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Hello Dear Friends,

I am glad to write to you again and excited to report about the ways I see God at work here at Rice through your support!  

“God is at work.”  This statement is always RUF’s starting presupposition for ministry.  Our starting assumption is that God has already been working on the hearts and minds of everyone on campus before we do anything.  We just get the privilege of joining Him in what he has already been doing.  This presupposition is incredibly freeing because it means that the success of RUF and the fruit of our ministry ultimately depend on God.  We show up and work faithfully to love students and share the gospel, but it is by the power of His Spirit that God by his sovereignty, uses us and our work as his instruments of redemption. It is a relief that underneath and undergirding our effort is God’s effort.  We work hard but He is the one who is truly at work.  We scatter seed.  He makes it grow.  The fact that God does the work is not a license to be lazy.  The call to ministry faithfulness is a call to showing up and working our tails off loving students and pointing them to Jesus.  However, it is God who ultimately brings the increase.  This is RUF’s primary presupposition and I am writing to you because I can attest to the fact that it is true.  God is at work on Rice’s campus, and He is using us. 

This semester has probably been the most fruitful season of ministry that I have ever had.  I have gotten to watch God shape RUF more and more into a grace-filled community where student’s genuine love for each other shines like a bright beacon in darkness.  Their fellowship and love for one another and the campus acts as a testament to the reality of God’s grace to them.  Relationships are deepening and RUF is growing!  The guys’ bible study that started during my first semester with only three guys has now grown to regular weekly attendance of thirteen guys!  We have seen more new students coming to RUF, some Christian and some not.  I have shared the gospel multiple times this semester with news students.  People are drawn into RUF by the evident genuineness of the community.  Recently, the RUF guys have started two smaller accountability groups that are being led by students.  Both groups have thrived, providing space for guys to open up with each other and point one another to Jesus.  They have been places of vulnerability and accountability.  Sin loves the dark.  It dies when it is brought into the light and met with grace and love.  I have watched armor coming off as these young men’s courageous vulnerability with one another also allows them to speak the gospel into one another’s lives.  It has been incredibly beautiful to see God use these groups to help draw young men closer to Himself.  Sanctification happens in community.  God is using these groups to shape our students into young men who look more and more like Him.  God is at work through RUF’s fellowship to form deeper relationships between students.  He is then using the group’s relational depth to draw new students into RUF.  I am reminded of Psalm 133:

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!  

It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!

It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.

Thank you for leaning into this ministry with me.  It is a privilege to partner in ministry together.  God is using your support of RUF to do His kingdom work.  Please be praying for revival here at Rice.  Please pray that as RUF grows and as student’s friendships strengthen and grow that the light of Jesus’s love would shine more and more attractively to a watching campus.  Please pray that God would save souls here at Rice. There are a few students here that I think are close to the kingdom.  If there are particular ways that I can be praying for you please let me know. I love you all.  My current prayer for you all has been that your love might abound alongside hope, empowered by the grace of our God, in whose presence is joy and at whose right hand are pleasures forevermore!  


For the King,
 

Joshua Coleman

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