Friday, December 20, 2013

Fall 2013 Semester Recap!

Another semester has come and gone! It's been a busy couple of months...

The semester kicked off with Valley Ballyhoo (a big student involvement fair) on August 17. We set up an RUF table where the campus minister, Rev. Brian Thomas, some students, and I talked to incoming students and handed out RUF cups and information about RUF at WCU. It was a lot of fun... and busy! (Hence the lack of pictures.)

Our first Large Group took place on August 21, and we continued to meet every Wednesday night for a time of fellowship, worship, and a sermon from Brain.

Brian and his wife Jessica opened their home to freshman and sophomores every week this semester for Monday Night Fellowship - a free home-cooked meal and a chance to hang out and get to know each other. We really enjoyed this and decided to continue doing Monday Night Fellowship in the spring, and to open it up to everyone! Other weekly activities this semester included Girls Night (Bible study and fellowship at my house every Thursday night), and Guys Night (hang out time and Bible study with Brian).

On September 5, we had another Not-A-Date Night. This is a favorite here at WCU, and we do it at least once every semester! We divide students up into groups of about 5-8 students, and each group eats dinner together and then participates in a group activity of some sort before joining up with the rest of the groups. It gives new students a chance to connect in a smaller (hopefully less intimidating) setting, and allows students that don't usually hang out with each other to get to know one another better. This time, the group activity was a game called "Bigger and Better". Each group started off with a paperclip, and after dinner they set out to find someone who was willing to trade them something bigger or better for the paper clip, and then they went on to trade THAT object for something bigger or better, and so on. Students came back with all kinds of crazy objects and a lot of crazy stories!

We took 30 students to the Southeastern RUF Fall Conference September 20-22. Students from Clemson, Davidson, Erskine, Furman, Johnson & Wales, NC State, UT Knoxville, Wake Forest, Winthrop, Wofford, and of course Western Carolina (about 400 total) gathered at Camp Graystone in Tuxedo, NC for a weekend of fellowship, Bible study, and enjoying the great outdoors. Unfortunately it rained most of the day on Saturday, but we still had fun! Many of the students that came were new to RUF, and I enjoyed getting to know them better and watching students form new friendships. 

Fall semester is football season, and although WCU is more known for having a good marching band than a good football team, we love tailgating! Go Cats!!

In October, I attended RUF intern training in Atlanta. Training is always both challenging and encouraging, and I really enjoy spending time with the other RUF interns! There are currently a little over 100 interns total working with RUF all over the States! This training was bittersweet - most of my fellow 2nd-year interns (pictured below) will be finishing the internship at the end of this semester, and it was our last training all together! I am so thankful for the time I've gotten to spend with all of them, and I am going to miss seeing them all at training every few months!

Another favorite RUF event is our annual Hoedown! We had apple cider, homemade goodies, games, and my roommate "Hoedown Heidi" taught us some square dances and line dances!

We wrapped up the semester with a Tacky Christmas Sweater Party in December!

It has been a busy, crazy, and FUN semester! I'm enjoying some time off, and I'm glad for a chance to spend some time with family and friends in Germany, but I'm looking forward to next semester!! I still have to raise about $7,000 in order to continue working with RUF at WCU through the end of the fall semester, so if you are at all interested in making a donation, please click on the Support Me tab to find out how you can do that and where the money goes. $21,075 has already been donated for the 2013-2014 school year, and I am SO grateful to all of you have played a part in that!! 

Merry Christmas, everyone!! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Help RUF improve!

Hi everyone! RUF is working on improving the national website (, newsletters, and other forms of communication with students and donors, and we would LOVE to have your input! If you have the time (it should take about 5 minutes), we'd really appreciate it if you'd fill out this survey!


The fall semester is HERE!! Freshman move-in is tomorrow, and Valley Ballyhoo (a big student involvement fair) is on Saturday! Brian and I, as well as some RUF students will be spending the weekend meeting incoming freshmen and trying to help them move in and get settled and connected on campus. Please pray for us and for the freshmen as they make a pretty BIG life transition!

