May Update

What a month! I have so many things I’m excited to share with you and so little space to do it, so let’s just dive right in. In the last update, I shared with you about a couple things that ROC was doing to wrap up another year of ministry and to kick-off the summer. The first was our Year End Bash. Bash is actually a ROC tradition that predates me (insert your own Dodger is old joke here). Sadly, at the end of the 2020 academic year, we were unable to host this even due to Covid restrictions which is disappointing as it’s our last opportunity to celebrate with our community all the good that God has done within our group over the year, wish our graduating seniors good-bye, and blow off some steam before finals week. But this year we were back! We hosted Bash at Ohio Valley Christian Assembly, just south of Athens. It was a great day of fun and celebration.

It was a great day for Year End Bash!

Shortly after finals wrapped up and all the graduation parties ended, a group of 16 ROC OU and ROC Rio students loaded up a couple vehicles and made the 14 hour trip to New Orleans to serve with Crossroads Missions once again. This was a welcome return to a normal routine for us. It was also a welcome return for the Crossroads Staff as well as we were the last group that they hosted in the summer of 2019 before Covid and we were also the first group back since the pandemic. We had a terrific week serving in a variety of ways including working in a local community center getting things ready for their summer children’s programming. We also ventured deep into the bayou (Google Phoenix, LA to get an idea of just how deep) to work on the roof of a house for a couple whose home had been damaged by a hurricane. We also got to work with New Orleans Mission in ministering to those experiencing homelessness.

New Orleans will always have a spot in my heart for a number of reasons. First, because our groups have spent the better part of a decade forming relationships with so many people, ministries, and missions in New Orleans, that coming back to serve each year is a bit of a homecoming for us. Second, our connection with Crossroads Missions has been a blessing to ROC and Crossroads. Many of our ROC students have gone on to intern with Crossroads and many Crossroads interns have come to Ohio just to serve with ROC. Finally, no matter how many times we make the trek down to serve, I am always blown away by the real opportunities for students to live out their faith in just a few short days. This year was clearly no exception. But don’t take my word for it. Make sure you read this month’s student spotlight to hear one of our ROC Rio students share about this in his own words.

Our group getting some painting done in the Community Center on a rainy day.

Finally, I just want to take a second to thank everyone who prayed for our team throughout the week. Our prayer partners are a vital part of any trip. Secondly, I wanted to give a huge shoutout to my buddy Zach Waite and all the folks at Fifth Street Church of Christ for allowing us to borrow their 15 passenger van for the trip. Also, if you haven’t seen the video highlights of our week in New Orleans, make sure you check out the ROC Facebook Page to see it for yourself.

With the month of May drawing to an end, that means that camp season is just around the corner. ROC is excited to be involved with our local Christian Camps this summer. Noelle and others will be assisting with senior high week at OVCA. I’ll also be heading to OVCA for Jr High Week and Middler week to preach campfire. I’m also looking forward to being the speaker for Paintball Camp at Round Lake Christian Camp in just a few short weeks. This summer’s theme at Round Lake is “Journey” and I’m excited to be able to share with the students there about the incredible journey that comes when we accept Jesus’ offer to follow Him. Please be praying for all of these weeks and others. I know firsthand what an incredible opportunity for life change that weeks like these represent for students. It was at a camp much like one of these that I first felt God leading me toward ministry. What an incredible journey that has been!

Our ladies getting work done on the roofing project.

In closing, I just want to reiterate what an incredible blessing it has been to know that you all are praying for us and supplying for the needs of the ministry. I know that this side of eternity you will never know the complete impact of all that you are doing, I don’t fully either, but I know that all of the amazing things that have happened this past year would not have been possible without your partnership. Thank you!