March Update

Leading a group of college students on a mission trip is always an adventure, but anytime travel is involved it adds a level of chaos that rattles even the most experienced trip leader. Whether it’s traffic jams, flat tires, canceled hotel rooms, or delayed flights we’ve seen it all. This past Spring Break trip was certainly no exception. Our Mexico mission team experienced flight delays and worried about connections on every single leg of the journey there and back! But God is good and we thankfully arrived safely and had a wonderful week serving. 

I was blessed to be able to lead our Mexico team back to Piedras Negras where we met up with ROC Alum Noelle Mash-Moreno who serves there in the city with Crossroads Missions. Our team spent the week laboring on projects such as replacing a roof for a member of the community, patching drywall, busting up old concrete and much more! Our team also relished opportunities like teaching English as a second language and feeding several families of refugees who Crossroads is caring for as they await their asylum hearings. 

ROC Students Maggie Hoover and Lilly Suttle putting down rows of shingles

Our students also had the privilege of worshipping alongside our Mexican, Honduran, and Venezuelan brothers and sisters on Sunday of the week. I also thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to preach at church that morning. Thankfully for all my Spanish speaking friends, I had a wonderful interpreter named Julian who helped me in bringing the message that morning. 

At the same time all of this was happening another group of students from both OU and Rio was in Western, Kentucky serving with Crossroads and Operation Recovery. Operation Recovery is a joint effort of dozens of Kentucky churches and Crossroads Missions to help those impacted by the tornadoes that tore through Western, KY in December of 2022. Our group found themselves at a local church camp called “Camp Kum Ba Ya.” The team spent the week helping them get ready to host students this summer by working on everything from wheelchair ramps to painting projects, to landscaping work. The camp loved our students and raved about what a great team they were. 

ROC Rio Campus Minister Josh Beck working on one of the ramp builds

Although I’m glad to be back on campus this week, I’m still amazed at all that God accomplished through our community over break. I really do believe that providing students the opportunity to serve opens their eyes to the many ways that they can serve others on a daily basis, and it reinforces the gifts and abilities that God has given them to use for His kingdom. 

Now we shift our focus forward to the second half of the semester. This means Ohio Teens for Christ, Easter, and all the events we have crammed into just a few short weeks before the end of the semester. Would you please join me in praying for our community as God uses our students and these events to reach others in the name of Jesus. Once again, I am grateful for your role in all of this through your prayers, support, and encouragement.