SUPPORT UPDATE: I am still waiting for a few donations to be processed before I'll know the exact amount, but I still need to raise an estimated $13,500 for this coming school year. If my support account doesn't get a pretty significant boost before the end of the month, I'll be forced to take time off from working on campus in order to focus on support raising. Please be praying for me in the next few weeks - both that the money would come in and that I would trust God rather than worry! And if you're able to donate, please do!! Even little donations are a big encouragement.

Friends, if you would be willing to buy me two cups of coffee a month, then consider making a pledge for $5/month. If you'd be willing to pay for my lunch once a month, consider making a pledge for $10 or $15 per month. Little donations like that (including one-time donations) really help out! (A HUGE chunk of my support for last year came from small, one-time donations from dozens of people.) 
Check out the Support me tab at the top of the page for more information about donating... and if you have any questions, shoot me an email at!

Thanks everyone, much love!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

For those of you on Bloglovin'...

Quick shoutout: Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Ok, that's it. :) Have a great day!

Check back soon for more updates... Freshmen Move-In Day is 9 days away, and after that things are gonna get CRAZY up in here!! Can't wait.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Staff Training, Fall Semester, and Support!

The summer is almost over!! Last week, I got to spend five days being encouraged and challenged at RUF staff training in Atlanta. Our mornings and afternoons were filled with seminars on topics like the RUF Philosophy of Ministry (which is much more interesting than it sounds!), counseling, planning Bible studies, and tending to your own spiritual/physical well-being in ministry. In the evenings, I enjoyed getting to spend time with other interns and campus ministers that are working (or will soon be working) on college campuses all around the United States. It's always encouraging and fun to get to spend time with all of them and to hear what God is doing on other campuses! As much as I enjoyed staff training last year, this year was SO much better. Last year, I hadn't moved to NC or gotten to know any students yet, so all of the situations and individuals I had in mind while listening to seminars and asking questions were hypothetical, and much of what I was learning seemed really abstract. This year, after having spent a year getting to know students and learning how to do my job, I was able to have real individuals and real situations in mind, and the seminars felt much more practical. I still wouldn't claim to be an expert at my job (but really... who is an expert at ministry, unless your name starts with J and ends with ESUS), and there are still a lot of unknowns about the coming semester (working with a new campus minister, new students coming in, etc.), but overall I left training excited about the coming semester. (Which starts in 2 weeks!!)

Speaking of the fall semester, please be praying for the students that we'll be coming into contact with this fall! It's been a quiet summer here, I can't wait for the students to be back!!

  • August 16th is Freshman Move-In Day. We'll be hanging out on campus, welcoming incoming freshmen and returning students, and possibly helping with move-in if the opportunity presents itself.
  • August 17th is Valley BallyhooWCU's big fall semester kickoff, where students will have a chance to explore the campus organizations, local businesses, etc. that are available to them. We'll have a table set up with information about RUF, Giant Jenga, and some freebees, and Brian and some students and I will  be hanging out, meeting students, and explaining what RUF is and how to get connected.
  • August 21st will be our first Large Group of the Fall semester, and it will be Brian's first Large Group as a campus minister! 
  • On August 22nd there will be a Relient K concert on campus! RK was the first band I saw in concert (I was a big fan in highschool), so I'm pretty excited to go and hang out with students.
  • August 23rd we'll be having a cookout to celebrate the beginning of the semester and to welcome new students/welcome returning students back. (We're still trying to think of a name for this event, suggestions welcomed!)
...and that's just the first week! I'm really excited to kick off the semester, but please be praying for Brian and me as we dive in - we'll need lots of energy!

The approaching of the fall semester also means that I just have two weeks left of full-time support raising. As of today, I am still $13,990 away from being fully funded for the 2013-2014 school year. (You can find more information about funding HERE or by shooting me an email at!) It's important for me to get as close to my support goal as possible within the next two weeks, because if I run low on funding during the school year, I'll have to start taking time off from my ministry responsibilities to focus on raising funds (and that is difficult to do in the midst of a busy semester!). My presence on campus is dependent on financial support - RUF is a 100% non-profit, donor-funded ministry, which means that if I run out of funding, they'll have no choice but to fire me. (On the plus side, that means that any donations to RUF are tax-deductible!) So to those of you who have supported me financially over this past year and continue to donate, THANK YOU. No matter how big or small your gift is, it really means a lot!! 

