Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Update & Pictures!

Dear blog readers, I have a confession:

I'm not doing a very good job at keeping up with this blog. There is SO much that has happened this semester that I'd like to tell you all about... given the time (and motivation), I could probably write a book about all that I've experienced, learned, and seen God do since I began working with RUF at WCU. 

Since I don't plan on writing a book anytime soon, here are some pictures of some of the highlights of the semester. (They say a picture is worth a thousand words, right?)

(Photo credit for a lot of these pictures goes to the one and only Morgan McCool!)

Fall means football and football means tailgating!

WCU has had a less-than-impressive football season... but the band is awesome!
(And check out that view!)

Fall Conference!
In September, we joined the RUFs from Duke, NC State, Wofford, UNC Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest (about 300 students total!)  for a weekend retreat at Camp Greystone (in Tuxedo, NC). John Pearson (the RUF area coordinator for NC and VA) was the speaker for the weekend. He focused on the book of Hebrews and tackled the question, "What does it mean to live in light of God's promises?" Most of the students that came from WCU were new to RUF, and I really enjoyed having the opportunity to spend the weekend with them and get to know them. 

No RUF retreat is complete without a dance party!!

Not-A-Date Night
One of my favorite events of the semester (so far) was Not-A-Date Night at the end of September. The point of Not-A-Date Night was to give students the opportunity to meet and get to know one another, and to help newer students to get more plugged in. We had about 50 students sign up, and we divided them up into groups of about seven. The evening was split up into three stages:

Stage 1: Each group decided on a time and place and ate dinner together.
Stage 2: After dinner, the groups had to go shopping: everyone had to find and wrap a random object as a "gift". (Creative wrapping methods were encouraged!)
Stage 3: Once everyone had a "gift", the students all gathered at the Osbornes' house for desserts and a giant White Elephant gift exchange. 

Not-A-Date Night was a success! We had a good mix of new and "old" students, and it was overall a fun evening. Since it was a few days after my birthday, they surprised me with a cookie cake! We are hoping to do another Not-A-Date Night soon!

Pumpkin-Carving Party!
Last weekend, we had a pumpkin-carving party just for the girls. We had so much fun hanging out, carving pumpkins, and eating some delicious homemade twix bars and other fall goodies, courtesy of the Jenny Osborne. :)

Thank you all for your prayers! I know I say this all the time, but God is at work at Western! Sylva feels like home now, and I can honestly say that there is nowhere else I'd rather be living and nothing else I'd rather be doing right now. God is good!

P.S. I just sent out a new email newsletter! If you would like to get those,
click here to subscribe to my newsletter!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Putting Amazing Back into Grace

Part of the RUF internship is the study program: each month, I have assigned reading consisting of one or two books, certain sections of the Bible (by the end of these 2 years, we will have read the whole Bible), and portions of the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Westminster Shorter Catechism. I must confess, as much as I would like to be, I'm not much of a reader. When I was younger, I was a giant bookworm; I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on. (And often got in trouble for staying up reading waaaay past my bedtime.) Somewhere in the past 10 years or so, I stopped loving reading. (I blame my highschool teachers and assigned reading.) It's sad, really... I want to be a bookworm, but I'm just not. I could go off on a tangent about how media/information overload has killed our attention spans and makes reading seem boring... but that's another conversation. :) Thankfully, the RUF study program is phenomenal - I've really enjoyed these books! (Most of them anyway.) Who knows? Maybe there's hope for his backslidden bookworm! ;)

The purpose of this post is to share a quote from Putting Amazing Back into Grace. It has been my favorite book in the study program so far. It's written by Michael Horton, and I really love his writing style. Its hard to describe, but if you're looking for a book on reformed theology (everyone's favorite topic, I know) that's practical, applicable, and interesting (because let's be honest, not all theological books are), then I STRONGLY recommend this book! (Don't judge it by it's 90s-tastic cover!)

