Virginia to Boise!

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Virginia to Boise: The start of my Ministry!

So I’ve made it! I have moved across country to begin work on campus! I have raised most of my budget for this years ministry and I am starting to meet students on campus! It’s hard to believe that I drove across country with my friend Jarrod and made found a place to live in Boise. (Particularly having run out of gas in Wyoming!) This past Sunday we had our annual “Picnic in the Park” event where we provided 33 Free pizzas to incoming freshman (about 175 students showed up), welcoming them to campus, loving them with food, and providing a place to relax in green grass by the Boise River and play games with their fellow classmates the day before classes.
A phrase I heard over and over again was “Its nice to be able to just hangout.” For most of these students the weekend up until that point was full of, sad goodbyes, the stress of moving in, learning a new campus and city and finding friends along with every other event, tour, and obligation put before the students by the University. This event allowed us to love students by providing a way to let them relax and get to know each other as well as learn about RUF.
This Tuesday we also held out first large group meeting! It was exciting to see a few freshman from the picnic show up as well as seeing returning students who have been a part of RUF for a while now.

Pray With Me!

Please for the campus, that RUF can love the campus better this year than it did last year and that those touched by RUF will learn mroe about Christ. Pray for Fall Retreat coming in mid September, that many students will attend and that the time will be fun and relaxing and pleasing to God. Also, Pray as I continue to strive for 100% of my first years budget. I need to raise about $6,000 more to be 100% funded through May. $600 of that needs to be by September 9th.
The Lord has blessed me greatly through all of you thus far both in Prayer and in Finances. Please continue to pray with me and consider giving if you have not already.

Lord is doing great things on the college campus.  This is a boxed text block. You can use it to draw attention to important content.

You can be the one person I need to give $600 by the start of September by giving online at https://givetoruf.org/ProductLanding/1084

As always, All gifts are accepted and appreciated! For More information visit me How to give Page

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How do you give to Matt’s RUF account?

Thank you for your support!

Important Details to remember: All Gifts are tax deductible and all gifts will be processed on the first of each month. This means that if you pledge to give $100/month this month, the first gift will be processed the following month on the first of that month.

Giving to my RUF account is very easy. You can do it a couple of different ways.

First: Automatic Monthly gifts online (Most prefer this method)

  1. Click the link www.ruf.org/donate 
  2. Click in the search bar “search by campus, ect.” on the donate website
  3. Type “Matt Arends”and click the name in the drop down menu
  4. Enter a gift amount in the box labeled “Gift Amount”Give to RUF pic 1.png
  5. Once you have added to cart, click proceed to checkout
  6. To check out you may click to make this gift “monthly, Once, or several other methods”

give to RUF 27. Enter payment method and click “donate now

Thank you for any monthly or one time gifts! 

Second: Give by check

To give to my RUF account by check is simple.

  1. Make out your check to “pay to the order of Reformed University Fellowship”
  2. In the “for” or “memo” line write “Intern: Matt Arends (1602)”
    • The number is important for my account to be easily identified by RUF staff
  3. Mail all checks to the following address
    • Reformed University Fellowship
      Donor Processing
      P.O. Box 890004
      Charlotte, NC 28289-0004

If you would like to me to give you a preaddressed envelope or if you need any more information on how to give, please contact me at: Matt.Arends@ruf.org

DONATE NOW

$2500 to GO!

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Hey Everyone!

Thank you so much for you support! Without all of you, I would not be where I am today! Together we have raised  over 75% of my first years budget toward my internship and ministry with RUF at Boise State University! This means that I only need $2,500 in one time gifts to move to Idaho and start working on campus. If you have not already given but are interested in giving, please consider giving today! (the sooner I have the support given the sooner I can move to campus and begin my ministry!) You can give a quick and easy tax deductible gift Here! Please continue to pray for me as I prepare to move and that the Lord will provide a place for me to live affordably and a cheap way to travel across country.

