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A Hard and Good Semester

The Denton Dispatch
A Hard and Good Semester
By Jay Denton • Issue #23 • View online
It’s been too long since you have heard from us here in Boise! It has been such a hard and good semester of ministry. Thankfully, while it’s been very different, we have been able to continue most of our in-person ministry with RUF at Boise State!
In This Issue:
  1. Month-by-Month View of the Semester
  2. A Quick Family Update
  3. Ways to Pray
  4. A Thank You and Giving Update

11/10/20 Quick Update on Vimeo
11/10/20 Quick Update on Vimeo
1. A Month-By-Month View of the Semester
August - So What is the Plan?
School started up August 24th this year and one week before the semester we were still getting updates on what we were able to do, how classes and campus would function, and which students would be coming back to Boise. We were simultaneously trying to trust the Lord with our plans and actually make plans for ministry! We knew that we needed to connect with students, shepherd them, share the gospel with them, and engage with new students who were seeking to grow in their faith or who were searching for answers. As clarity grew and we began connecting with students, it was obvious that our gracious God had already been working in amazing ways.
Our ministry team meeting for the first time before school started
Our ministry team meeting for the first time before school started
We have a new intern! Rachel Anderson joined us this year from Cal!
We have a new intern! Rachel Anderson joined us this year from Cal!
September - Now Change the Plan!
The first week of school we realized that we wouldn’t be able to host a large in-person gathering. We set a plan for our first “large group” on August 25th. We assigned student leaders to host watch parties in various places around campus. We recorded a sermon, gave them ice breakers and discussion questions, and even got them little speakers so they could use their laptops to show the teaching video. THEN EVERYTHING CHANGED! We found out on the last day of August that for our second “large group” we could have up to 50 students outdoors and distanced. So our student leaders jumped in, our staff mobilized, and we set up a large group (with music included!) in a park near campus. Looking back it was a blur, but we were so glad to welcome new students into RUF and actually see their faces (or at least from the nose up!).
Our first in-person Large Group on September 1st!
Our first in-person Large Group on September 1st!
Wednesdays in the park for games and hanging out!
Wednesdays in the park for games and hanging out!
October - Finally into a Rhythm...Except, COVID!
By October, we were getting into a good schedule of our small groups meeting (they have studied the book of Hebrews this year), our large group moving on-campus (still outside), our full worship band up and running, and our staff really connecting for one to one ministry with students. And then I (Jay) TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID! I was diagnosed on October 2 and immediately all of our staff had to go into mandatory quarantine. As soon as we told our students, our phones started ringing with ways they could help to keep making our weekly ministry happen. It was encouraging and incredible to see God work in our students. The goal of RUF is to reach students for Christ and equip them to serve. Seeing them take over all the different parts of ministry was a blessing to us as staff as we were able to see just how God has been accomplishing his work in RUF! (NOTE: I am all better now and COVID wasn’t too bad for me. I certainly wouldn’t want to have it again, but grateful it was uneventful.)
Our students leading large group on campus!
Our students leading large group on campus!
RUF Staff: Rachel, Jay, Alex - Thankfully only Jay got COVID!
RUF Staff: Rachel, Jay, Alex - Thankfully only Jay got COVID!
November - Normal Ministry Just Weighs More
So now we find ourselves in November. Students have about 1.5 weeks left of in-person classes. They won’t be coming back after thanksgiving. We are finishing up our small groups, will celebrate one December-graduating senior next week, and large group has happened in the dark a few times now. The cold has blown into Boise and in some ways, things feel normal…but we all know that nothing is normal. The (what we now call) normal parts of our days feel a little heavier as we wear masks everywhere and as our students feel a little more disconnected than usual. The normal weeks seem to leave our staff pretty exhausted by Friday evening. We all understand that the normal isn’t so normal, but as the semester comes to an end in about a month or so, we stand amazed at what God has done during this time. Next week we will move our Tuesday large group worship inside to Boise Presbyterian’s new building in downtown. It will provide a place for us to worship and teach that is big enough and ventilated well enough to do it safely and in accordance with city guidelines. We have a GREAT group of freshmen who are connecting with each other and our older students. God is bringing students to RUF who want to grow in their faith and learn about the gospel. Even if this weighs more, even is “normal” isn’t so “normal,” we couldn’t be happier to still be doing the work of ministry on campus at Boise State - God is at work!
Large Group in the Dark!
Large Group in the Dark!
Freshmen Fellowship - Pumpkin Carving Edition!
Freshmen Fellowship - Pumpkin Carving Edition!
Halloween Gingerbread House Building in the Park
Halloween Gingerbread House Building in the Park
2. A Quick Family Update
While I am on campus and connecting with college students, Bet and the girls are…well…home a lot! This year we opted to homeschool Laine and Remy, while their Nonnie, Barb, is helping to do preschool for Breck. Days can feel long for sure, but they are growing, learning, and playing outside a ton! Bet and I celebrated our 14th anniversary this past August and life with her just keeps getting better every year. She is a great mom, a faithful wife, and she loves our staff and college students so much!
Celebrating 14 Years in Downtown Boise!
Celebrating 14 Years in Downtown Boise!
Snow came a little early this year!
Snow came a little early this year!
3. Ways to Pray
There are three categories that we would ask you to pray for.
First off, pray for our ministry. Our staff has been running hard this semester and we are thankful for all that God has done, but we really do need to rest our tired feet as the holidays approach. Pray for our students who are burning out on zoom classes and struggling to connect in person with others. Pray for the Spring semester as we plan, hope, and prepare in all wisdom.
Secondly, pray for our family. Much like many of you, this season has been heavy. We still play of lot of card or board games, laugh a ton, and dance in the kitchen, but we covet your prayers for continued perseverance and trust in the Lord during this time.
Finally, pray for the future of RUF at Boise State. We are so so encouraged in the growth that we have seen in our ministry in all types of ways. From freshmen who are involved, to how our leaders are serving. Pray that we would continue to reach and equip students well. Pray that we would have the financial support that we need both now and for years to come!
4. Thank You and a Giving Update
We want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you who have prayed for us, checked in on us, and supported us financially this year. Our ministry can’t happen without you!
Great News! We have seen a new church bring us on as supported missionaries and we are praying for 9 other new churches to join our support team in the next 12 months. Pray with us and connect us to churches who might want to hear about ministry here in the pacific northwest.
Great Opportunity! As of today, we are estimating with our normal monthly giving to be at 90% of our budgeted expenses by the end of the year. This means that as the end of the year comes we’d like to invite you to help us make up that last 10%.
We are hoping to raise $20,000 in year-end gifts for 2020. As you are considering how you might invest in God’s kingdom at the end of 2020, let me know if you’d be up for a phone call to hear more about how your investment in our ministry is going to reaching students for Christ and equipping them to serve. Shoot me an email at jay.denton@ruf.org or text/call me at 919-561-1955. We’d love to have you on our support team! You can give tax-deductible and secure gifts online:
Give Securely Online!
We are less without you,
Jay, Bet, Laine, Remy, and Breck Denton
RUF at Boise State
Did you enjoy this issue?
Jay Denton

We are so thankful for those that pray, give and encourage our ministry. We will keep you up-to-date on ministry and life, share great resources we come across and give you ways to pray for us!

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