The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. (Mark 4:26)
Greetings from Kent! This is an exciting season in campus ministry: the sprint from Spring Break to Final Exams. Many students are getting ready to graduate and move onto the next season of life — but that only intensifies the significance of life transformation happening on campus. We’re trusting God for great things in these last weeks of the 2016-17 school year. Please pray with us for strategic ministry opportunities between now and Graduation Day!
Speaking of strategic ministry opportunities, I wanted to update you on last week’s Spring Break, which provided a special opportunity for us to partner with some friends in the Spring Break Capital of the World: Florida! Specifically, fifteen of us from H2O Kent traveled to Orlando to spend a week working with the newest H2O church plant at the University of Central Florida.
The trip was successful in many ways, but I think one of the greatest outcomes was the way in which our team was able to encourage and envision the team there on the ground at UCF. We spent a lot of time laboring together throughout the week: Unloading production equipment at seven o’clock on Sunday morning… Handing out flyers on campus… Helping to maintain the student organization’s weekly rhythms… Pitching in together for service projects… Discussing and developing strategy for ministry, together… Looking back, it’s kind of amazing all that we were able to squeeze into our week there in Orlando! But we also had a lot of fun: Eating some of the best barbecue we’ve ever had… Swimming like manatees in crystal clear spring water at the Blue Spring State Park… Laughing and telling stories around the hot tub at the end of a long day… Taking in a baseball game together on a gorgeous spring night… What a week!
It was an honor to be in on the “seed scattering” phase of this new movement on campus, with H2O. We’re praying for God to multiply their efforts 100-fold in the years to come. Would you please pray with us? There is so much potential at the University of Central Florida. It’s currently the largest university in the United States, with 63,000 students roaming around a beautiful campus with all kinds of interesting spaces for people to meet and interact.
In case you’re interested, I first wrote some of my reflections from the trip on my website, where I included a lot more details and some of the best pictures from our time in Florida. If you would like to see that, go to http://www.ericasp.com/2017/04/spring-break-17/. In any event, though, thank you for your partnership in prayer and financial support that made this trip possible!
Before I wrap up this month’s prayer letter, I want to invite you to join us in Kent for a special “Family Day” celebration with H2O on the 23rd of April. We chose this date because it happens to coincide with a concerted effort by the University to welcome students’ family members. We expect that there may be a number of our students’ parents who will also be in attendance that afternoon, so non-students shouldn’t feel too out of place. Besides: you’re like Family to us, as ministry partners, so it only feels right for you to be there! We understand, of course, that it won’t work out for everyone to be able to join us. But if you could make it work, here’s an itinerary for what you could expect on that Sunday in Kent:
- 11:00 AM – H2O Worship Gathering On-Campus (133 Bowman Hall / Kent State University). Passionate musical worship, Biblical preaching, and lively fellowship — just like you would see any Sunday, when we have our normal worship gatherings.
- 12:15 PM – H2O Spring Baptism Celebration (University Esplanade). These celebrations take place immediately outside of Bowman Hall, in the public space right in the middle of the Kent State University campus! These times of celebrating students’ newfound commitment to Christ are always exhilarating!
- 12:30 PM – On-campus Reception (137 Bowman Hall / Kent State University). This will be together with people from the ministry teams who are helping to support other Staff in Kent and parents of current students as well. Enjoy some refreshments, see some pictures, hear some stories from students, and get the bigger picture of what God is doing through H2O at Kent State University.
It would be so great to have you with us! Please, though: Could you send me an e-mail or give me a call or text message to let me know if you’re planning to be there? We just need to plan refreshments and such accordingly. In any event, thanks for your continued partnership in the Gospel. We’ll be in touch…