Friday, June 28, 2024

June Update

I hope you're having a great summer and staying cool! Things slow down for our ministry in summer so I'm focused on fundraising, resting, and spending time with Owen. 

Soaking up the last month before this boy turns one, he's already thinking about driving though!

Instead of doing a ton of events in Denton, we try to help the people who have stayed in town connect with other campuses. This mainly happens through Summer FOCUS - our fellowship night but it includes all of our ministries across the metroplex. I love getting to see people get connected and form friendships with new people there! We've been talking about Embracing Life, fully engaging with God and people. I think these ideas are sticking with the students and with me. One night, we talked about Embracing God and that struck me. It's hard to really sit with God and let him love me. That kind of intimacy is intimidating but I'm becoming more convinced that God loves us that much. Like a dad with their kid, he wants to hold and love us. I'm still wrestling with that one!


I'm 88% fundraised! I've been super blessed by so many who want to be a part of ministry in this way. Thank you for praying! If you haven't had a chance to consider joining my support team or even increasing you're giving, here's a little reminder. But i just so deeply appreciate you being interested enough to read these little updates and maybe even praying with me for these students. Thank you for being here!

Here's a testimony from one of our TWU girls!!


Love y'all!




Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Celebrating the End of Another Year

We're starting the ending of the school year. This week and next week are full of final things, the last corefa meetings and our end-of-year party, and last meetings with graduating seniors. Bittersweet, to say the least. I'm so proud of this group of students. Our corefas have worked incredibly hard this year and have encouraged me again and again by their faithfulness. As a whole, this is one of my favorite group of students! They are full of life and zeal for the Lord. They have been generous with their time, spaces, money, and friendship. As I imagine them being the church's next leaders, I'm so encouraged and full of hope.


Some of our corefas took the time to encourage one girl who had a hard day with a giant group hug.


Celebrated the last corefa meeting with my sweet peer team. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet with these girls all year.


Our church had a retreat and many of our students came! We talked about belonging to the family of God, a sweet and challenging reminder to take an active part in community.



There were so many Bluebonnets where the retreat was!


Speaking of Bluebonnets, MJ (right) is from Houston and didn't remember ever seeing them so we had to stop and get a picture!





The tornado sirens went off during our corefa meeting so we continued from the hallway. 


Turns out there was just some hail nearby.

And here's a testimony from one of our Denton students. I'm so excited for her to go to SICM this year!
 

Love each of you and praying for you!



Thursday, March 28, 2024

March Update!

 We finally took some group pictures! Y'all probably know by now I love pictures so I'm going to start by sharing those. 



This has been such a fun staff team! 
Top, left to right: Darby, Shayla, Drew
Middle, left to right: Steven, Becca, Ryan
Bottom, left to right: Keanna, Cathryn, me


And our corefa team this year! A bunch of goofballs.


And Keanna! She's one of our apprentices I've had the pleasure of supervising this year. And she's sticking around another year!

SICM season is upon us! SICM (Student Institute for Campus Ministry) is an annual conference we get to take our students to in the Seattle/Bellingham area. It's a great chance for our next class of leaders to bond but the main purpose is to train them in disciple-making and send them back to DFW as missionaries. I love this trip and these students! 


Many of them have to fundraise (the picture is from one of our fundraising meetings). If you would like to contribute to our scholarship fund to help these students go on this pretty life-changing trip, I'll include a link below.
I would love if you could join me in praying for these students! They really are tomorrow's church leaders and I am praying for God to root their identity in Him so that everything they do flows out of what they see the Father doing.

One of these students. Kadie, just got baptized! Such a sweet thing to see the heart change God is bringing to so many.




And here's some random things that have happened in the last month.
Owen and Eli love their babysitters!


Owen got to see a real-life sloth on campus! 


Owen loves his staff buddies - Steven and Joey!



And that wraps up March! I'm praying for you all this Easter weekend to be reminded of Jesus' love for you and to find rest in Him.
Love y'all,



Thursday, February 29, 2024

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

 I've been thinking a lot about fear this month. We just finished a sermon series called Perfect Love Casts Out Fear (based on 1 John 4:18) and it hit home with so many people, including myself. This generation of students is often described as anxious; we reference the Fear of Missing out and Fear of Better Options that keeps people from community and friendship. But there's also just a very high rate of fear and anxiety in the world. World events, the future, disease, death, exams, social situations - there's so much we can find to be afraid of or at least intimidated by. 



There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)

We can't control what's going on around us. I often tell my students that they are not responsible for how other people respond, only how they do. We can't control other people and we often have little say in our circumstances. But we can control our response to the things that worry us. We can choose to take those worries to the Lord and let Him love us with his perfecting love. He can reshape us. He can reshape our priorities, our emotions, and our concerns if we let Him.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)

So, I've been thinking a lot about surrender and trusting the Lord. I thought I'd share some reflection questions that came out of the sermon series:
In prayer - 
- What am I actually afraid of happening? What's the worst that could happen?
- If that happens, what would I do?
- How likely is that to happen? Is my fear reasonable? (We talked about how fear is a natural safeguard against dangerous things but our minds build these  thought patterns that can lead to anxiety when that isn't the appropriate response.)
- What is God's heart in this? How does He want to take care of me? What might he want to teach me here out of His love for me?

I hope some of that makes sense and is an encouragement to you. I think these sermons were good for our students and for me. If you wanted to listen to any of them, they are on Spotify!

Pizza Theology

This semester's theology talk with pizza for dinner was so good! We talked through how the Bible came to be as we have it, why it can be trusted, and how to study it more holistically. What a good time! 





Photo Dump










I am reminded every day how blessed I am to get to do what I do. And that absolutely wouldn't be possible without you paving the way with your prayers and generosity. Sincerely, thank you. 

Kindly,



Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Winter Retreat and the Start of the Year!

What a good start to the year so far in Denton! I'm feeling refreshed and I'm excited about what I see God doing on these campuses. It seems like our students are the most invested in building God's kingdom I've seen in a number of years.

And oh how sweet it is to do ministry with my kid along for the ride. I love watching people love Owen. They get so excited for him to be around! A student described him as "a little drop of sunshine" and I couldn't agree more. My meetings have more interruptions these days but I think it's been so good for the students to have him there. So many of them have broken family backgrounds and have expressed how cool it is to watch a baby grow up in a better environment. 






I have also been able to be on campus more this semester, meeting new students and doing outreach! Owen is a pro at running an information booth. I've missed being on campus so it's fun to be back!



We had WINTER RETREAT!

This was probably one of our best retreats. I've heard so many students speak about how impacted they were. The theme was Disruptive Grace and the Lord seemed to disrupt and exceed people's expectations of how He works and how much He loves them. So sweet! You're welcome to listen to the audios from the weekend, they're so good!

Spotify Link





Our little community has experienced real growth in terms of both numbers and maturity. However, many of our students and staff have experienced real hardship, too. There have been family deaths, medical emergencies, depression, family hurt and drama, and other tough situations. Will you join me in praying that those facing hard things will be able to turn to God for strength and comfort? Thank you.


Love y'all! Praying for you.