Happy New Year!I really do love the new year. I just love starting fresh. It's a time to reflect and assess the fall semester and the year as a whole. I get to look forward to the next year and think about the possibilities and the plans that are approaching. I get pretty sentimental when it comes to the firsts and lasts of something. For instance, the last board game I played in 2018 was the Game of Life (which I definitely did not win). The first movie of 2019 was X-Men: Days of Future Past (I'm working my way through the X-Men series and lemme tell ya - fascinating).
Anyway, December was such a sweet time to wrap up the semester! We threw a Rock-n-Roll Christmas party and, man, people really got into the spirit of things! Whole cores showed up decked to the nines in leather and scrunchies!
|Denton staff loves to do the only rock-ish thing they know - rock fingers!|
Our larger staff rounded off the semester with a night of delicious food, fun banter, and sweet encouragements. Our staff Christmas party might be one of my favorite events of the year! Before the party though, most of the apprentices went to this arcade and really just had a blast! We played old-school arcade games but they also had newer style games based on popular phone apps. I even won jackpot playing a blackjack style game - it was a mostly luck based game but sure, I'll take the credit!
|Some of us (Brittany and me) were very proud of our cheap, nostalgic prizes!|
When we got back from the arcade, food and friends were waiting for us. We had a time to encourage each other, either as a group or individuals, and I just kept marveling at how easily we could slip from crying to laughing and teasing lightheartedly and back again.
|We finally got a picture with all the apprentices!!!|
We kicked off the new year with a staff retreat down near Austin! These few days were filled with more laughter, songs, games (so many board games), deep conversations about perseverance, quality time, and hiking. One verse I've been pondering since the retreat is Romans 5:3-5. "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." My character is being developed in the Lord's timing and no resolution is going to change me like He can if I persevere in my faith. I'm very much excited to start this school semester with this in mind!
|Kristen will find the sun wherever she goes.|
Ways to PrayLooking forward, I can't wait to get back into my routine of meeting with students and going through more classes! Here are some ways you can be in prayer for the semester:
- Pray for Winter Camp! This is happening next weekend and is one of our biggest events! Our whole community will go out to Sky Ranch and spend three days investing in each other and worshiping God together! Pray for students' heart to be ready to hear from God and spend time in His presence. Pray for all the preparation to go as smoothly as it needs to. Pray for safe travels and safety while we're there. but mostly, please pray for God to do what He wants to without anything getting in the way.
- Pray for the one on one Bible studies that will be picking up again. Pray for students to be refreshed with a renewed vision for Jesus and ministry. Pray for the students being met with to be open and receptive to hear truth. Pray for boldness and a fierce love for God and people to be instilled into all of our hearts.
Thank you so so much for your continued support and prayers. you have no idea how much that means to me. Feel free to reach out and let me know how you're doing!
With much love,