Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Keep FOCUS Growing Initiative

Hi friends,

I wanted to start off this blog by thanking you guys so much for supporting our ministry. I know so many of you have either been personally impacted by college ministry or had someone you know impacted by it. None of this would be possible without your support. These blogs really can't begin to share all the amazing stories I get to see and hear of students lives being radically transformed through the work God is doing in their lives. This intervention not only effects them, but everyone around them. Those students will continue telling other people about Jesus and bringing new people into a deeper relationship with Him. Cycles of abuse or depression stops with them, so their future families won't have to suffer the same upbringing they did. Relationships that were unhealthy or broken can begin being mended. I can't say it emphatically enough- Thank You!

With that being said, I want to tell you a little bit about our annual fundraiser. We're currently in the middle of our Keep FOCUS Growing Initiative, and we hope to raise $45,000 by December 9th. We're still a far way off from this goal. You can learn more about it or donate at www.anyfocus.org/itsworthit. During the campaign we've been releasing videos every few days to share more about how lives have been transformed and why it really is worth it. I thought the current video brought up some really cool points that I wanted to highlight. 

    If 100 people gave $5 donations, we'd have enough materials to study the bible with 200 students.
    If 100 people gave $50 donations, we'd be able to afford 100 counseling hours.
    If 10 people gave $200 donations, we could afford advertising on all of our campuses for an entire school year.
    If 20 people gave $1000 donations, we could afford a new administrative position.  

All of those things are desperately needed if we want to continue going and growing as a ministry. I really encourage you guys to be praying and thinking about whether God is calling you to give and how much He may be asking you to give. If it's $5 or $1000, it really is worth it! In addition to that I'd like to ask that you be praying and thinking of people you know who would also be excited to invest in campus ministry! Often times people don't give because they didn't know there was an opportunity to give. We'll never be able to reach our goal without your prayers and support, though.


Sunday, November 15, 2015


Hi friends,

God has been so good to us this year at TWU. He is developing this community and bringing people into a closer and deeper relationship with Him, and it's so exciting to be a part of that.

TWU is a challenging campus to be on because the majority of people are already "Christian," but the majority of those students have no idea or no interest in having an actual relationship with God. Slowly, but surely, God is changing the meaning of what a Christian is at this campus, and he's starting with these people in the photos below. I've been so blessed to get to be a part of watching these people grow in the Lord. Not everyone who is involved at TWU is in these photos, as well which is exciting to say. We are expanding a LOT, and I think it's because people are hungry to know God.

Also I wish I had more photos, but I'm awful at taking them! Any who, here are a few updates from the month.

Fall Camp

This year we had almost 20 people from TWU go to Fall Camp! Now I'm a little hesitant to share numbers because I don't want to give the impression that numbers=success, but I also think it's exciting to share that that many people are experiencing God in new ways and developing meaningful friendships. It was also very cool because a girl who goes to Collin College in McKinney messaged one of our core facilitators to see if she could meet some girls from TWU. She is planning to transfer to the school next fall. She has a friend at Collin College Spring Creek, so she knows all about FOCUS. I want to highlight this story and girl because it's so cool to me that God is working in people who don't even go to the colleges that FOCUS is based on! 

Halloween Party

I really wish that I had more photos! We had sooooo many people come to this event, and it would have been great to capture that. 

Our Halloween Party was one of our outreach events. We asked our students to invite any and all of their friends and come hang out. Our goal was just getting people connected. I don't know if your Facebook news feed has been blowing up with articles on college depression, but every so often I'll just have a ton of those. Basically they are just a ton of stories about how college was one of the most depressing times of their lives because they didn't feel like they had any friends. We want to help change that. With our Bring Your Own Friend event's we want our students to ask anyone they interact with on a weekly classes. The event is also non threatening. If people never want to step inside a church, they don't have to.

We had 4 houses that people let us use, and we had a different event going on at each of their houses. We had probably about 200 people at the event, including several TWU students that hardly ever come to anything we do. It was just exciting to see our students really take this opportunity seriously and invite so many people! 

Final Thoughts

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. I really think your support has been invaluable! Right now we're thinking about who the people we could be sending to SICM are, and I'd ask that you be praying for this. We really want God to be leading these conversations and decisions. I'd also ask that you be praying for the upcoming break. Our students are getting tired and overwhelmed this time of year, so we ask that you be praying for a restful and safe break.

