Tuesday, September 8, 2020

August: Ministry in a Pandemic

Happy September!

Y'all, the Lord is working on these campuses. 

We kicked off the school year with Corefa Prep! We gathered our student leaders (corefas) to this super convenient park by my house where we were able to stay socially distant. Any people you see sitting together here live together. We have more corefas this year than ever before in Denton. God has really opened doors during this pandemic for these students to be able to commit their time to building His kingdom here. 

Gathering together meant that we were able to really cast a vision for campus ministry this year. We talked about discerning what necessary risks we might need to take and what unnecessary risks we can avoid for the sake of others. We get to really emphasize outreach this year because we don't have the normal flashy events that attract people. (None of our events were actually that flashy anyway 😆.) So, this year we're focusing on meeting people on a personal level and inviting them into a community that we have benefitted immensely from.

We knew doing ministry in the middle of a pandemic was going to be challenging. Our staff has been preparing for this all summer. And now that we're actually in the middle of it, I could not be prouder fo these students. They have responded prayerfully to each challenge they come across. One of our major themes as a ministry this year is suffering and sacrifice for the sake of Christ. These corefas are consistently choosing to suffer for the sake of others. Especially during our Texas summer, they are literally sweating it so they can protect their cores by meeting outside. They are sacrificing their preferences to hang out with their friends like they normally would and instead choosing to follow safer practices (distance, outside) - and for some of those physical touch people, that is absolutely a sacrifice. They are choosing to consider how they can be most effective and if the risks they are taking are worth it if they end up with COVID and are severely limited in their ministry.

So, we are rolling with the punches and God is so faithful!
The following week, we got to work! We went out on the campuses the week before school started to meet people as they moved in and were getting ready for the year. So many people were so receptive to what we had to offer. We met so many students who really just craved community and friendship and in person interactions. So many students have most of their classes online and the professors are having to change the format of the classes often - it was a stressful week for many as they kept waiting for information to come in. I think a lot of them were excited for the change of pace and for a chance to experience some normalcy and fun!

Becca, Jenna, and Shayla ready to do outreach at TWU!

We have 23 cores total this year and we may need to add more. The first couple weeks of core have gone so well and many of them have had to split up because more than ten people came! We're still working out some kinks and getting creative about how we can keep those cores safe but I've been so encouraged by the turnout. More than numbers, the people who are coming seem to really want to be there!

Here's my core's first core picture! Maddie, my cofa in the pink mask - Maria, under the checkered blanket - me, under my lawn chair - Aileen, in the back. We've had some interesting weather so we had to make a run for the union when it started raining on our core!

I also got to start meeting with my peer team! We met all together and I just had to snap a polaroid!

! also get to meet some of them in my backyard for our one on one time together and that means Blue Belle gets lots of pets! This is Kate!

So far so good! God has been tugging at hearts and showing us how to rely on Him over and over again. When things don't go according to plan, when I have to be flexible, God comes alongside me and gives me those chances to turn to Him for strength and comfort. 

Love y'all! As always, let me know if there is any way I can be specifically praying for you!

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