This month I am reading 1 & 2 Timothy and 1 &2 Peter. These books have been encouraging and helpful in thinking about ministry as well as the calling we have all received as believers. That the Lord has called us to turn away from the ways of the world and that we should not be lead astray by the teaching of False Teachers.

I am very excited to be moving to campus! Please join me in this ministry through prayer and financial support! If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at matt.arends@ruf.org or call me at 757-390-5939!

In Christ,

Matt Arends

Thank you for your support! Give online at: https://givetoruf.org/ProductLanding/1084

We are nearly there!

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Hey Everyone!

Thank you so much for your prayer and su13422299_10105620930536990_5394385519451517579_opport over the past few months, weeks, and days. Now that I am home from training, I only have about $4,500 left to raise so that I can move! It’s hard to believe that I am nearly able to move and that we together have raised 70% of the budget set before me for my work in the ministry of RUF! (give now by visiting: https://givetoruf.org/ProductLanding/1084)

The Lord has blessed me greatly through my friends, family, and through His word. I just finished reading 1, 2, 3 John as well as Daniel and the Lord has lifted me up greatly though these books. They have better helped me understand what it is to act on faith and not rely on myself but of God.

This month I will be reading 1 & 2 Peter as well as 1 & 2 Timothy. Please be prying that I will learn and grow in understanding as I read these books and that they will benefit my ministry.

As always, feel free to contact me as I am continuing to raise support and as I prepare for my move to Boise to serve God and His church.

 

In Christ,

Matt Arends

 

July Fundraising and Spiritual Update

It’s hard to believe that it is already July! The past few months have brought many new and exciting things. I am getting closer and close to moving to Boise, ID and I am ready to start my work on campus. I am at 50% of my needed budget (about 25% given in one time gifts and 25% pledged monthly) which means that I only need 10 families to begin giving $100 monthly to reach my goal of 85% to move to campus and about 15 more families partnering with me at $100 a month to be fully funded for the next two years! The Lord has truly blessed me!

Last Month I read the book of Mark which is full of assurance of provision and healing. Christ tells us that, if we have faith the size of a mustard seed that we can tell mountains to jump and they will jump. Right now,  I feel like I have a mountain in front of me and I am stepping out in faith to say that I will be fully funded in time to move to Boise on August first. Now I ask that you will please join me in faith and partner with me financially so that I can not only personally grow in faith and in service of Christ but also that you may grow in faith of Gods provision as well. For everyone that has given so far, Thank you! Please join me in prayer over the next 20 days as I raise the remainder of my support.

To give pain free online you can  CLICK HERE! Gifts are processed automatically on the first of every month.

This month I am reading 1, 2, 3 John and the book of Daniel and I am very excited for what God has to teach me through these books.

 

 

June Update

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Just Finished Orientation in Atlanta!

My first week in June was spent in Atlanta with 56 other newly hired interns (see picture above) and I couldn’t have enjoyed getting to know everyone who are doing the same thing as I am for the next two to three years. It amazing to see how God is working on the college campus through RUF and how it has impacted so many of our lives is amazing ways.

The days were filled with information on policies, budgets and fundraising which was both exhausting and exciting. Though at times the task ahead seems daunting it was comforting to be surrounded by so many other people who are doing the same thing as I am and to constantly be reminded that the Lord will provide.

The week helped me realize how raising financial support ($31,000 per year) is an amazing opportunity to partner with individuals that care about me, my ministry, or the college campus. Asking friends, family, and even strangers for money can be difficult because often times we hold onto our money because we earned it but that same fondness for out money can also be shared with others by partnering with ministries as individuals. Recently I was told something that really spoke to me on the subject, “We are all called to missions, some are called to physically go out and make disciples while others are called to send others.” Fundraising the necessary money to both live by and serve with provides an amazing opportunity for others who can’t go themselves to send someone who can. “Its much easier for a recent college graduate to do ministry on the college campus than it is for someone who graduated 10 years ago and this ministry allows for those who can’t relate to college students to send someone who can.

