February and March Prayer Updates

March Update

Hey there, Ministry Team!

I hope this past month you have drawn closer to God and He has been revealing truths in your life! For my March prayer update, I want to take some time to tell you a little about my mission trip to Panama City Beach, Florida and let you know some other ways you can be praying.

From March 11-18 I went on mission with Cru to reach students and community members of Panama City Beach during my Spring Break. This mission was focused on ministry skill development, building our campus ministry, and evangelism. I had the opportunity to share with people on the beaches, near the night clubs, and even personally on social media and other digital media platforms. If you’d like a glimpse at the digital media we used, check out www.fallingplates.com and the video on that site!

If you could be praying for those I had the opportunity to share with this week that would be phenomenal. Specifically, please pray for Dallas from the University of Tennessee, Dustin and Wendy and their sons, Brett and Taylor, Clay, Jeremy, and my roommates from the week.

  • Dallas is a Christian that was struggling with doubting his salvation. We had the opportunity to encourage Dallas on his walk that it was a blessing to have walked with Christ his whole life. Pray Dallas sees this truth and takes it to heart.
  • Dustin and Wendy were a couple that we met on the beach that had been following Christ since high school. They had two teenage sons that they were raising in a Christian home. Dustin and I have a similar story and both of us had the chance to share encouragement with one another. Please pray for Dustin, Wendy, and their family to continue walking faithfully with God and being bold with sharing their stories.
  • Brett and Taylor were another couple we met in our daytrip to Destin. Brett and Taylor had not talked about their beliefs before we talked to them but both told us they extremely desire to know God, but don’t see God as desiring to know them. Please pray that Brett and Taylor see God’s longing to be in relationship with them and that they could continue having meaningful, spiritual conversations.
  • I met Clay while sharing outside La Vela, a night club in Panama City Beach. Clay was an atheist, physicist, and linguist and his life work was about religion’s benefits to society. Clay did not believe he could believe and/or sense anything outside his physical five senses and therefore denied he could believe in a God, but he encourages people to believe in God if they can and specifically to pursue Christian morals. After talking to Clay for 30 minutes, I know his heart longs to know God. Pray God could soften Clay’s heart, silence his need for a feeling of God, and reveal to him reason for God.
  • Jeremy was another person I got to talk to outside La Vela. Jeremy was formerly in the military and had lost his brother to cancer. He identified as an atheist but admitted he was angry with God. He asked questions about why bad things happen to good people and I had the opportunity to pray for him. Pray Jeremy feels peace and that God would reveal understanding and purpose to him.
  • My roommates Dustin, Ethan, Alex, Grant, Andrew, Justin, and Jacob are incredible men of God. I had the chance to pray alongside them, hear testimonies and stories from their lives, and see God refine them over the span of this mission. Please pray God would continue working through them and utilizing them to reach people here at Ohio State.

For myself, please be praying for continued diligence in my own prayer life. Pray that I would find consistent time to sit with God and process how He is working in my life each day and each week. Pray for the guys in my bible study to grow closer to God and continue drawing people into the study and into the Kingdom. Please pray that Cru’s Spring Retreat on April 7-8 would be fruitful and that new people would come and hear the gospel clearly in that space. Pray for me to have a boldness to tell the people in my life that don’t know the Lord about Him and for them to see Him in my actions. Pray for my relationships with family, my girlfriend, and my friends to grow and be centered on God’s will. Lastly, pray for Slovene students and citizens to have their hearts softened to the Lord starting now and that the Lord would continue raising financial supporters to send me to Slovenia and meet my first deadline of $2,500 by April 7th. If you or anyone else you know is interested in helping out with that goal, please let me know!

Thank you for your prayers, and please let me know how I can be praying for you too. My email is hodge.209@osu.edu and I’m more than willing to call or text as well.

God Bless,

Sam


February Update

Hey there, Ministry Team!

The weather alone in Buckeye Nation this February has been crazy: I’ve found myself wearing everything from a winter jacket and thermal underwear to chacos and a short sleeve shirt, but as our alma mater, Carmen Ohio, says, “the seasons pass, the years will roll.” The physical climate isn’t the only thing that has been interesting at Ohio State so far this year though; the spiritual climate has been remarkable too. Here are some updates on my life and ministry at Ohio State so far this year.

  1. I am the only Target Area Leader for the Bowen, Busch, and Halloran residence halls at Ohio State. This means that I lead a weekly bible study and do outreach in these buildings on North Campus. This semester myself and 12 other men are reading the book of Hebrews and learning about the identity of Jesus Christ.
  2. Of those 12 men, five are involved in discipleship with Cru, meeting up with an upperclassman or staff person once per week. Together we dive deeper in the Word and learn how to share our faith. I am currently discipling two men, Nathan and Jason, and being discipled by Nate, a senior at OSU. Nathan and I are learning more about the character and person of the Holy Spirit in preparation for our summer mission to Slovenia. Jason and I are reading through CS Lewis’s “Mere Christianity,” working on Christian apologetics. Last, but not least, Nate and I are learning how to effectively share the gospel with people on campus.
  3. I recently decided to take part in a summer mission trip to Ljubljana, Slovenia in Eastern Europe through Cru with 30 other people from OSU, Ohio University, and Purdue University. This will be an incredible opportunity to grow in my own relationship with God while trying to build a campus ministry abroad.
  4. I am in a relationship with my lovely girlfriend of almost 4 months, and have seen learned new aspects of grace in that relationship!
  5. I also participate in Cru’s weekly meeting, RealLife, on Sunday nights. It’s an opportunity for hundreds of Ohio State students to come together to worship and learn about God and His Word. Currently, Cru is the largest Christian student movement at Ohio State and hopes to grow with the other campus and local ministries on campus until each of Ohio State’s 65,000 students have been reached with the gospel. The movement recently held a discussion between a Christian professor and atheist professor this month, talking about the plausibility of the resurrection.
  6. Finally, I am pursuing a career in full-time Christian ministry after graduating a year early in 2018. The hope is to continue working with Cru to reach college students across the world and specifically at Ohio State.

I would love to have you to come alongside me as a prayer partner in ministry. Some requests for this upcoming year are that God would work in my Target Area and continue growing in faith, size, and influence. Prayers that Nathan and Jason grow in their faith and that we grow in fellowship. Also, for hearts of Slovene students to be softened for spiritual conversations and for financial and prayerful ministry partners to help me with this mission!

How Firm Thy Friendship,

Sam

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