Mike and Carrie Meisenheimer - August 2020
*Fall semester kick-off*
We would normally be sending an update around this time of year detailing
campus kick-off events like cookouts, game nights, and other fun social
activities where staff and student leaders welcome multitudes of incoming
students to our 5 local campuses Clemson Univ., Presbyterian College,
Wofford College, Univ. of South Carolina, and Western Carolina Univ. As you
can guess, this year will be very different.
As universities try their best to protect students and campus communities
from the spread of COVID, campus ministry staff will have limited access or
none at all to many of the common areas on campus like dorms, gyms, and
cafeterias. Large group meetings on and off campus will also not be a
possibility under current circumstances. We understand and wholeheartedly
support these safety measures, but they obviously create a huge challenge
for campus ministry staff as we try to meet the spiritual needs of students
while navigating limited relational contact with those very students.
On the student side, spiritual needs have never been greater. After months
of quarantines, students are experiencing isolation, depression, anxiety,
and loneliness like never before. They are starving for real relationships
and for healthy avenues to cope with the stress they have experienced
during this season. Limited connection only widens the gap between what
students need and what they might receive from campus ministers.
*We have much hope!*
So what hope do we have under these challenging circumstances? Plenty. We
know God is still on the move. The Holy Spirit and the gospel are not bound
or limited by worldly circumstances. More students than normal (over 2400
in the entire US) were able to experience a summer project this year via
virtual means. *As a ministry, we feel well positioned to minister to
students since Campus Outreach has always focused on life-on-life
discipleship and has intentionally equipped student leaders to minister to
their friends.* While we may not meet as many new students as usual or host
large events, we are expectant that the hope of the gospel of Jesus will
still meet students’ needs one person at a time. Long-term this season
could be a huge success as we all learn (like many of you are in your
churches and communities) to emphasize what Jesus taught in Matthew 9:38:
the need for laborers. He didn’t mention a need for programs or events
(although those are beneficial), but the essential need of the church for
trained and equipped laborers who love God, love others, and share a
message of hope to the world! That is what your partnership with us can
accomplish this fall!
*Columbia Staff Training*
By applying some safety precautions, we were able to meet with the Columbia
staff team recently for training and prayer before embarking on this
upcoming semester of building laborers. That group includes 11 new staff
raising funds to join in God’s work this fall.
This week I (Mike) travel to Birmingham for meetings with a team
responsible for stewarding all of the CO regions around the world. Pray for
dependence on God’s wisdom and leading as we plan and work to help meet the
needs of all of our staff and students during these new circumstances.
- Pray for creativity and adaptability for all of our staff as we learn
to minister in new and different ways.
- Pray for student leaders to gain a vision for sharing hope and caring
for those around them.
- Pray for us as we connect with returning Clemson students most of
which will begin with online only classes.
Thank you for investing in God’s work of building laborers on the campus
Mike for Carrie, Copeland, Anna Cile, Riggs, and Millie