As I move forward please pray with me for my ministry, for my potential supporters, and for those already supporting me. Pray that the ministry is a fruitful one and pray for the Lords provision in our lives. If you are reading this and have not yet given, please prayerfully consider joining me and those already giving. God is at work on the college campus join me in that work.

In Christ,

Matt Arends
RUF Intern
Boise State University

Washed and Waiting (Hill)

I recently finished the book “Washed and Waiting” (Hill) which discusses homosexuality in the Christian Life. I found the book, which is written by a Christian who struggles with homosexuality, very helpful and insightful. I think that this topic is one that is often ignored or frowned upon in the church today because it is one that is hard to discuss without either offending or compromising with Biblical text. Though this is true, this book gives hope to future discussion of homosexuality within the church.

To better understand the topic at hand, I believe that it is important to first define some key terms in this discussion (often offense can be taken when the incorrect terms are applied to a topic). I do not consider myself to be an expert on these or other relevant terms but it is important to understand a distinction between, Same Sex Attraction (SSA), Homosexual Orientation (HO), and Homosexual Identity (HI).

Same sex attraction is a term to describe desires and feelings that someone has but those desires do not reflect their actions nor identity. People who struggle with SSA cannot control their attractions but can control their actions/behavior.

Homosexual Orientation is a term used to describe the situation of a person who has Same Sex Attractions that are strong enough and persistent enough that they feel themselves orientating themselves toward the same sex. They cannot control themselves from noticing the same sex in the way someone of Heterosexual oriented people notice an attractive person of the opposite sex.

Homosexual Identity is the socio-cultural label that people use to describe themselves, a label embedded with meaning in today’s culture. A person who describes themselves with this label are those whose tendencies/desires are strong enough that they embrace the lifestyle as a part of who they are.

Often times when talking about anyone of these tiers we assume that the person is gay. Whether they struggle with SSA, HO, or HI they are all the same in everyday conversation. That mentality within the church causes a divide between those who struggle with this temptation/sin issue. It is important to recognize these as three different temptations. Same Sex Attraction as stated above does not imply homosexual identity nor does SSA mean that the person is acting on those attractions. They do not identify as being gay, nor do they necessarily act on those feelings. This differs from Homosexual Orientation in a way that those who struggle with HO feel that they cannot control themselves from being drawn to others of the same sex. They may not act out on those feelings but those feelings are more persistent than that of SSA. Lastly, if an individual comes to accept themselves as “being gay” and embrace the lifestyle there of, than they are struggling with homosexual identity.

Those distinctions in mind, anyone of these tiers can include sinful action, which is to say that they engage in homosexual activity. Neither attraction, orientation, nor identity are inherently more sinful, but do help understand where the individual is in their struggle with this temptation.

Where does homosexuality come from?

There is the constant debate of Nature vs Nurture, but for now I believe as many have said, we know but we don’t may be the best we can do right now on this subject. There are people who have suffered from emotional or physical abuse who afterward have identified as being homosexual and there are people who have lived lives free of those things who also fall under this temptation. It is not beyond possibility that our sexuality can be corrupted by sin from birth. We can all as believers agree that homosexuality is a product of sin, as discussed below.

Where does the Bible come in?

“God created man, male and female He created them.”, God’s mandate “Be fruitful and multiply”, “You shall not lie with a male as with female, for it is an abomination.” All these and more have been used to claim that homosexuality is a sin and not from God. It is true that homosexual actions are sinful, but the Bible has more to say.

Romans 1: 21-32 Says that man knew God but did not give thanks nor honor him and that they began to worship images or created things in place of the immortal God. Because of this God gave man up to lusts and immoral passions. Men and women engaged in relations against what is natural. The passage continues saying, because they refused to acknowledge God they were given up to debased mind causing a multitude of other sins.

