Sunday, August 26, 2012

Roman Rush Week

Before I arrived to NDSU all of the FOCUS outreach reservations with the Memorial Union were labeled under "Roman Rush Week," and I still think it's a pretty silly yet clever name. Lucas and I put the kibosh on that last semester, yet I kept expecting to see things reserved as Roman Rush Week for our outreach events this past week. Either way, whatever you call it, "FOCUS Fall Outreach," "Roman Rush Week," or simply "Week 1 of the semester"--it's done and over with.

Deep breath.

So this past week was really amazing! (Okay Kelsey, a little more specific please...) One of the main ways we begin our "push" into the NDSU campus is with simple yellow surveys that ask for basic information as well as if you're interested in a bible study, foreign mission trip, or conference in Orlando (which we just so happen to have this year!) and if you fill that out you get a freeze pop. Man, people go nuts over those things! The best moments at the booth are when people actually come over to you to get a freezie and happily fill out the survey while we get it for them! Even better yet is a conversation that goes like this:

FM (FOCUS Missionary): "Hey, want a freezie?! It's over 90 degrees out!"
RP (Random Passerby): "No, thanks though."
Spelling NDSU with our bodies for a photo scavenger hunt.
FM: "How about filling out a quick survey in the sweltering heat?" (to which you expect obvious rejection)
RP: "I suppose I could do that."

Are you kidding me?! 

I just don't understand how college students work these days. It's ironic because I'm really not all that far removed from the college scene. In fact, I haven't really left it for the last five, going on six years. Ha, that's actually a little bit funny now that I'm sitting down thinking about it. Over this past week one thing was made tremendously clear to me: people are thirsting for Christ and our world dehydrates them. The eagerness in students to desire being in a small group bible study, to get "one of those cool bisonCatholic tees" that they see everyone wearing, serve people on a missions trip, or even just take one of the goodie bags we give out and maybe put it on their shelf until the end of the year should be proof enough that students are not being entirely fed with their extracurricular activities, school, sports, etc. They crave deep conversations and meaningful relationships.

In fact, just last night Cari and I went out to dinner with a young woman and we both left Rhombus Guys completely inspired. For the sake of the story and confidentiality purposes, we will call this young woman Lucy. Lucy grew up in a Catholic home, went to mass on Sundays and even attended Catholic Church camps during the summers growing up, of which she has incredibly fond memories! She told us a little bit about her current groups and cliques of friends, and how unfulfilled she feels in the very surface-level relationships. She desires to spend time in fellowship with other young women, despite her 20-hour credit load, 2 internships and a job, and she can't wait to make time to attend a retreat this semester and start getting more involved at the Newman Center. The part I like the most is that nobody told her that her relationships were surface level and hardly going further than skin-deep. On her own and without the help of any spiritual community she has come to realize in her heart of hearts that she desires intimacy with close friends and to share her very heart with them.

What an incredible young woman! Praise God for her openness to the Lord's workings in her heart. On the other hand, it saddens me to then think of all the other men and women in Fargo alone, who are in the same boat as her but have no one to turn to! Lucy happens to be a friend of a friend of mine who sort of "set us up." But women don't have to meet up with a FOCUS missionary to learn what those deep, personable relationships are like. There are so many amazing men and women out there who are just itching to share Christ with another person. And until that other person approaches us, how will we ever know who has the deepest longing and desire? Sure, we had over 700 students fill out surveys marking their interests, but now the time has arrived where we cannot just sit back, call a few people and hope for a few people to show up to our bible studies. No, students desire the heart of Christ which is found in a deep, meaningful relationship, and we have been given the pearl of greatest price (Matthew 13:46). Shame on us if we keep it to ourselves! One conversation, one smile, one invitation can make a world of difference to just one person. One changed life transforms many lives through a simple witness. See how that works? Let's just say, I love my line of work.

"For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!" 
1 Corinthians 9:16

No comments:

Post a Comment