By Dirk Wiese, Director of The Good Life College Ministry, Redeemer Church
The Good Life college ministry hosted a root beer party on the UNI campus during move-in week as a way to connect with new students on campus. Move-in week, formally called UNI NOW, occurs during the week before school starts as students move into the dorms, get books, and explore the campus. UNI opens up this week as a way for student organizations to get exposure and face time with incoming and returning students as a way of recruitment. Coming away from last year, we decided to host an event that was very open to everyone and conducive to relationships forming.
Our plan was to set up at the campanile on central campus, bring speakers for music, root beer float quantities for an army, and 9-square for students to play. Our planning had gone pretty smoothly until the day of the event when the weather forecast had a very strong storm coming through the area. Unfortunately, it was hitting our area during the event. We had to postpone the event to the next night, but we had very limited resources to communicate that to the campus. UNI did what they could, we sent out messages to most students we knew, and prayed for the best.
That Saturday we set up all of our equipment, started blasting music across the campus, and put up big signs in heavy traffic areas. When the night came to a close we had around 100 students come through! We were completely blown away by God’s providence in this. Not only did more people come than were expected, but we were able to connect with most students that came through. Some even stayed for two hours! At the event we were also able to hand out all of our info for kickoff and remaining events coming up over the next week as well as take contact info for further connections. I am so thankful for the way God worked in the event through the incoming students, the good weather, connections, and the team of volunteers who went above and beyond to reach out to students and invest in them. This was a terrific start to our year and we are more than excited to hit the campus with the gospel with our students.