It is important to take this passage together because first it defines homosexual actions as sin, not attractions, but also because it lists this sin with all types of sin. The passage does emphasize that it is acting on these passions that is sinful “26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

Though this passage tells us all the sins that we commit and that we are to receive due punishment, there is also hope. 1 Cor 6:9-11 – “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such WERE some of you. But YOU WERE WASHED, YOU WERE SANCTIFIED, YOU WERE JUSTIFIED in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

All sinners who come to know Christ have been washed clean of their sin and have been justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. homosexuality among them.

“God condemns homosexual behavior and amazingly, profligately, at great cost to himself, lavishes his love on homosexual persons” (Hill)

Though all believers, no matter what sins they commit, are washed clean by Christ, we are still waiting for His return and our Glorified bodies to be made. We are still struggling with our sinful nature. So just as I may lie to a friend, Christians can still struggle with Same Sex attraction, Homosexual Orientation, and Homosexual Identity and the temptations involved. We are all washed and waiting.

A Spirituality of Fundraising

For my internship I will be required to read many books, see here.  One of the books for the month of June is a book called “A Spirituality of Fundraising”. I have read that short book once already and thought that I would talk about this idea and how it has helped me think about the great task of raising support for my ministry. The message of the book is one that I am working on apply to my mission now.

As the book discusses, fundraising comes across as something that is necessary but unfortunate. I have often talked to my friends and family with a similar approach to it. I often find myself saying things such as “I have been called to be a part of an amazing ministry, but sadly I do have to raise my salary and ministry expenses”. When I say that I sadly have to raise $31,000 it not only makes my mission look hard to me but also makes it look daunting to any of my potential donors. However, that is not how we as fundraisers or donors should look at raising money for the service of the church.

Several people in the Bible ask others to support them financially. While reading Exodus this month I came across a passage where Moses asks the people of Israel for money. (Exodus 25) The book of 2 Corinthians also refers to people in need of support for missions as being met with generosity and eagerness to give to Paul and other Saints spreading the good news. In 1 Corinthians Paul even instructs the church to collect money at the first of every month and to save it until he can come and collect it when he is able. Paul continues to say that he has learned to be content in every circumstance for he has seen times of  great need and times of plenty.

Paul trusted God to provide for his needs but also was not afraid to tell people of his need and didn’t shy away from asking. Paul wanted to tell others about the good news and allow those he has shared the good news with to partner with this mission to further spread the Gospel. If we take Paul’s perspective, we should not beg for money, but rather be so excited to share our mission and vision that we are allowing others to participate in this mission by giving to the cause.

Recently I have been told that I am soft spoken, and I will admit that I am, but I am even more soft spoken when it comes to other peoples money. However, I do know that I truly believe in RUF and it’s ministry. RUF is like a tree planted by streams of water, bearing good fruit in its season. I know this to be true because RUF blessed me and produced fruit in my life and I can honestly say the people of RUF have shown me love in a way that no one else has and RUF has given me a passion to serve other people and the church in that same way. Because of this I can go out unashamed of my need and boldly tell those about the mission of RUF and the Mission of the church and allow them to partner with me in this mission.

Fundraising thus is not asking people to give for your own personal benefit but for the benefit of the one giving. Paul doesn’t say that people will be thanked for their giving, but he says that those who give will be enriched in every way. That should be the case for my ministry too. Those whom I ask to give toward my mission should give knowing that they are giving to a vision that will bear good fruit. Like Jesus says “I am the vine are you are the branches” the relationship between fundraisers and donors should be one of mutual understanding of Gods love and the mission there in.

I will ask now that you will join me in prayer as I seek to apply the knowledge that what I am going to be doing is not only worth wild to me but to those who have supported, are supporting me, or will be supporting me as well as those whom I have been called to reach and serve.

Pray that I will confidently tell everyone around me about my mission and the opportunity they have to partner with me in this mission. Also, pray that I will learn better to rely on God to provide so that I do not feel like I am begging, but can ask knowing that God will provide for my needs.

 

Thank You to everyone giving in time, prayer, and money toward my mission. Know that because of your generosity that you will be enriched in every way.

 

In Christ,
Matt Arends

 

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