God’s Good Providence – Sooner Style

OURUFbaseball logoFive years ago, I was ending up my ten-year run as the RUF campus minister at OU. My call to ministry changed on June 1st – from RUF to church planting of City Pres in Oklahoma City. I tried to finish well, to hand things over, to keep from being swamped with new City Pres stuff while I still worked on campus. It was a busy time that last semester five years ago.

We started with four students that summer we moved in June 2001. Julie was pregnant with Anna. We got settled and I tried to meet people and invite them to our first RUF, which would be the first Wednesday night of the semester at our house. I told as many people as I could (though there weren’t many students around over the summer). Julie went into labor that very morning. I didn’t have any way to alert people not to come, so I wasn’t sure what to do. Since it was our fourth, and we loved close by, Julie insisted that I hold our first RUF meeting, so I did. That was August 22, 2001.

No one knew each other. No one knew me. No one knew the songs. No one knew what RUF stood for (many never did). But we did it. Afterwards, we hung out and talked on the porch – and people showed up the next week. They even invited their friends. I handed over the guitar to Wade and the djembe to Brent and we were a group in no time.

God works in mysterious ways. When I think back to those ten years, I’m grateful for:

important talks at Cafe Plaid, dumb/fun/idiotic friendship-forming events we pulled whether they were successful or unsuccessful, service projects, getting to preach the gospel every week, being there for students when they needed someone, Summer Conference shenanigans, seeing people make life-long friends, performing marriages and baptizing kids, both leaders and followers, men and women who really pursued God, working with and for Christ the King church, partnering with other ministries on campus, prank wars, hard conversations, ski trips, mishaps, mess-ups, counseling, time to read, basketball and racquetball and board games, watching people (especially me) grow up a little bit.

It’s hard to believe that ended five years ago. I remember standing up at Dale Hall 102 like I’d done a few hundred times, but this time it was my last time. I couldn’t talk. I was so incredibly grateful and sad and hopeful and thankful and… I’m not sure what all else. Ten years had flown by.

Justin Westmoreland took over for five years. Now he’s planting a church in Norman.

And we’re turning it over to Scott Morris. Scott has just graduated from Covenant Seminary. He and his wife Helen will be moving to Norman in June, just at the 15 year mark of RUF. He’ll get to do all the same things: hot as blazin’ meet and greet in August, finding a good room and a good time, figuring out how to preach to 18 year olds, crazy stunts, recruiting musicians who show up, Humans vs Zombies, getting stood up by freshmen. Email Scott at scott.morris428@gmail.com with your prayers and greetings. Support him in his ministry by donating here (look for him the drop down tabs)!

The Lord moved our family to OU. He moved the Westmorelands there. Now the Morrises get the privilege to reach Sooners for Christ, and equip them to serve. What an honor they’re about to have.

Graduates from OURUF will gather June 10-11 for a reunion, so we can hear and tell these stories. I’m looking forward to seeing the fruit of what God’s done over these 15 years. And looking forward to what’s going to happen the next 15.

Pray for me and Justin – we’re here in Oklahoma still because we love this place. Pray for Scott and Helen. Pray for OURUF. Pray for its former students – and most of all pray for the new students who need to know and find and follow Jesus. 

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me? 

Doug in library