RUF International welcomes students and scholars from around the world to George Mason University. We love these international friends, not only for the fun friendships and the global perspective they bring to our lives, but because we believe that each one of these individuals is created in the image of God. These students have become our neighbors, and it is a privilege to serve them. We do this through meeting physical needs (airport pickups, grocery shopping, etc), building community (weekly dinners, cultural events, etc) and providing a safe environment to explore the foundations of the Kingdom of God. While we are a resource to these students who are far away from family and friends, we also seek to be a resource for the local community, promoting international friendships and cultural exchange.
Matthew grew up in Florence, KY and attended Murray State University. After graduating with a degree in Music Education in 2002, Matthew moved to Alabama to serve at a Christian camp. During his time there, he felt called to attend seminary, and headed over to Westminster Seminary California (MDiv 2010), where he met Sherrene (MA Theological Studies 2011). They were married on 9/10/11. Matthew started RUF International at Auburn University in 2014 and was the Campus Minister for International Students there until 2018 when he transferred to George Mason University. Matthew and Sherrene have one son, Isaac (2016), and they enjoy serving the international community together.
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!
Jan grew up in Berino, New Mexico on her father’s dairy farm near the U.S. Border with Mexico. Jan’s grandparents started the family business after immigrating from The Netherlands. During her college career at New Mexico State University, Jan loved RUF because it was a safe place for her to ask questions and be real about her struggles. Jan met her future husband, Evan, at RUF and they married in December of 2018. Jan then graduated from New Mexico State University (May 2019) with a degree in Family and Child Science and a minor in Child Advocacy Studies. Jan is passionate about caring for those in need, and the influence of international friends and family in her life has drawn her to international ministry. Jan is overjoyed to live life with international students and is excited to strive to love them well during her time at GMU.