$13,990 may seem like a lot of money (and it is), but if there's one thing I've learned from raising support, it's that God provides. And He often does it in ways we aren't expecting. This time last year, I was over $10,000 away from reaching the 85% mark and being able to move to campus, and God provided the money I needed (and more!) within two weeks, allowing me to move to campus just in time for Freshman Move-In Day. Those donations came in sizes varying from $5/month to a one-time gift of $5,000 - and it all added up. So enough with the motivational speech (this was more for myself than anyone else - I need to remember that I serve a powerful God and that people are generous... otherwise I'll panic!), what does all of this mean practically?

If you love RUF, college students, WCU, or me (or just donating to ministries), please consider making a donation toward my work with RUF. And don't think that any gift is too small. Every donation gets me closer to being fully funded! Here's what that $13,990 could break down to in practical terms: (time for some math.)

5 pledges of $150/month
3 pledges of $100/month
5 pledges of $50/month
5 pledges of $25/month
5 pledges of 10/month
3 one-time donations of $200
5 one-time donations of $100
10 one-time donations of $50
9 one-time donations of $10

Of course, that's just an example to break it all down into "bite-sized pieces". If you're interested in supporting RUF at WCU and my work here, please pray and consider donating in one of the above categories or ANY amount you choose. Credit card donations and pledges can be made online at, checks should be made out to RUF (with "Hall, Annie - WCU, 1345" on the memo line) and mailed to: 
Reformed University Ministries
1700 North Brown Road, Suite 104
Lawrenceville, GA 30043

Check out the Support me! tab at the top of the page for more information, and please feel free to call or email me with any questions! Thanks!

If you can't donate right now but would still like to help, then spread the word! References play a big part in support raising. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, etc., or tell a friend who may be interested. Support often comes from unexpected sources! That's just the way God works. :)

Monday, July 15, 2013


Below is a sneak preview of my next newsletter, which will be coming to a mailbox near you in August. If you would like to join my mailing list (snail mail or email), you can sign up here:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Summer's here, which means my job is shifting gears for the next few months. Since most students go off-campus for the summer (to work, travel, visit family, etc.), I'll be focusing more on my study program and raising support for the 2013-2014 school year. (Thankfully not all of the students are gone - a handful have stayed in town to work or take classes this summer, and orientation sessions for incoming students are being held throughout the month of June. I'd probably spiral into deep depression if I had to be separated from all of my students all summer! Not really. But almost. The students are the best part of my job!)

I'm currently reading God's Way of Peace by Horatius Bonar. It's a short book (only about 100 pages), but it's packed full of wisdom and encouragement. I read it for an RUF small group I was involved in as a freshman (or maybe sophomore?) in college, and I liked it the first time, but I'm developing a new appreciation for it the second time around. In a nutshell, Bonar writes that true and lasting peace doesn't come from looking to anything we do or achieve, but rather from resting in what Jesus has done. Golden. I highly recommend it!

Front Cover
"Accept, then, the character of God as given in the gospel; read aright His blessed name as it is written upon the cross; take the simple interpretation given of His mind toward the ungodly, as you have it, at length, in the glad tidings of peace. Is that not enough?" 
- Horatius Bonar, God's Way of Peace

My goal for the summer is to raise enough support to cover the 2013-2014 school year, so that I can focus on spending time with students and my on-campus ministry responsibilities during the school year. I'll need to raise a total of approximately $30,000 for the next year. I have approximately $12,000 pledged in monthly donations, which leaves me with about $18,000 to raise in one-time gifts and/or monthly pledges over the summer. (Check out the Support Me tab for more information about where that money goes and how to donate! And please don't hesitate to call or email me with any questions!)

So, $18,000. That's a big number. But if there's anything I learned while raising support last summer, it's this: God provides. Also, it all adds up. It sounds cliché, but it's true. Last summer, I had to raise over $28,000, and God provided abundantly - in the form of donations ranging anywhere from $5 to $5,000. So if you have been thinking about donating (or if you've donated in the past and are thinking about donating again), let me unashamedly ask you to please donate what you can. Every donation helps.

