Monday, February 3, 2020

January: Winter Camp Fun!

Happy February, y'all! I can't wait to tell you about this month - especially Winter Camp! - so I'm gonna jump right in!

Y'all, God really showed up at Winter Camp! As a refresher, Winter Camp happens every year in January where our whole community (around 12 campuses) gets together out at Sky Ranch for a long weekend of worship and fellowship. One of the things I love about this camp is that students who are new to the ministry get a chance to catch the vision of so many people coming together to worship the Lord and learn about Him. There's something really powerful about singing praises to our God with almost 600 people. 

This year, our theme was centered around the Psalms, with the idea of learning from them and growing in talking with the Lord. Different members of our own staff did the sermons for the sessions - and God really spoke powerfully through them. We started by talking about Psalm 1 as a blessing over the path of the righteous. Psalm 1:5 says that the Lord knows the way for the righteous. It's easy to read that as God being critical and overbearing over those trying to follow Him. In reality, God is watching over His kids like any good dad does. He knows us intimately - how we're doing emotionally and spiritually, what we're dealing with, and what decisions we're facing. What a comfort to see the depth of God's love and care for us - and He's just getting started in the Psalms. 

We ended the weekend talking about building a love for the Word of the Lord in our lives. We talked about cultivating our garden - are we building a life full of rocks and dead plants or are we cultivating a life full of flourishing growth and deep roots? Cultivating a garden is hard work and so is developing a love for the Lord and His Word. Sometimes i don't feel like spending time in prayer or in Scripture but I am learning to choose Jesus over what I'd prefer to do in that moment. The Lord is shaping my heart in this area.

These messages seemed really impactful to the students as well. This is our core that went to camp! I loved getting to see each of them grow in their friendships with each other. Our core has struggled to become a tight knit group of friends and I prayed that God would start pulling us together. Two of the girls I spend weekly time with transferred here at the beginning of last semester. They've talked to me a lot about feeling lonely and struggling to make friends. On the second day of camp, I was talking with another girl and she was telling me how she had decided to pursue friendship with both of those girls. She'd been having conversations with them and they both expressed feeling lonely here. The girl I talked to told me, "Why haven't I been friends with them before?!" And that girl has stuck to that! What a cool way for God to show up and start making a home for people here.

Love these goofy girls!
These brave girls did the zipline together.

We can't have a FOCUS camp without a dance party!

My sweet peer team!!
The Lord really showed up this weekend! Thank you to my sweet prayer and ministry partners for making events like this possible!


Each year hundreds of our students are invited to attend the Student Institute of Campus Ministry where they learn the foundations of being student missionaries on their campus. To help fund this once-in-a-lifetime experience FOCUS proudly hosts an annual benefit concert and art show. Each year the performances leave us wowed and the generosity leaves us in awe. I hope to see you at #Showcase2020! Go to or reach out to me for tickets.

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Ways to Pray

- Pray for some of our students dealing with some pretty serious mental health issues.
- Pray for students to not move on from the things God did at Winter Camp but to meditate on what the Lord told them and to take steps to grow closer to Him.
- Pray for Showcase to be a success in order to really bless our community and the students going to SICM.
- Pray for my fundraising progress. God really is working and providing for me but I still need to raise another $150/mo to get to my goal of $2600/mo.

Love y'all so much!
Reagann Smith

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