Sunday, August 17th, the day the members of The Rock UNO waited for all summer. It was the day that marked the arrival of the first 1,000 students arriving at UNO in preparation of the Fall semester to begin. Tensions were high as members of The Rock gathered in prayer at 1:00 pm in a parking lot on UNO’s south campus. Check-in for Scott Village was poised to begin, and The Rock spread out to cover more area. They spread all across the village, introducing themselves and helping all the residents move in. They carried boxes and conversed with new students and parents. As they helped, they handed out “Best of Omaha” sheets, an informational paper designed to connect new students with the best restaurants and other amenities close to campus.
For the members of The Rock, Move-In was just the beginning of the two most hectic weeks of the year. They continued through the next week with a different Scott Campus activity each day. A comedian entertained students on Move-In day, followed by a carnival and field and luau days later in the week. Members of The Rock helped another 1,000 students move into campus at Maverick and University Village on Thursday. There was also a movie night, where students were able to watch Monsters University and Scott Village Welcome Week rounded out with a casino night where each student walked away with some sort of prize.
The next week brought the start of classes, and with it another set of activities each night and throughout the day to help students get involved. Activities included everything from free food and street performances by clowns and magicians to student organization fairs where The Rock set-up a table and invited students to The Rock. On Monday, everyone was able to head to Maverick Village for a block party. On Tuesday, students trekked to Aksarben and enjoyed free pizza at Godfathers and a free movie at the Aksarben Cinema. Also throughout the week students attended a Rave and enjoyed pancakes with the student body president. The welcome week festivities culminated in a hectic Friday full of entertainment. Students attended a volleyball game (UNO won!), a soccer game (UNO lost in overtime), and a perennial favorite activity, HPER After Dark, where students were able to enjoy all the fun of the Wellness Center with a bonus of free food and prizes.
It wasn’t all fun and games for the students of The Rock at UNO. Throughout all the entertainment, they were on mission for the gospel, spending their time investing in those around them, sharing the saving faith of Jesus Christ, and building friendships with the new students.
When I first met Sarah Sullivan and the rest of The Rock, I was taken aback by their encouragement and how genuine they were in getting to know me and helping me feel at home.” – Mikayla McKinney, a freshman at UNO from Lincoln.
The Rock was always on mission to share what Christ had done for their lives. “I really enjoyed seeing God put an excitement in my heart to go out and meet people, even though I don’t have a naturally outgoing personality. It really gave a chance for God to shine out through my weakness.” – Tori Thomas, a junior at UNO involved in The Rock.
Yes, there were fun times, jokes, and humor, but those two weeks were a hard demanding time for the dedicated who were doing work to advance the gospel on campus. Throughout those two weeks, students with The Rock talked to hundreds, maybe even thousands of students, sharing with them the importance of Jesus Christ, our Savior.