An Update & Encouragement from UD

COVID-19 and RUF’s Ministry: University of Delaware

In my last update, I shared how RUF has become a place of belonging for so many students. Many things have changed since then. UD, like universities around the U.S. and the world, decided in the last week to go shut down, send students home, and finish the semester online.

I want you to take a moment and imagine students. Imagine students, many who already struggle with loneliness, anxiety, stress, and depression, now at home, by themselves…
While our ministry must flex and change to follow the guidelines of UD and what we continue to hear from the CDC, students, perhaps now more than ever, need ministry. They need the Scriptures to come alive in their hearts and minds. They need the Spirit to awaken them and anchor their hearts to the only hope that will never fade or perish. They need prayer and the help of the Spirit. PLEASE PRAY FOR STUDENTS!!

RUF’S CONTINUED MINISTRY TO STUDENTS

This week RUF is launching our weekly Wednesday virtual gathering (utilizing zoom). Our virtual meetings will provide continual encouragement and connection for students. I will still teach, students will still break up into groups to discuss Scripture, care for each other, and pray (so thankful zoom has a great “breakout” room feature that we’ll be using for this).

This week we will look at Romans 8 together. I plan to share the words of one of my beloved professors from Westminster Theological Seminary, David Powlison. About two weeks before he died, David wrote an address to the graduating class of WTS 2019. In it he recalled something he had learned during his time at WTS under Dr. Gaffin. Dr. Gaffin made the point that in Romans 8:26 where Paul writes, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness,” the word “weakness” is in the singular. David Powlison in his address to graduates went on to expound the significance of this observation writing, “It does not say “weaknesses” as if there were a finite list of sins A-B-C, and sufferings X-Y-Z in your life. “Weakness” singular is a comprehensive description of our human condition. We are perishable. We are mortal. We face a multitude of afflictions in our lives. And we are sinful, bent from the heart towards pride, self-righteousness, fear of man, and a multitude of desires and fears that beset us. The mercies of God meet us in this comprehensive condition of weakness.”

I don’t know where each of you are and how COVID-19 is currently affecting your life. But these are words we need. In the words of Heidelberg Catechism question 1 – “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” The way the answer begins is beautiful….. “That I am not my own, but belong….” Students who have come to know Jesus still belong. You and I belong. It is our only hope that we belong to our God who is sovereign, who is at work, who cares for us, who pours out his Spirit upon us that we might live for Him. May God give us grace to seek him in our state of weakness and know, experientially in our hearts that we belong to Him! Thinking and praying for you who will read this.

Grace & Peace,
~Nick

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