Wowza, what a crazy couple days for the ROC community. If you are a ROC alum or have been reading our updates for any length of time, you’ll likely recognize what a busy week it is leading up to the first day of the semester. The craziness was compounded by running welcome week events on TWO different campuses this year. But that being said, we are so excited to be back in person doing what we love most — glorifying Jesus and loving students in His name. Let’s not forget though, you have been an important part of getting us back to this point. Your love, support, encouragement, and prayers have carried us through a difficult year and proven God’s faithfulness to us over and over again. Thank you!
The week started early for us… literally as in 6am on Wednesday the 18th of August when a group of our students, eager to get back together with the community, set out to raft WV’s famed New River. We had a blast, got a front row seat to some of God’s most incredible work in creation, and reconnected with friends that we’ve missed dearly. This, however, was only the calm before the storm.
Friday, we began outreach efforts at OU during move-in. As new students ventured uptown, we greeted them and handed out free popsicles on a very hot day. We then continued outreach on Sunday afternoon during the annual Student Involvement Fair. Each year OU’s Freshman class descends upon College Green to meet the many different student organizations that are represented there. It’s absolute chaos and pandemonium during a normal year, but this year’s deluge of rain made it a little crazier. Still, we stood in the rain, greeted new students, and smiled despite being soaked down to our socks. Later that evening, we set up our brand new 9 Square in the Air game on the green and invited students to come play with us. We had a blast and met quite a few new faces this way.
On Monday, we picked up the outreach efforts at Rio. Our team set up outside of the Davis student center at Rio, greeted students on the way to their first day of classes and offered them homemade cookies. It’s always fun to see how much joy it brings to be offered something as simple as a homemade cookie or even a popsicle, especially in the midst of a very hectic time. Once again, we made lots of great connections and received many warm thanks along the way. We also set up 9 Square later that evening and invited students to join us. Let me tell you that this was a huge hit! So much so that even the president of the university showed up to play a round with us! How cool is that?
This week will be filled with many firsts of the year for us. Our first Crosswalks on both campuses, first meetings with students, first introductions to the community, and more. We invite you to join us in praying for all of these firsts — that God would intentionally place students in our path that we could connect with and who would benefit from being a part of a faith-based community like ROC. Additionally, please be praying for things to go smoothly this semester on both campuses. Not only for the ROC community but for students, faculty, and administrators on both campuses as they attempt to get back into a normal routine.
Finally, let me take a moment to share about what an incredible group of students I get to serve. The scope and scale of these welcome week events would be impossible for Noelle and I to manage on our own. Thankfully, we have so many students who love this community, love Jesus, and love reaching out to others who stepped up to help make all that I described above possible. They came early, stayed late, stood in the heat, and even got soaked for the opportunity to reach out to others and invite them to Belong, Become, and Be Sent.
Thanks for sticking through a crazy year and half with us and for making opportunities like this possible. I look forward to checking in with you all next month and sharing more about what God is doing in our community.