Y'all are the best:)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Firm Foundation

Hi friends,

I have a thousand exciting things to share with you! I'll start off by telling you that TWU FOCUS has started off so well! I've been shocked to see how many new students have started coming to our meetings. New people are still showing up even though it's October!!!!!! In my core this week we had three new girls show up. One of them I met at FNF the week before. She found our ministry on the TWU website and had been wanting to try it out for a while, but she was scared to go by herself. She finally convinced herself to come try it out and ended up showing up late because she got lost. Miriam Freeman saw her show up late, so after FOCUS ended she went to go say hi and introduce herself. She found out the new girl went to TWU and connected her with me. It was such a God deal. She's so excited that she finally decided to try out our ministry and thinks that she'll keep coming back. I'm just so excited to see what God continues doing on this campus. The guys side of the ministry is growing as well; we've had new guys coming to core and TWU FOCUS consistently.

After TWU FOCUS hangout at Bahama Bucks

TWU group

One of our TWU girls Core

Our Friday Night Fellowship has been going really well, too. We've had a lot of TWU people going to FNF. Last year it was really hard getting the girls to really be a part of the UNT community or really the TWU community. This year it seems like it hasn't been hard at all. All the girls seem so willing to attend things. The guys side of the ministry is still having a hard time building community, so it would be great if you could be praying for that. 

Our first FNF

Lastly I just wanted to share with you about how our first annual Keep FOCUS Growing Initiative (#FOCUS140) went and what that money was able to do for our ministry! We raised $31,000. 

In the 10 months since then, with your help, we : 
  • Established a major new ministry at UT Arlington and started groups at both NCTC and TWU Dallas as well. This means we are reaching students on 9 campuses now!
  • Finished establishing FOCUS as a separate church legally, which protects our assets and ensures they will be used for campus missions in the years to come. It also gives us increased flexibility to meet the specific needs of our mission field.
  • Launched a new website to meet administrative needs and better communicate with incoming students. 
  • Welcomed 14 new full-time interns, our largest class to date!
  • Trained more than 15 student small group leaders to be missionaries to their campuses.
If you're wondering more specifically how that money was spent here's a cool chart that explains that (the numbers are rounded). I tried to keep it general, but I'm happy to answer more specific questions as needed.

UTA launch expenses (leader retreat, moving expenses, sound equipment, etc)$5,200.00
Outreach and advertising to new students (for 9 campuses)$4,500.00
Printing FOJ books for the new year (enough for 675 one-on-one studies!)$900.00
Staff development (seminary coursework and staff prep days)$4,300.00
Paying for counseling for students (who need it but can't afford it)$1,400.00
New website (design, launch, and first year)$1,400.00
Internship expenses to help fund 14 interns (books, event costs, etc)$9,000.00
Legal expenses and fees as we finalized our new corporation$2,800.00
Prepping 150+ student leaders for the year (materials and meals)$1,500.00

A special "Thank You!" to all of you who gave. Our 2nd Annual Keep FOCUS Growing Initiative will launch in November! I'd ask that you keep this in your prayers. There is just so much more that FOCUS could do if we had the money.

Next weekend the Denton ministries are going to go on our fall retreat. I'd ask that you keep that in your prayers as well. We're currently in the process of getting people excited and signed up for this event. It is just such a special and neat opportunity to grow closer to both the people in core and in the ministry; Students really do miss out if they don't go, but they usually only realize that once the opportunity has passed. 

Thanks for all of your support and prayers!!! I hope you have a great October:)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

It's That Time Again

Hi friends,

I hope you had a good July! It's sad to think that summer is almost over, but so exciting to think that the school year is about to begin.  July was a flurry of preparation for the year and fundraising; now it's time for all that work to be put into action! We just got back from our staff retreat, where we spent time energizing and preparing our staff for the new school year, building the relational dynamic of our humongous group, and just taking the time to worship and thank this awesome God we serve together! Here are a few pictures from it:

Kelly, Cody, Miriam, and I driving to Port Aransas
Ferry ride into Port Aransas (we were Jack and Rose from Titanic)
Staff Photo

