Settling into the School Year

Wow, what a time the past few weeks have been. I could describe the past few weeks in the multitude of ways, but some adjectives I might use to describe it are fruitful, exhausting, challenging, and joyful. It is unique, college ministry that is, because there is no easing into ministry each year, but rather it is a throwing of oneself into the busiest time of ministry right from the beginning. Strange how that works, but it is our reality. So, it has been difficult experiencing that for the first time, but right along with that has been joy.

Our first annual LEAD Retreat was a huge success. We (staff and student leaders of h2o) traveled about 40 minutes away to Punderson State Park and stayed there for just over 24 hours. It was exactly what our leaders needed as far as preparing their hearts for the semester. We prayed together, planned together, challenged each other, and worshipped together. It was a blessed time indeed. I could not have asked for a better way to prepare with my fellow peers and co-workers.

Each year the freshman students attend a Convocation Ceremony. Some of our h2o staff and students were outside ready to begin handing out some h2o discount cards. We gave out over 2,000 cards in under an hour! It was incredible.

A few leaders from h2o and I volunteered at a service opportunity for freshman to partake in their first Saturday at Kent. I attended this my freshman year and so me and some other h2o’ers attended the service opportunity as leaders and got to meet many freshmen. My group went to volunteer at Let’s Grow Akron which helps the Akron area by planting a number of gardens throughout the area. It was a great opportunity to help out, meet and converse with people I hadn’t met before, and even sweat a little bit (OK, a lot a bit).

We had our Welcome service last Sunday and nearly 80 new freshmen came the first weekend they were at Kent! It was a great thing to see after a summer of raising support. God used our efforts the days previous to that in many ways. This year we did something a little different in that we decided to have a picnic on campus after our service so that we would be able to connect with the students who came to our service right away! It was such a joy. Most, if not all of the students from our first service came to that picnic and stayed for a couple of hours. That night, Kent State holds what is known as “blast off”, which is where every student organization sets up shop along the track and freshmen get to a chance to join something or simply get to know people. We were there giving away goldfish and meeting tons of new students!

What a great week! This weekend has been great in reflecting on what God has already done through us, and it only excites me on to what he will do next.

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