This month has been crazy and hard and so encouraging! I've had a chance to settle into my role as a minister and I'm learning so much. I've been learning a lot about people and how to minister to them well (more on that later). I've also just been learning a whole lot about myself - how I handle stress and frustration, what I naturally tend to do, and what the Lord calls me to surrender. It's all been a process! But God is so good and He has been faithful every step of the way. Here's what's been going on!
FALL CAMP!One weekend, three campuses, eight princesses, and a dance party to remember! Fall camp is a time for our Denton ministry to spend some quality time with each other and God. We get a chance to make new faces familiar and relate without the pressing concern of homework or a busy schedule. It's so encouraging to see our students sacrifice their time to invest in each other!
|Here we have a rare photo of college students in their natural state - being goofy!|
|Ryan (Ariel), Ryan (goth Rapunzel), and Aaron (Elsa) poorly dressed up as princesses!|
To add some sparkle to the weekend, our staff dressed up as Disney princesses. Gosh, it was so much fun! When I say we added sparkle, I really mean it. I ordered this Belle costume from Beauty and the Beast on Amazon and there was So. Much. Glitter. I'm still finding it in the most random places in my room three weeks later. But the students loved it! Especially Goth Rapunzel who claimed Disney plagiarized her life.
|Playing Ships and Sailors|
At fall camp this year, we spent some time digging in to our theme for the year: All In. All people giving their all means that God calls everyone to be fully devoted to Him. The Lord moved powerfully this weekend to bring us closer to him. During community sharing, one of our students, Kennedy, shared something so encouraging to me personally. It had rained during the evening of our worship set on Saturday and some people went outside to go on a walk and talk to God during some worship activity time. Kennedy had gotten caught in the rain and she later shared how the Lord had pointed to storm out to her, telling her that, yes. the seasons are changing and sometimes dramatically. He then reminded her that he is constant in every season. I had been so focused on the seasons of my life changing with graduating, starting a new job, and trying to figure the rest of my life out that I had forgotten the Lord's faithfulness. The seasons are so minor compared to how great and loving God is. I'm so grateful for this community I get to be a part of, that ministers to me just as much as I minister to them.
Almost every year, our family of churches (four churches and 11 FOCUS campuses around the metroplex) gets together for a leadership conference. Our corefas (student Bible study leaders) and some students who want to learn to be leaders are invited to join. This year, we talked about the authority of Scripture and how to minister using it. One thing in particular stuck with me. When we speak the Word of God to people, we are speaking truth and wisdom into their lives. That wisdom is so much better than our own advice or self-help. I'll be chewing on that for a while!
|Most of our staff and significant others at the State Fair! I ate so much fried food, it was awesome!|
|Our most recent outreach campaign, Mirror Mirror. Students were encouraged to consider how they view themselves and then read the truth of how God sees them. Then we were there to talk to them about their experience.|
Mirror Mirror went so well! We got to talk to so many students and just provoke thoughtful conversation. It seemed like many walked away encouraged!
|Blue Bell (Taylor), Blue Belle (Emily), and Yellow Belle (me)|
|Oh deer! (Alexcea)!|
At the last Friday Night Fellowship of October, we had our costumes ready to go! It was so fun seeing people get creative with their costumes and really make them their own. In the first picture, Taylor is a corefa in my peer team and Emily is her roommate and also a corefa. The second picture is of me and sweet Alexcea who is also in my peer team. Taylor and Alexcea actually lead a core together so I get to meet with both of them! I've really loved getting to know both of these girls and walk beside them as they learn to trust the Lord more and more.
Ways to be in prayer!
- Some of the girls I meet with are wrestling in their relationship with God. College is such a transformative time and they are each working to make their faith their own. Pray for them as the Lord is uprooting lies they believe and shaping their hearts to be devoted to Him.
- Keep FOCUS Growing is a big fundraiser we have at the end of each year to get us ready for the next few years of ministry. Pray that the Lord provides the funds we need to keep this ministry growing for years to come.
I'd love to hear about how you're doing as well! As always, feel free to reach out!