Welcome Weeks are Now Upon Us!

IUP_Students_and_Oliver

Are you ready? Students are returning to campus now – well, some are. Universities are scrambling to restart, educate and protect students, and stay financially solvent. RUF ministers, staff, and students are finding hundreds of ways to insert themselves into the chaos to invite students into our ministry. We need your prayers!

  • Stamina! Welcome Weeks are unbelievably exhausting. Pray for energy.
  • Shrewdness! We need more than the usual insight. We need supernatural wisdom in all the chaos of this pandemic
  • Safety! Already there has been an outbreak of Covid-19 at UNC, Chapel Hill. Pray for God to protect us all from this virus.
  • Salvation! That in the worst of circumstances God would do His best work and save sinners.
  • Supernatural intervention! May God glorify Himself, care for His people, and destroy this virus!Here is a glimpse of things happening at campuses in our area!

Here is a glimpse of what is happening at colleges in our area!

West Virginia University

Although WVU students will be returning to campus this fall, there will be heavy restrictions on group activities, and a number of the events where we meet most of our freshmen contacts have been canceled or altered. The university is daily releasing updates and new directives. There is a lot of uncertainty about what the semester will look like. It can be hard to maintain motivation for planning and preparations when things are changing so rapidly. Please pray for wisdom, creativity, enthusiasm, and success for freshmen outreach and ministry in the fall. Thank you for your partnership with the work that God is doing. Praise Him that His kingdom rests not on our shoulders, but on His. May we trust Him always!

Lehigh University

Freshman outreach is one of the most important events for our ministry. Under normal conditions, over 1,000 students cover Lehigh’s front lawn as they look for clubs to join. This is where we normally meet many of the students who join RUF.

But what will freshman outreach look like this year?

In light of the pandemic, more colleges are switching to remote learning. As much as remote learning would be a significant disappointment, there are still plenty of opportunities for RUF to reach students for Christ and equip them to serve!

Praise God for the opportunities we have to reach students! Pray that God would grant us success as we reach out to students on Facebook, Instagram, via email, text, and all other forms of communication. Pray also that those who are contacted would reciprocate and that God would draw all kinds of new students to RUF!

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

As with the rest of the country, the circumstances at IUP and Indiana have been rapidly changing over the past two months. As soon as we begin to make plans, another change comes our way! Just last week, IUP announced that they will only be holding in-person classes for incoming freshman this fall. While there was wisdom to that decision, its last minute nature was frustrating for upperclassmen. As I’ve reached out to many of them, they are wrestling with the decision to stay at home or to move into apartments they have already leased. There is much disappointment and anger in the air.

Though it can be frustrating that the LORD has put us in such a season of uncertainty, it is an opportunity for creativity and growth. God is at work, even as we have to change plans on the fly or wear masks as we discuss Scripture and pray for students.

I’ve seen this many times as I’ve been strategizing for the fall and inviting input from our students. One student decided on her own to write out all of her ideas for the fall semester and suggested we create a document online where everyone could brainstorm. Another student reached out to me out of the blue asking about Resurrection Indiana and wanted to volunteer to run sound once we start meeting again for services. On my end, I’ve been trying out new ways of connecting with incoming freshman through social media and have had some fruitful conversations as a result.

Most recently, I’ve been going on walks around campus with two students who are in Indiana over the summer.  As we’ve discussed plans and prayed together, I have been floored by their creativity and their excitement for the fall. One of them told me: “We’ve been equipped and now it is time for us to start reaching students too.” This wasn’t mere talk: this student has already been inviting incoming freshman from the area to RUF!

Praise the Lord with us as we rejoice in what He has already begun to do.

God is at work!

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