Mark and Emily Rygh
Our dream is that we would give every student in the Fox Valley the opportunity to know someone who truly follows Jesus Christ. This gives us a tangible way of reaching our college students for Christ.
Emily grew up in the Milwaukee area. Her parents were Catholic, they took her to Sunday school and Bible studies, and summer vacation school. Although she received Christ as her Savior as a kid, she only knew Christ in her head, but not in her heart. In college she made poor decisions, and had the wrong kind of friends, living a double life, split between living for God and living for herself. She transferred to UW Stevens Point and was introduced to some of the folks who worked for Campus Crusade for Christ.
This is where she met Mark the first time. Through him and others, Emily came to know God in her heart and understood His Word more clearly; she grew in faith tremendously.
Mark is originally from Minnesota and eventually graduated college in ’98 from UW Stevens Point where he met Emily, through campus Crusade for Christ, and got married. From there he worked with the U.S. Forest Service for 2 years in research and Emily taught 3 rd grade and they paid off student loans and learned more about being
married to each other.
They got plugged into a church in town and helped with the youth group there. They wanted to work with college students in full-time ministry, eventually. They were asked to come on staff with Fort Wilderness, near Rhinelander WI, to lead their college-age students, but they wanted to meet students on campus in the midst of a more “real life” setting. They went from camp in China for a year, to Campus Crusade for Christ, to help start a brand new campus ministry and saw many come to Christ and begin a fellowship. From there they came back to the States and worked at the University of South Dakota for nearly three years based out of Sioux Falls, SC. From there they, moved to Oshkosh to direct the Campus ministry here. They say,
“We are looking forward to many years here of reaching out to lost students in Oshkosh, Ripon and Fond du Lac and sending out students to be people that impact their culture for Christ.”
It is difficult to minister on campus in America today. Most students are apathetic, not high achievers, and have an “anything goes” look on life. For them, everything is relative, there is lack of interest, no motivation, and no caring either way about whether God really exists or not, and if he does, then He does not determine whether the students would want to know Him. But, they are, more relational, not interested in debates, but interested in how what is said makes them feel. They are moved more by experience than by knowledge, and desire relationships. They want to know what true love is, and how one finds their significance. They are much more open to the gospel if they can see that. We are excited for the opportunity to see God bring students into freedom in Christ and their walk with Him.
They try to get kids interested in God, by using different tools, such as Soularium, which uses pictures to get students to open up and say what they think about God and where they are spiritually.
Mark and Emily have some specific prayer requests:
- Cru needs men! Lots of quality men. A man’s words will speak much louder to another man than would a woman.
- That men would come to Christ to work for Christ and begin to do more evangelism.
- That more people will be open to receiving Christ and make a decision for God.
- Cru is trying to start ministries at Marian College in Fond du Lac and at Ripon College. Pray that God will guide the progress of this.
- That God would allow them to be able to freely continue to share the gospel and disciple people freely throughout their service.
- That God would raise up more people to help support them financially in their outreach to over 16,000 people.
- That the people of RVC will be open to the ash crash students and minister to them, accepting them and giving them a good experience, connecting in relationships with them.
Mark and Emily would like to thank River Valley for all their support and friendship.
Learn more about CRU at UW-Oshkosh by visiting www.oshcru.com.