Welcome to RUF International at George Mason University!
RUF-I is a Christian hospitality ministry with Leviticus 19:33-34 as a core principle. Leviticus 19:33-34 "When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am The Lord your God." As the verse says God desires his people to love and serve strangers (foreigners/ resident alien) in your land as you would love / serve yourself. This makes hospitality very important!
We desire to welcome internationals, and my focus is international students on campus. We also provide students opportunities to explore Christianity if they choose, but they have to take that next step. Since last year I've been listening to them explain the needs of international students on campus (material, relational, spiritual) and we've been able to have Americans host holiday dinners, sightseeing trips and dinners, temporary housing, connecting students with American mentors in their chosen vocation, airport pickups, transportation to their grocery of choice, help with English, etc. Let me know if you'd like to be a part of RUF at GMU!
Matt Bowles (RUF-I at George Mason University), a one-time anthropology major with an archaeology emphasis at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, once spent three months on an archaeology dig in the Middle East. Matt has engaged his anthropological interests through M.Div. studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, and almost two decades of pastoral ministry. He served primarily in his native Knoxville, Tennessee and more recently in Ocala, Florida, where he has overseen student ministry and spearheaded the mission committee in his role as an Associate Pastor. An RUF alumnus himself, Matt merges his own love for RUF with his heart for the nations as he begins his role as an RUF-I campus minister. Matt is married to Amy, whom he first met on a blind date, and they have two daughters.
Janelle graduated from Thomas Edison State University in 2015 with a degree in Entrepreneurship. She and her twin sister have run a bakery out of their home for several years and love providing their customers with a healthy option for breads. Janelle's hobbies include piano, ukulele, reading, nature walks, and learning about different cultures. A trip to the Dominican Republic in 2014 and the Middle East more recently have contributed to Janelle's love for people from all over the world. She is delighted to be welcoming and befriending international students right in her own home town!