Entries in Campus Outreach (48)
It is December 6th which means the weather is cold, classes are ending, exams are in full swing and students are more than ready for Christmas break. We are coming to the end of the semester, the end of the year. Coming to the ends of things I always like to look back and reflect on what has happened - memories that have taken place, people I’ve met, lessons I’ve learned, and evidences of grace from God like someone trusting Jesus or someone being freed from habitual sin. So, as a way to wrap up the semester, I asked a couple of girls from Campbell to explain what they have been learning from God, His word and His people this semester. They were encouraging for me to hear, and I hope they are for you as well.
Casey Smith, Sophomore
“Lately, God has been showing me how important it is to be in a community of believers; people who are there to encourage me, hold me accountable and point out sin I might not see. Also, how sweet it is to repent. Before this semester I really didn’t even understand what that meant. Now it’s not just that I understand what it means, but when I catch myself in the middle of sin and run to God for forgiveness, He literally pulls me out and gives me this peace.”
Margaret Croft, Sophomore
“What I’ve been learning this semester is that there is power in prayer and I need to have patience about the things I pray for. God’s timing is better than my timing. I’ve also been learning that it is okay to be vulnerable with people and that you don’t have to be ‘strong’ and keep all of my emotions to myself.”
Lauren Schweitzer, Freshman, became a Christian this semester
“I’m learning that God has a plan for you and loves you no matter who you are. I have come to believe and understand that God’s word is truth and so is He. My eyes have been opened to the smallest graces that happen everyday. I’m learning not to take my life for granted and to know more about Him in the smallest details of my day. I’m learning how to find comfort in the fact that my life is in God’s hands and he has a better plan for me than I do for myself.”
Blog Post By: Cali Mudd
Blog Post By: Jon Smetana
It is midway through November, which means that CO Raleigh students and staff are in the middle of inviting friends to this years New Years Conference, a five-day gathering of four CO regions: Lynchburg, VA; Charlotte, NC; Washington, DC; and, yours truly; Raleigh, NC! The conference is in Washington D.C. and will occur Dec. 30 through Jan. 3. The theme for this year’s conference is Uprising, because we want to see God work in people’s hearts during the conference and students and staff motivated to see God continue to move through our ministries in big ways next semester.
These conferences are a big deal to us because we always see God do remarkable work in hearts of everyone there, whether it be a first-time student or a CO staff member who has lost count of how many of these conferences he or she has attended. That’s why we keep having them. We know God will manifest himself there, and when that happens, people encounter him. When people encounter the true living God in the face of Jesus Christ, everything changes for them. It reminds me of how the apostle Peter responded to Jesus when asked if he wanted to turn away from following him in John 6:68-68:
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
As young men and women who spend our daily lives on the college campus relating with students and introducing them to One they are searching for, there is nothing more fulfilling than seeing a friend we love from our campus turn to Jesus because he has revealed himself to them and they truly see him in all his glorious appeal for the first time.
So, in this post, we thought it would be neat to share one student’s story about how Jesus revealed himself to this student at last year’s New Years Conference. His name is Dylan Hubers, and he is a pharmacy student at Campbell University. Here’s his story:
“New Year’s Conference 2012 was a major turning point in my life. It was when I fully realized the reality of what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I realized that God loves who I am now and not just a future more holy version of myself I had envisioned. I realized that God had revealed himself to me by granting me faith in Jesus Christ and wanted to have a personal relationship with me. This could be accomplished because of Jesus’ payment of my sin by his death on the cross, which I accepted through faith in him, making me righteous in God’s sight not by any works I had done. I didn’t save myself by accepting him, and God wasn’t a get out of jail free card who just forgave all my sins so I could go to heaven. He chose me, pursued me, and wanted a relationship with me. God was something to be enjoyed and treasured. I realized that through a relationship with him, I was dead to my old self and that his spirit rested in me; giving me new desires, purpose, and will. I realized that only through complete dependence on God was I able to obtain joy in this life and freedom from slavery to my sin. I realized I should run to God with my struggles and failures and for help defeating my sin, not running and hiding from him because of my shame.”
Being involved in a campus ministry, stories like this happen often enough that they sadly sometimes become “normal” to us…but how incredible is this? God literally changed this guy’s heart and totally reoriented his life from being around himself to being around God’s glorious grace and goodness. God forever changed his life through his five days at New Years Conference!
All this to say: as active supporters of our ministry, would you please take time each week for the next 2 months to pray for this year’s conference? Here are a few things specific things you could be praying:
-For God to spark excitement about this conference in each staff member and student leader involved in CO Raleigh…that each of us would see a passion growing in our hearts for God to be glorified during Uprising.
-For lots of students to come so they can hopefully leave viewing Jesus in the same way Dylan did!
Thank you, supporters! We love you and thank God for how gracious he has been to us through your generosity. Your prayers and support remind us how of good God has been to us and continues to be to us through the love of Christ every day!
Blog Post By: Zach Oyler
Avid readers of this blog undoubtedly know that Campus Outreach Raleigh holds numerous large events every year. Each fall semester universities in the COR region host a women’s flag football tournament, a men’s flag football tournament, and a fall retreat together. During Campbell, ECU, NC State, and Meredith’s fall retreat I had the privilege to work behind the scenes as the production director. The production director is in charge of the meetings or rallies. These meetings are the main events of the weekend. The rallies consist of two emcees who run the meetings from up front, a speaker who talks about the God who reveals himself in the Bible, and the worship band (Thanks to Kelby, Houston, Joey and Andy of the the Kelby Dover Band for playing for us this weekend). I tell you this not to talk about my experience this weekend in being the production director, but to tell you about an aspect of retreat that one cannot see unless they have this responsibility.
An enormous amount of time and work go into running the meetings of a retreat. The retreat starts on a Thursday afternoon as a group of people pack into their cars and make the drive (an hour drive if you’re from Campbell) to the Summit Church in Durham to pack a trailer with audio, production, video and other miscellaneous items needed for the weekend. This is no small task as the group loads heavy and cumbersome amplifiers, a stage kit, and the band’s instruments in a strategic way so everything will fit into the white 10-foot trailer to be hauled to Richmond. By the time the trailer tires are filled with air at Sheetz, a Cook-Out dinner is eaten and miles are traveled, the group is in Richmond, VA at the Holiday Inn. It’s 11 p.m. the night before the retreat, and already seven hours of work have been put in, not by the staff, but by students who will be running the retreat.
Meet Ian Yancy, emcee, Mike Wodzisz, emcee, Dillon Prevette, MAC, Rob Collis Sound Technician and Lance Dunn Computer Production. This is the group responsible for pulling off the weekend. These guys not only were a part of those activities detailed above but they also prepared for the weekend months in advance as they worked on their skits, games and scripts to run the rallies. Apart from learning technical skills and tips on public speaking, everyone involved gains leadership skills as they are given the task of leading the retreat. Not to mention, a plethora of other lessons that surpass me to put on paper in 500 words.
It would be difficult to explain to you all the ins and outs and hours of preparation and work that they did. Instead of that, I think the space of these words would be better used to thank them. Ian, Mike, Dillon, Rob and Lance thanks for your hard work and beyond that for putting on three stand up meetings. Whether you see it or not, God manifests himself through each of you in the way way you planned, prepared and put on the meetings. They were excellent. Thanks for it.
Blog Post By: Seth Hanner