The Final Semester

Ephesians 2:7

" that in the coming ages God might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."
       This verse has resounded in my head on repeat over the past few months. It's like the song lyric that I keep humming, or the good book that I can't stop thinking about. There are many reasons for my continual fascination with this verse, but I think the key reason for my preoccupation is the undeniable fact that God has clearly been kind to me and Anne Michal over the past three years. 

      He has shown us His immeasurable kindness in various ways. Let me share some of them.

Yakama Reserve

       Over spring break, we took a group of Mississippi State students to a Native American reserve in Yakima, Washington. The trip was full of ups and downs, to say the least. There was a drive over a snowy pass in three 12 passenger vans and a day that lasted 42 hours with a couple of ER visits. (Don't worry. Everyone is okay.)
      Despite the craziness of the mission trip, God worked in tremendous ways. Our group shingled roofs, picked up trash, cleaned out an entire warehouse, and much more. By the end of the week, we were exhausted, yet so encouraged by how God is working among the Yakama people. 
       This incredible opportunity was completely funded by donors. There were many families, church members, and friends that contributed to make this mission trip happen. As always, Anne Michal and I were able to go on this trip because of y'all's donations. We could not have gone without you!
       I wish you all could have been there to see how incredibly kind the Yakama people are. Also, I wish you all could have been there to enjoy the food! At night we feasted on some of the local food, such as salmon and elk. We'll never forget Yakama.
This is the library on wheels. The church uses it at after school events for kids as a way to give them books to read! This is a brilliant form of ministry.

The Final Sermon

     As I've expressed many times before, having the opportunity to preach holds a very special place in my heart. It is one of the many things God has used to make my calling to ministry quite clear. On March 31st, I got to preach my last sermon as an RUF intern. I actually preached on Ephesians 2:7 because God's kindness toward us is something we need to be reminded of daily. 
     I hope there are many more sermons in my future!
For my last sermon, Joe and April special ordered 200 of my favorite donuts for everyone to eat after large group! Pink-iced donuts from Shipley's, no sprinkles!

The Final Large Group

     On April 28th, Anne Michal and I went to our last large group as Mississippi State interns. It was an emotional night. Joe preached on heaven, so it was kind of hard to not be emotional! 
     At the end of large group, Joe called us up to the front of the room to celebrate our three years of ministry at Mississippi State. As we looked out on our group, many with smiles and tears, we were astounded by the amazing students God had put in our path. It was very evident in that moment that we meant a lot to our students, and it was even more evident that they meant a lot to us.
Joe celebrating our time at Mississippi State. Anne Michal and I were very happy in that moment. 

The Final Week (besides Summer Conference)

     The final week was a time of sweet fellowship. Hopefully these pictures capture a small taste of the week.
This is a picture from the last core group meeting. During this time a few students encouraged me and Anne Michal. We both felt God's immense kindness that night. This is a group of students we know very well. Many of them were freshmen during our first year of the internship. Many of them we had weekly conversations with during Covid lockdown in 2020. It has been such a blessing to see the fruits of those conversations years later, as this is the group that pretty much runs RUF at Mississippi State. 
This is Carter. Some of you might remember him because he actually wrote a small piece in one of our newsletters during the first year of the internship. He's one of the guys I talked to every week during Covid lockdown 2020. I will miss him a lot, but my friendship with him, like with many other students, goes well beyond the RUF internship.
Our students threw us a surprise going away party our last week. They also got us gifts, because they're awesome. I'm a little biased, but I can confidently say that the best college students go to Mississippi State. (Don't worry. My loyalties still lie with the Fightin' Texas Aggies.)
A final staff dinner at a nice restaurant called Anthony's. We've been so blessed to work with these people. We are happy to call them our friends. 

What's Next

     As Anne Michal mentioned in our last newsletter, she will continue to work for RUF as campus staff at Mississippi College. I will not be working for RUF, but will still be in ministry as a full-time seminary student at Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) in Jackson, Mississippi. In addition, I will be working part-time for First Presbyterian Church in Jackson as a youth intern.
     I plan to graduate seminary in four years. After that, we will see where God leads us. I have loved campus ministry, and would love to be an RUF campus minister one day. So don't be surprised if you hear from me again in four years! We will need all the support we can get if God calls us back to campus ministry in four years!
     In the meantime, please support Anne Michal in her continued ministry with RUF. She's awesome and really good at what she does! 
     Thank y'all for supporting us these past three years. Words can't begin to convey our gratitude to y'all. We hope it is an encouragement to know that God has used y'all to show us His kindness. We are filled to the brim with it, and we plan to spend the rest of our lives extending this kindness to others. 

In Christ,

Grant Carter
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