So without further ado, here's a quote from chapter 10, titled "No Lost Causes":

"In the matter of justification, we see Judge; we picture a courtroom. In the matter of sanctification, we see a Father and the image of home. I referred I the ugly duckling's becoming the beautiful swan. Sanctification involves that kind of transformation. Don't lose heart! If God starts this thing, He will finish it!"

Maybe this quote is just beautiful to me in the context of what I've been learning throughout it the rest of the book... but it just resonated with me. My day-to-day relationship with God has the nature of a parent-child relationship, not that of a criminal and a judge. God has already justified me; I am no longer in the courtroom. God is at work in my heart, sanctifying me to be more like Christ, and He is not going to give up on me! I can come to Him freely, I don't have to try to hide my shame from Him. God's not done with me yet; I still sin. A lot. But God doesn't see me as the sinner I am; He sees me as someone who has been redeemed, a work in progress... and He has promised that He will finish what He started!

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you
will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."
 - Phil. 1:6

If that's not encouraging, I don't know what is!

Things have been busy here; I'll be back soon with a ministry update!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Still Alive!

Hello everyone! I'm alive and well and loving NC so far! I'm almost to the end of my second week on campus - crazy! I'll be back soon with a more detailed and thoughtful post about my first few weeks on campus and what I've been learning and experiencing so far... but in the meantime, here's a copy of the newsletter I sent out earlier this week:

If you're not getting my monthly email newsletters and would like to, you can subscribe here:

In the meantime, all three of the interns I highlighted in my newsletter have reached 85% and are in the process of moving to campus!!! It has been so encouraging and exciting to see God's providence up close over these past few days/weeks, and to see so many people from all walks of life give so generously. Thank you!

Thank you all once again for all of your prayers, encouragement, and generosity. It's still hard for me to fathom that people have given and pledged almost $30,000 to make this internship possible for me, and I have been so blessed by the people that have rallied around me in prayer and encouragement this summer at home as well as in North Carolina. I've been loved, prayed for, and supported by people who have known me since I was born and by people who have yet to meet me in person. You have shown me such a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ. THANK YOU! I'm so excited for these next two years!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Time to move!

The amount of support that has come in this week has been overwhelming! (Almost $10,000!!)  I am now at 94% of my budget for this year and have been officially cleared to move to campus!! Please be praying for me this week as I pack up and move to North Carolina!

To those of you who have donated and/or have been praying for me this summer, THANK YOU!!! This summer, God has given me a much bigger picture of the Body of Christ and what it means to be a part of that. At the beginning of the summer, the number $28,470 was daunting. I knew God would provide the support I needed if it was His will for me to be an intern, but I struggled to believe that. The thought of raising that much money in only a few months seemed impossible. And yet, here I am, with $26,645 in my support account... wow!!! God is faithful!

This week, I also got to spend a little time with some of my college friends in Statesboro... it brought back a lot of memories of my own college days and my own experiences with RUF at Georgia Southern, so I thought I'd share some of those with you:

My first GSU football game!
first RUF Winter Conference
The night we decided to carve pumpkins... and went a little overboard. ;)
My intern Emily  (Sarah Palin) and I (Christmas Tree...) - Halloween 2008
Mission Trip to Chicago! - Spring break 2010

Roommates! (senior year)

Winter Conference 2011 

Widow's Watchmen mission trip - Spring Break 2011

One of many RUF Christmas parties... 

RUF Summer Conference 2011! 

When I think of my college days, I automatically think of the people I spent those days with. I thank God for the great friendships and fun times he blessed me with during those four years, and also for the things he taught me and  my campus minister (Sammy Rhodes), interns, and friends who helped me through difficult times.

Now I'm off to a new campus, with new demographics, a new RUF group, and a new role within RUF... it's a little scary, but I'm excited to find out what God has in store for me over these next two years at...

Western Carolina University! 

Go Catamounts!

P.S. I still need to raise about $1,800 to finish out this first year, so if you're interested in supporting me, please check out the Support me tab for more information!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Quick Update!

