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Fall 2020 Update

Thoughts During a Pandemic

     We are now less than a week away from the start of the fall semester at Mississippi State. When school went online in the middle of last semester due to COVID-19, a repeating phrase I heard was “I just hope things are back to normal by the fall semester." 
     Back in March, August seemed so far away and it was hard to think that we’d still be dealing with so many unknowns. But here we are, with school just around the corner, with a lot of unknowns about what the semester holds. Looking back, I can see how I was hoping for the fall semester to bring back a level of “normal". While I am disappointed, I’ve been brought back to this passage from Lamentations.

But this I call to mind 
And therefore I have hope
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases 
His mercies never come to an end
Great is your faithfulness
“The Lord is my portion,”says my soul
“Therefore I will hope in him.”
Lamentations 3:21-24

     Our true hope is found in the Lord. Even if this semester isn’t “normal”, I know that the Lord’s love for us, His people, will not stop. He is faithful even in the midst of a pandemic and online schooling. My prayer for myself, Grant, my students, and you, our support team, is that we will continue to remember where our hope is found and that He is enough to satisfy us in the midst of uncertainty. 

Fall 2020 Plans

     Logistically, we are still planning on doing in person ministry at MSU. The school is planning on having half of the classes in person and letting freshmen live in dorms. The university has released some guidelines for student organizations to follow such as wearing masks and keeping events under 50% capacity of our meeting space.
     This is making us get creative with Large Groups and Small Groups, but we are working with the university to find spaces that will accommodate our group size. Our first Large Group will be held on Wednesday, August 19th at Grace Presbyterian Church. This is the first time our Large Group will not be regularly meeting on campus, but it is the best option considering the circumstances.
 

     

A Quick Look Back at the Summer

     We were able to spend the month of June in Starkville meeting with students one-on-one and leading a four week bible study. We were grateful for this time to see some of our students in person again and discuss in a small group setting what the Lord has to say about justice in the book of Isaiah.

Our first Bible study in June

     Also wanted to include an update from one of the freshmen girl’s flower seeds that we sent out in later March. So encouraging to see the Lord growing our students during these challenging times. He is truly a faithful God!

Encouraging post from one of the students at MSU.

Fundraising Goals

     We still have a little bit of fundraising to be fully funded for year 2. Both of us need to raise about 10% more for the fall and spring. We ask that y’all would prayerfully consider partnering with us in the ministry of RUF with a one time gift or a monthly pledge. 
Click Here to Give

Prayer Requests

     We ask for wisdom as we make logistical decisions about how RUF should function in the fall. Without a campus minister this semester, these decisions fall mostly on the two of us to make. While that is intimidating for us, we know that the Lord is always at work no matter what decisions we make and we are resting in that fact. 

Several other prayer requests we have:

  • We could be completely funded for year two.

  • For the hearts of our returning students as they have to adjust again to college not being like it was in the past. There is a definite feeling of loss and sadness. 

  • For the incoming freshmen. The end of their senior year was stripped away from them as many did not get to experience those “lasts” as a high school senior. Pray that their first semester in college would be a time of growth in the Lord.

Final Regards

     We are very thankful for your prayers and support over the past months. Know that we are praying for you as well as we know COVID-19 has hit all of us in different, personal ways. I have been reflecting on the beginning of Paul’s letter to the Philippians:

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right that I feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart for you are all partakers with me in grace.
Philippians 1:3-7

     We definitely can relate with the joy that Paul has in his partnership with the Philippians because that is what we feel with y’all. We are so thankful for your partnership in the gospel with us at Mississippi State University. 

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Copyright © 2020 Grant and Anne Michal Carter, All rights reserved.


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