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Hi <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>,
Researchers have used the changes made to The Game of Life to depict the ever evolving landscape of the world our college students inhabit. Back in 1960, the original version of The Game of Life characterized life as one linear path that everyone took. 
However, the 2007 update to the game - The Game of Life: Twist and Turns - characterizes the world as a never-ending buffet of possibilities with no clear direction and all paths open to you. It is a life that is continually asking the question that was Microsoft’s 90s add campaign - "Where do you want to go today?". Our college campuses are much more like The Game of Life: Twist and Turns than the 1960 version.
On top of this brave new world of seemingly infinite and ever-increasing opportunities, college students have copious amounts of discretionary time as well. It is not quite accurate to say that college students are not busy. Rather, the reality of campus life is that college students have more freedom than any other stage of life to choose with what they busy themselves.

These compounding factors lead college students to make a lot of choices - decisions with real world impact - each and every day. They are what make the college years a great opportunity for both positive and negative spiritual formation, and so campus ministry takes an all hands on deck kind of approach. It is for this reason we are excited to be adding Ben Wacaster and Elyse Kelso as graduate student apprentices to the RFC staff this upcoming academic year! Their presence on staff will help us...

1) Extend our reach on the Ole Miss campus. With the addition of Ben and Elyse to the RFC staff we will have have two more mature disciples who can invest a large portion of their life, time, thought, and emotional energy into the life of campus and the students that fill it.

2) Increase the formational impact of our ministry's events and systems. Ben and Elyse are both wise beyond their years. Their help planning events and their presence at them will help us increase the positive spiritual formation that takes place on a week-in-week-out basis.

3) Multiply our discipleship efforts. Most importantly, Ben and Elyse will multiply our ability for one-on-one mentorship as our students try to live out their faith in this ever complexifying world with ever increasing options.
This apprenticeship program is fully funded from donations from partners like you. We are humbled to be able to say that we have raised over half of our goal of $20,000 in 2021. If you are not already partnering with us financially and would like to help us with the second $10,000 of our goal, click donate below! Donations we receive are tax-deductible as we are a registered 501(C)(3) non-profit.

I think there is a profound power and importance in campus ministry. I’ll admit I’m biased, since I have been an active part of campus ministry for 5 years, and now have agreed to come on as the male apprentice at the RFC. But I believe that campus ministry is uniquely important.

I have this strong conviction because campus ministry changed my life. I came to college as a scared kid with no idea what my plans were, what I wanted out of life, or even what life was all about. I told myself it was fine, nobody had that figured out. I had vague ideas about the ideal college experience; friends, parties, crazy stories, good grades, a job right out of college, and that was enough of a ‘plan’ to comfort me.

Then I got involved at a campus ministry. It was a formality at first. I had always been part of a church, so attending only seemed natural. But then I began to listen to the lessons that were being taught. They were directed towards me. They were encouraging me, challenging me, to take a look at those big and difficult questions and actually come up with answers. Why was I here?
Where was I going? What was it all about? As I began to wrestle with those questions I didn’t feel the frightful confusion I was used to, but more of a passionate exploration. The difference: I was suddenly surrounded by a community who would openly wrestle with those questions. They invited questions. They invited uncertainty. They even invited doubt. It was a community that was clearly different from any sort I had been a part of before. They were passionate, excited, driven, kind, loving, patient, and, though I didn’t understand them, I was hooked. 

After about a year of confusion the realization dawned on me: this was a different community, focused on different things, and passionate about what mattered, because at the center of it all was Jesus. So I suppose if I’m honest, the reason campus ministry has power, the reason it changed my life, is because it’s centered around Jesus. The story, the people he cared for, the things he did, the promises he gave, and to see all around me students whose lives had been changed with His love.

Campus ministry exists because it has the ability to meet thousands of students, from all across the state, country, and even the world, who are entering into the most formative years in which they are asking big questions like - “Who am I?” “What is my purpose?” “What will I do with my life?”
In campus ministry we have the privilege of creating a christ-centered, God-serving, spirit-empowered community, with a mission to step onto those campuses and interact with those students who are truly seeking answers to some of life’s biggest questions and faithfully point them to the story of Jesus. And I could not be more excited to join up with the RFC to do just that.
Each semester seems to fly by, but this past Spring was like a blink of an eye. However, as quickly as it passed, it was a great season for this ministry. We dug deep into what it means to "Love God and Love Others" as I taught through the 10 Commandments at our midweek gathering called "Connect". The fruit of the Spirit challenged and shaped us as we discussed them over dinner at our Sunday night guys and girls small groups. Our prayer groups pushed our students to enter into deeper communion with God as they reflected on the Lord's prayer. And, we all grew closer together as students studied, took study breaks, and hung out at the RFC throughout the week!
Alongside our regular systems as a ministry, we had a few of exciting events to break up the monotony of the semester for our students as well! One of these was our Spring Retreat. Micah Cobb, former RFC apprentice and Marybeth's and my campus minister at Auburn Univeristy, came and spoke about the Spiritual Warfare that our students face each day on the college campus. It was a great time for our students to getaway, reflect on scripture, and enjoy getting closer to one another! 
We also had a 90s themed end of the grill out! Though it feels weird to see the 90s as a decade of the past (most of our students were born after 2000 which is crazy to think about), we had a great night filled with burgers, Dundie awards, gifts for our graduates, dad jokes, 90s music, and memories from this past academic year! It was a great way to celebrate the end of a fairly nutty year!
If you would like to support more work like this, partner with us in these ways... 
1) SEND US NAMES: Please partner with the RFC by sending us the name, number, and/or email of any prospective freshmen, transfer, or graduate student looking to start at UM or NWCC in the Fall of 2021. Or, you can share with them the link to our New Student Info Form. We'd also ask that you would encourage both the incoming student and their parents to check out our website and follow us on social media.
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2) PRAY FOR OUR MINISTRY: During this summer season, we ask that you would be in prayer for both our ministry and the students who will be headed our way this upcoming Fall. For the RFC, ask that the Holy Spirit will ready us for the frenzy of the Fall. For all the students, ask that the Holy Spirit would be at work in their hearts and minds this summer to orient their lives towards Jesus as they enter their college years.
3) SHARE THIS NEWSLETTER: You, our alumni and supporters, are our greatest connections. So, please share this newsletter with anyone who might be interested and encourage them to subscribe so that they get future newsletters and updates from us. Thank you for all you do to partner with us and support the work that God is doing in and through the RFC!


Ben & Marybeth Brinkerhoff
Copyright © 2021 Rebels/Rangers for Christ, All rights reserved.

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