For those who don’t know, I have been back in Bowling Green helping welcome the new and returning students to a new year with H2O church! From the moment I arrived over a week ago things have been constantly in motion. The title of this post is “Blitz Week” and some of you may be wondering why I titled it this way. We have called this time of outreach “Blitz” for awhile now because of it’s use in football. A blitz is a play that uses full force to make things happen. This is how our outreach is. All hands on deck and ready to serve, positioned and ready to take action!
Thursday, August 20th was first-year move-in day. I was up at 6am to help hand out water bottles to students and their families. The day was long, but we were able to hand out a total of 6,000 water bottles during this time! I didn’t get into bed until 2am that night because we decided last minute to go hand out more water to all the first-year students who were at our football field for a welcome event. This was an amazing opportunity which we had not done this in years prior. What was different about this event than our typical water bottle hand-out was the fact that our water bottles were all getting distributed directly to all the new students rather than their family members and various move-in day volunteers. I was in awe because this was a huge door that was opened for us to reach out directly to these students.
The rest of the weekend included activities such as sno-cones, volleyball, and free pancakes. This was a new thing for us in Bowling Green. Many of us had spent our spring breaks doing this very thing, but hadn’t done it for our own campus. I was amazed at the number of students who came and had pancakes as they walked home from the bars. It may not seem like much more than a simple gesture, but God is definitely doing something with this ministry. It has been an amazing opportunity to watch seeds being planted. I am excited to see how God uses our church specifically to grow these seeds.
One of the other opportunities I have had while visiting Bowling Green has been serving our newest church plant at the University of Akron. I have spent a few days out at the campus and was able to serve alongside their staff team and student volunteers. It was definitely challenging in some ways to serve a church that is just barely getting started, but it was amazing to see God open small windows of opportunity for us while we were visiting. The environment is so different than what I am used at H2O Bowling Green where we have been established for more than 30 years now. We helped put on a Kick-Off service for them on one of our trips out there and over 100 students from Akron attended! It was amazing to see how God used that night to make an impact on that campus. It definitely did not happen without a few road bumps along the way, but in the end students came and God was glorified through it all! I ask you to join me in prayer for this new church plant specifically for the staff and student leaders as they work to develop this plant into a full ministry. I can’t wait to see God’s plan unravel for this church!
God has definitely taught me a lot in my two weeks back in Bowling Green. Both while serving and just spending some time alone with Him. It has been so encouraging to watch our students step up and reach out to the new students on campus. When you get to see a college student putting God first in their life it is truly humbling. While I have been up here I have also been able to take some time and rest with God every now and then. How incredible our time has been together! God has been teaching me that joy isn’t something that comes easily all the time. It is something I have to choose and fight for every day as a child of the King. He doesn’t say that it will be easy all the time, but he does say that He will be there through it all. It is how we react to all the circumstances we encounter that determines our level of joy. If we invite God into both the good and the bad we have the ability to be content in all circumstances and find constant joy. I’ve just simply been reminded of how sweet it is to be loved and cherished by Christ. Truly this time has been so good to find that joy and peace once again. I am looking forward to going home and inviting Him into every little detail of this support raising process. I know it will be all in His hands and I can rest in the fact that it is all taken care of.