July Update

2,000 plus miles, 28 hours in a church van, and one amazing week later, we are back in Ohio from our week spent with Crossroads Missions in New Orleans. If you’ve been following Reach Out on Campus for any length of time, you know that serving and loving others in Jesus’ name is a huge part of our identity. We’ve served everywhere from Mexico to the Dominican Republic, and all around the US. And that’s just been the last 4 years! We love giving students the opportunity to discover how to use their God-given skills, abilities, and gifts to grow the kingdom.

This past trip was particularly special for me because it marked my tenth year leading teams of volunteers to New Orleans to serve. I honestly get a little emotional when I think about God’s goodness in allowing me to experience the relationships we’ve formed, observe the growth in our students, and see the impact that our teams have made in the community after a decade of commitment to the field. What a blessing!

Part of the NOLA team working on a water mitigation project for a homeowner in NOLA

This year our students had the opportunity to work on several sites while on the trip. Part of our crew painted the exterior of a building that has long served residents of the community with developmental disabilities. Another crew laid flooring in a local church that had been damaged in a tornado that had come through in March of this year. And yet another crew was hard at work doing water mitigation work through laying permeable pavers. Additionally, all of our team was blessed to be able to serve alongside of New Orleans Mission in packing meals to hand out to those experiencing homelessness in the city.

I love these trips because it really helps us to gear up for all the serving that our group will be doing on the campuses of Ohio University and the University of Rio Grande this coming year. Speaking of which, how would you like to partner with ROC in helping us to connect with the next generation of students as they make their way to the university? Each year ROC hands out hundreds of bags of homemade cookies to students during move-in. For many of our students, their ROC stories began with “I first heard of ROC when someone offered me a bag of cookies.”

NOLA mission team member Franki Harrah, check out her spotlight article in this month’s update!

Here is where you come in… first would you pray for good connections as we reach out? Secondly, would you (and your church perhaps) consider backing cookies for ROC to hand out? Place 2-3 cookies in a zip lock bag and deliver them to Athens Church of Christ (785 West Union Street) sometime the week of August 11th through the 16th. If you can’t make it during their normal operating hours of 9am to 5pm, feel free to reach out to me and I can arrange to meet you somewhere. (dodgervaughan@yahoo.com or 740-591-1692)

Once again, thank you for the love and support that you show our students. We are praying that your investment of time, love, and resources leads us to making the 2022-2023 school year one of the best ever!