. But we were up for the challenge! Since the beginning of last fall, we’ve been able to have our weekly CrossWalk meeting either virtually or in-person. At the beginning of the academic year, it was mostly through Zoom, but this semester we’ve been able to have it consistently in person at the Storm Shelter (a student center building on campus). We’ve been having new students attend regularly as well! Each week we play a game, sing a few worship songs together, Dodger brings a message and discussion questions, and fellowship together. We’ve also taken our CrossWalk service live on Instagram to reach students that can’t attend in person.

We’ve also had a weekly Bible Study. This semester we have been discussing what the Bible teaches about stress and anxiety and different ways to deal with it. We’ve been meeting at Poppy’s Coffee Shop in Gallipolis, which has been really awesome because they are an actively missional small business in the area. Just this past week we got to help the owner write some Easter cards with encouraging Bible verses written on the inside for the area nursing home residents. In the future, we are hoping to have the opportunity to help them pass out food with the food giveaways they do for people in need.

The ROC crew serving at Lifeline Christian Mission

In the coming weeks we are going to have our leadership training for students that will be helping lead the ROC community next Fall. I remember when I was becoming a student leader at OU and how much this training grew me as a young Christian woman developing my faith. It helped me to really find my place in how I fit as a piece in God’s Kingdom. In the training, students study the basics of Christianity and how to talk to people who may have questions. They also take a quiz that helps them realize what their spiritual gifts are. It’s very eye opening and I can’t wait to see how our students at both Rio and OU are stretched through this training.

We are so excited that we have been able to meet more students this Spring Semester and we can’t wait for more growth and to continue to meet students going into summer! We have students who will be taking summer courses and we plan to keep having our weekly Bible Study and some social events in the summer months.

Please continue to pray for us as we are starting to have the opportunity to reach out to more students during the week on campus. I am trying to get on campus a couple times a week to be able to meet with students between classes and get to know them and their stories better. We are such a new presence at Rio, and we are so grateful for the doors that God is opening for us. We can’t wait for the future! Go RedStorm!

-Noelle Mash