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Hopeless ... discouraged ... alone ...
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Naomi was a Fanshawe College student who was going through the hardest time in her life. Raised in a Christian home in northern Ontario, she moved to London to attend school. Through some lapses in judgment, she found herself pregnant and in a toxic relationship with her son's father. The relationship was full of emotional, psychological and financial abuse, as well as threats and several terrifying events.

Naomi knew things were not right ... she had grown further and further from God and from her church family, feeling as though her wrong choices kept her apart from her church community. She was 10 hours away from friends and family and feeling more alone than ever. She was working part-time at the college as well as attending classes full-time, on top of being a mother to her 1 year old son and dealing with his father.

Naomi remembers walking by the Chaplain's office at Fanshawe, and wondering if she should stop in. She felt like maybe she wasn't "Christian enough" anymore to be speaking with the chaplain, even though she came to know Jesus and was baptized when she was 8 years old. She also wasn’t sure exactly what she needed to talk about, or if she would be locked up or have her son taken away if she started telling people what was going on in her life.

Her son's father had convinced her that she was crazy, and that she needed to keep their private issues to themselves. With all these doubts, Naomi walked by the chaplain's office quite a few times before she actually went in. She remembers the day she finally got up the nerve to knock on the chaplain's door. She was feeling so hopeless, sad, discouraged, alone and worried that she was going to do something drastic such as suicide. When Francois opened the door and invited her to come in and sit down, she immediately started to cry.

Namoi recalls "I wasn't sure why I had been crying so much lately, or what was going on, but Francois listened to me without judgment. I told him everything that had been going on and confessed to him all the horrible thoughts I had been having. At that moment I thought that maybe my life was over, so what was the point of holding it in any longer? I told Francois that I had a history of depression, but that I had never felt so horrible. His first piece of advice that I didn't expect was that maybe there was a chemical imbalance and that I should see a Doctor. He had me call and book an appointment at the Student Health Centre right then, which I know I never would have done on my own. Once that was taken care of, he made some positive suggestions that ended up changing my life for the better."

"Chaplain Francois said that the relationship sounded like a toxic one, and that I should seriously consider leaving my son's father. Then he told me that I should be leaning on my church family, talking to my female pastor and asking for the help I needed to get out of my situation. We talked for some time, and then he prayed with me. It had been a very long time since someone had sat down and prayed with me. I immediately felt a sense of peace, and I could feel the presence of God in that room. I'll never forget the feeling of the weight being lifted off of my chest, and the peace that came into my soul knowing that I wasn't alone anymore, and really never had been. When I had calmed down enough to leave the chaplain's office that day, I felt some hope for the first time in a very long time. I knew that I had the support right there at school if I needed it and I had a new plan for changing my situation. Things were still far from perfect, but if Francois hadn't been available to help me that day my situation would have gotten far worse." Naomi was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Depression; all as a result of the abuse from her son's father. Naomi immediately started on medication and counseling.

Today, about a year and a half later, Naomi has graduated from Fanshawe College and is a student at Brescia University College. She is separated from her son's father and says " life is good again." Naomi is close with her church family, works two jobs and is closer than ever with her parents. She says "I've gained a lot of friends and support here in London that I never had before. If it hadn't been for the Lord leading me to the chaplain at Fanshawe that day, I'm not sure how my life could have turned out. I give thanks to God every single day for all the blessings in my life, and for the experiences I had that have made me the strong woman of God that I am today."

Fleming Drive Riots and The Rock on Campus

The Rock on Campus ….. a ministry of presence for students. In the aftermath of the Fleming Drive Riots, Chaplain Francois Kruger and Chaplain Kelly Sibthorpe knocked on the doors of most of the residents of the Fleming Drive area. They spoke to dozens of students who live in the area, introducing themselves as the "campus pastors" and letting the students know they were there offering friendship and support following the St. Patrick's Day incident, and speaking to the students about faith and friendship.

Please join Francois and Kelly in praying that this outreach will generate thought-provoking questions and lead to more opportunities to speak with students

Need for Community Support The Rock on Campus is a 'self-supporting' ministry. This Ministry depends on community support and philanthropy to cover its costs. With young adults leaving the local church in large numbers, college chaplaincy has become a vital link between students and local churches. In recent years, The Rock on Campus has also seen God leading them to reach beyond Fanshawe College. Based on the recognition of their ministry, Chaplain Francois and the Board of Directors are being asked to extend the ministry to other campuses across Ontario. This will require financial resources to provide Chaplain services, pay for events, rent rooms and provide materials to students.

Annually, The Rock on Campus has a Dessert NIte that helps raise funds for this vital ministry. Please join us at North Park Community Church on Friday, May 11th at 7 pm for an evening of fun, fellowship and food! Tickets are $10 at the door.

Please email fkruger@therockoncampus.org for more information or consider making a gift online at http://therockoncampus.org/donate.php. Students at a crossroads will benefit from your support of this important ministry!