Donations can come in the form of one-time gifts (of any size) or pledges to donate a certain amount every month. Here's a breakdown of what that might look like in monthly pledges:

10 pledges of $25/month
9 pledges of $50/month
5 pledges of $100/month
2 pledges of $150/month

In one-time donations, it might look something like this:

10 donations of $1,000
10 donations of $500
15 donations of $100
15 donations of $50
16 donations of $25
35 donations of $10

Of course, these are just here to give you (and me) a practical idea of what I need to be working toward this summer. None of that is set in stone, so if you feel inclined to make a monthly pledge of $67 or a one-time gift of $324, you are more than welcome to do so. :) 

Happy summer, everyone! 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Year One Wrap-Up

Well, I've officially been working for RUF for a year! A year ago, I was finishing up a fun, overwhelming ("drinking from a fire hydrant"), encouraging, scary, and eye-opening week of RUF new intern orientation. At the end of that week, I had made a lot of great new friends (YAY for friendterns!!), and I was excited (and intimidated) about moving to WCU and starting to work with students in the fall, and I was absolutely terrified about raising money over the summer.

If there's one thing this experience has taught me, it's that God is so much more faithful than I could ever know. I learned that raising money is not my forte (there's just something inherently awkward about asking people for money), but God was faithful to provide the needed funds to get me to WCU a few days before the fall semester began. My originally planned living situation ended up falling through a few weeks before I moved to Sylva, but God provided a great alternative just in time. I love my apartment - a roomy duplex with lots of windows in walking distance from downtown Sylva - and my roommate is great!

Fall semester was a time of transition - getting used to the area with all of its perks and quirks, figuring out what exactly my role on campus was, getting to know students, getting to know the campus and culture of WCU, and getting plugged in to a local church plant (Redeemer Church Sylva).

Toward the end of the fall semester, just as I'd gotten nice and comfortable, the campus minister I was working with (Rev. Dave Osborne) accepted a call to pastor a church in Greenville, NC. He and his family were sad to say goodbye to the students at WCU, and the students and I were sad to see them go. Throughout the rest of the fall semester and for the first few weeks of the spring semester, Dave worked with me to prepare me for the transition. A search committee was already working to find a new campus minister for RUF at WCU, but until then, I was going to be the only RUF staff at WCU. The prospect of doing my job (along with the added responsibilities I was picking up) without Dave around absolutely terrified  me. I felt totally unqualified for my job, and I was afraid everything would just fall apart. (I have a mind that tends to head straight to worst-case scenarios.) Dave kept reminding me that it was going to be ok - God would still be at work at WCU, God would continue to provide, and it wouldn't be the end of the world if things didn't always go as planned.

And God certainly was faithful this semester. Yes, life got busier and I had significantly more work to do. Yes, I missed Dave and Jenny and the kids, and at times it was really lonely without "co-workers". Yes, some things didn't go exactly as I planned or hoped. Yes, I made mistakes. But through it all, God continued to provide, both spiritually and practically. Students helped with a lot of the on-campus ministry responsibilities (helping with events, leading music for Large Group, etc), people from my church stepped up to have students over for meals and events, and pastors and RUF campus ministers from around the area came to preach at Large Group each week (some even drove up to 2 hours one way!). I was really blessed by the prayers and encouragement I got from RUF staff, my church, and friends. On top of all that, my supporters continued to give faithfully, so I didn't have to spend much time working on raising money throughout the semester. God is so good!! By the time the semester ended, I was tired... but I was also sad to see the semester end. It was a fun semester, despite all the craziness.

God also continued to work in the hearts and lives of students. At the last Large Group of the semester, we had a time for students to share how God had been faithful to them throughout the past year. It was so sweet to be able to sit back and listen as students talked about how God had provided them with a community in RUF, how God had been teaching them about Himself and about His grace, and so many other things. (We eventually had to stop for time's sake, but we could've stayed all night!)

God has also been faithful to provide RUF at WCU with a new campus minister!!! Brian Thomas and his wife Jessica and their two children will be moving here next week! Students are excited to have them here, I'm excited to begin working with them, and they're excited to be coming here! Please be in prayer for them over the next few weeks and months as they make the transition.

This post is already much longer than I was planning (there was a lot of catching up to do!), so I'll leave you with a few pictures of highlights of this past semester... this has been one of the best and most challenging years of my life, and I'm excited about this coming year!

Night Skiing at Cataloochee!


Not-A-Date Night (photo scavenger hunt)

RUF Summer Conference in Panama City Beach!