I'm now at $17,261! That's about 61% of my budget for the year. This has once again been a really encouraging week! In the past 7 days, my support has gone up by $3,865! Thank you SO much to all of you who played a part in that!

As soon as I've raised another $6,939, I'll be cleared to move to campus! WCU students will begin classes on August 20 (2 weeks from tomorrow!), and I would love to be able to be on campus by then! 

In monthly pledges, that breaks down to (for example):

3 pledges of $100/month
5 pledges of $50/month
5 pledges of $25/month
and 2 pledges of $10/month

Of course, it doesn't have to follow that breakdown exactly... in fact, it probably won't. It might even come in the form of a one-time gift of $6,939! (Hint, hint...) ;) haha. All joking aside, one-time gifts and pledges of any size are important! 

If you would like to help me make that final push toward my 85%, you can donate online at www.ruf.org/donate, or check out the Support me tab for more information. If you have any questions, shoot me an email at annie.hall@ruf.org. 

Speaking of email, I'll be sending out monthly email newsletters throughout my internship, so if you'd like to get those, you can sign up here: 

Happy Sunday!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Staff Training

What a week! Training was challenging, overwhelming at times, and humbling... but overall, I left feeling encouraged and motivated. We had several different seminars throughout the week on topics like the history of the PCA and RUF (which was actually much more interesting than I was expecting!), RUF's philosophy of ministry, Evangelism, balancing personal life and ministry, demographics, one-on-ones, etc. I also really enjoyed spending time with the other interns this week - it's refreshing to hang out with people who know exactly what you're going through! (Lots of "What! You too?" moments - for you C.S. Lewis fans.)

A recurring theme that stood out to me in many of the seminars was that God doesn't need me, but He will use me. In other words, it's not about me. God is already at work at Western Carolina, and His work there is not contingent on my being there... I won't be starting God's work at WCU, I'll be joining Him in what He's already doing there. That's both humbling and encouraging. My work does have a purpose - not because I have the ability to "fix" or "save" anyone, but because God will work through me. I came home feeling encouraged and motivated to continue raising support, so that I can get to campus as soon as possible!

Support Update:
I am now at $13,396, or 47% of my total budget for the year! (That's a 14% increase from last week!) I have to raise a total of 85% in order to move to campus. Right now, I am still $10,804  away from that goal. That breaks down to $1,080* in monthly pledges, or (for example):

5 pledges of $100/month
5 pledges of $50/month
8 pledges of $25/month
and 13 pledges of $10/month

Pledges are helpful because they add up quickly, but one-time cash donations are important too! Of the 85% that I raise before I move to campus, $10,000 must be in cash, not pledges (just in case pledges fall through). I'm currently a little over $5,000 in cash donations, and I still need to raise about $5,000 more in one-time gifts in order to move. 

All that to say: ANY donation of any size helps, and I am so, SO grateful to all of you who have already supported me! (If you would like to support my work, check out the Support me tab or go to www.ruf.org/donate.) 


*Pledges are counted as 10-month commitments until I reach 85%.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Training & Support Update

Next week, I'll be attending RUF Staff Training in Atlanta with all of the RUF campus ministers, staff members, and my fellow interns. I'm really looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting more of the second-year interns! (Hoping they can give me some killer-awesome tips for raising the rest of this support!) :) Please pray for safe travels as we all make our way to Atlanta, and pray that we would all learn and grow a lot and enjoy good fellowship at training!

As of today, I have reached $9,364 in  pledges and donations! That puts me at 33% of my total budget. I still need to raise $14,836 by mid-August in order to be on campus in time to welcome the incoming freshmen. That breaks down to $1,236 in monthly pledges, or (for example):

5 pledges of $100/month
10 pledges of $50/month
and 10 pledges of $25/month

Of course, one-time gifts and pledges of any size are a big encouragement, and they all add up! As I was looking over my donor report for this week, I found some donations that I (for various reasons) wasn't expecting at all... and each of these gifts is a reminder to me that God is in control of my support-raising, and I can trust Him. 
"God in His love always wills what is best for us.
In His wisdom He always knows what is best,
and in His sovereignty He has the power to bring it about."
- Jerry Bridges, Trusting God

Happy Sunday, everyone! RUF people - see you tomorrow!! 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Support Update!

drumroll please...

