Carey Helms is the RUF Intern at The University of Memphis
When I was a student at UNC Wilmington, my campus minister organized a fundraiser to raise money for SuCo. For every donut hole or brussels sprout we ate, we fundraised a certain amount of money, depending on how much our donors pledged per donut hole/brussels sprout. This was my first exposure to an RUF conference, and I wondered what kind of church conference was worth eating fifty brussels sprouts for.
Fast forward 4 years later, I’m an RUF intern at The University of Memphis and went to Summer Conference for the first time in 3 years. All week, as I watched my students cheer each other on in volleyball, take pictures together on the beach, and sit under the teaching of God’s word while the sun was setting, I couldn’t help but thank God for His goodness towards me and this ministry. While college is hard and lonely at times, especially for believers, RUF is a safe place for students to wrestle with truth, build community, and ultimately, to be known. David reminds us in Psalm 34:8 to “taste and see that The Lord is good,” and that’s exactly what we did at SuCo. We tasted his goodness by studying scripture, building sandcastles on the beach, and eating Thomas’ donuts together.
One of my favorite moments of the whole week was Friday night while we were sitting by the Gulfside pool. I asked students to reflect on the week—they could either share something they learned or their favorite memory. One story in particular stood out to me. A senior, who majored in dance therapy, said before this week she had never considered she could glorify God by dancing; however, in the “Christianity, Art, and Pop Culture” seminar, she learned that every art form glorifies God because all of us are made in the image of Christ; therefore, the things we create are going to reflect Christ in some capacity. She shared, “This truth encouraged me to not separate my love of dance and my love for The Lord, but use my passion for dance to reflect the character of Jesus.” What a sweet reminder that we were given good gifts, like dancing, for our pleasure and for the purpose of reflecting God’s beauty to the world.
When reminiscing on a fun memory or sharing a sweet story, my college roommate would always follow up by saying “that was a glimpse of glory.” And I think there are no better words to describe SuCo. Witnessing hundreds of college students coming together to worship their Savior and run into the arms of Jesus after a long school year was a glimpse of glory indeed.