I am now at $7,740 in pledges and gifts. That's 27%, folks! Thank you so, so much to all of you who have donated or pledged!

I can move to campus once I have raised 85% ($24,200) of my budget. I'm hoping to reach 85% by August 16 (one month from now!!) So that I can be there in time for the fall semester to start.  Right now, I am $16,460 away from that goal. Practically speaking, this breaks down to:

5 pledges of $100/month
10 pledges of $50/month
20 pledges of $25/month
15 pledges of $10/month

(This is just an example - one-time gifts or other pledges are definitely welcome!!)

Please consider partnering with me! Check out the Support me tab for more information about my budget, and please don't hesitate to contact me (912.678.6049 or annie.hall@ruf.org) with any questions!

Support-raising has been a learning experience so far. It's definitely not easy, and it's often really awkward... but I've been really encouraged by the conversations I've had with a lot of people along the way. It's humbling to be in a position where my future plans depend on the generosity of others... but I'm even more humbled and encouraged by the generosity of my supporters, especially those that don't really know me and/or are having to make sacrifices in other areas in order to support me. 

Humbled, encouraged, and grateful,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Hi! My name is Annie Hall, and by God's grace and with your help, I'll be an intern with RUF at Western Carolina this fall. This is where I'll post updates about support-raising, ministry, and life in Cullowhee, NC.

This adventure/journey/whatever you want to call it really started over 3 years ago... but that's somewhat of a long story. Fast forward to about 3 weeks ago, where I found myself at a hotel in Atlanta, surrounded by over 60 other incoming interns for new intern orientation. Orientation was simultaneously intimidating,encouraging, overwhelming, and really, really fun. (My fellow interns/friends Kelsey, Derrick, and Rachel wrote some interesting blog posts about orientation - check them out!)

Last week, I drove up to Cullowhee, North Carolina, to meet my new boss (campus minister Dave Osborne) and his family, meet a few students, and check out the area. It was a fun, exhausting, and eye-opening few days...

On my first night there, about 15 - 20 students came over to the Osbornes' house for a summer Bible study, and I was able to get my first sample of the types of students I'll be working with at Western. RUF at WCU is unique in that very few of the students have PCA/reformed backgrounds... many of them are new Christians or have grown up in churches and homes that taught a moralistic works-based salvation. As a result, many of them are learning about the Gospel and God's undeserved grace for the first time. As I sat and listened to them discuss and apply the Gospel, I was overwhelmed - they have a sweet excitement for the Gospel that's indescribable. The topic for the night was Luke 15 (the prodigal son) from a study series by Tim Keller. (Check out THIS SERMON  - it's so good!) After Bible study, Dave told me about some of the struggles his students face/have faced... and I was overwhelmed again. After meeting the students and talking to Dave, I realized that working with these students is going to be much more exciting and much more challenging than I could imagine... and I realized that really, really can't do this without prayer. So when I ask you to pray for me, it's not just because I want to sound spiritual - it's because if I try to do this in my own strength, it's going to be disastrous.

The rest of my time in North Carolina was spent touring WCU, finding a place to live (success!), and exploring the general area... 

Western Carolina is located about 40 miles of Asheville, surrounded by the mountains... it's beautiful! (And consistently at least 10 degrees cooler than middle Georgia - a welcome change!)

I'll end this post here, because I originally planned for this to be a brief introduction... but there's still so much to be said about Dave and his work at Western. I can't wait to start working under him and I'm excited to see what God is going to do in, through, and for me over the next two years!! Thanks for visiting my blog, and come back soon for more updates! (If you'd like to get my blog posts via email, enter your email address into the "follow by email" box on the right.)