Getting to know and spend time with all these people was so fun. Now I'm ready for students to come back and school to start. Our corefa prep is August 14th & 15th, and I can hardly wait. Our goals for this are to equip our student leaders to lead a core (which are our small groups), build up some relationships, and to be successful during welcome week. It can be a stressful two days with a lot of new information thrown at them. Please be praying that our corefa prep goes well, and as a staff, we are able to help energize our students to reach out on these campuses and help them cast their nets wide during welcome week*. 
*Welcome week is a generalized term that is referring to the time the colleges have set aside to welcome the students back. All the colleges have their own names for it, so it's just easier to use one general term. It's several days of events made for students to meet students. We want our students out there meeting students, inviting them to core, and just generally being their friends. Statistics show that there are a lot of really lonely college students out there (especially the new freshman students who have just left everything and everyone they new and are in a completely foreign city.) We want to show them Christ in anyway we can and make sure they know that they are valued and important. Through the years, I've been able to see how even the smallest acts of kindness and purposefulness can make the largest of impacts! You just never know how God will use you to reveal himself to others.

I'd like to ask that you be praying for welcome week, our returning students, and our corefas. The beginning of the year can be hectic and crazy, but pray that we can keep ourselves outwardly focused with good attitudes, ready to meet new people and start our year off right. Pray that the students have safe travels and successful/not stressful move-ins, and the hearts of the incoming students are soft and seeking after God. I'd also ask that you be praying for our continued fundraising. I know there are lots of staff and intern members who are still continuing to try to raise support. I have about $250 I still need a month.

Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. I feel so excited and blessed to be able to do another year of campus ministry, and I really can't wait to see what God has in store for the Denton campuses and the students on it! 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sweet Summer Time

Hello friends,

I hope you've had a great month of June and a relaxing beginning to your summer! After the whirlwind that was May, I've enjoyed the calm and slower pace this month has provided. So much of my job has been planning for next school year and talking to students. It's been so fun! I'm just going to highlight a few things that happened.

1.Wisdom Teeth Removal
-I mainly put this here, so you guys are also participating in my life. I haven't had a surgery in a very, very long time, so I was nervous. I even had to get an IV! Beside some minor bruising, everything went fine, and I recovered well. I think they hit a nerve when they put the novocaine in, though, because the left section of my lower jaw is still de-numbing. They told me I just kind of had to wait for it to go away completely. It's been almost a month now:(

2. Denton Staff Retreat
-Our Denton Staff was able to go to Matt Clark's parents house for a weekend. It was so much fun! We got some work done and planned a little bit for the year, but the main function of the weekend was staff bonding. I think we were extremely effective at meeting our goal. I'm so excited to get to work with these people!!!

We played a lot of croquette! (We definitely aren't the most photogenic staff)

3. Preparing the campuses for August
-A lot of my job this month has been doing this. I've attended some orientations, talked to people on TWU about us signing up for move-in and the Block Party, talked to potential leaders on the TWU and UNT campuses, and lots of random other administrative tasks. So far everything is coming together quite nicely:)

I hope you guys have a great Fourth of July! As a final note, I'd like to tell you that I'm currently 36% fundraised. If you guys could continue to keep that in your prayers, I'd really appreciate that. Also if you have any one you know you think who'd want to support a campus missionary, let me know!

You guys are the best,

Monday, June 1, 2015

End of an Era

Hi friends,

I seriously don't even know where to begin with telling you all the things that happened in May, so I'm just going to highlight some of the bigger things that happened.

1. End of the Year Banquet

This was so much fun. We had such a big turn out, and we were able to honor all the people who participated in FOCUS and the graduating seniors, then we had a little dance party. It was a great ending to a great year, and the photo below are all of the TWU people who attended!!!!!

2. SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry)

If you don't know what this is, we send students to Bellingham, Washington every year for this Christian Leadership Conference a ministry there puts on. I went three years ago and was lucky enough to go again as staff this year. We brought three TWU students as well as 20 UNT students. I got the chance to sit through all of the classes again, and it was such an amazing experience. It not only impacted all of our students that we sent up there, but the material challenged and helped me so much as well going through it a second time. It was so cool to hear how much the students enjoyed the experience and how much they learned. I absolutely loved seeing how close they could get after only a week together, but there is something about being on a trip, learning about God where community thrives. I think my favorite part of the trip, though was getting to talk to the staff of the ministry there. They do things very similarly to FOCUS, and they had so many wise and thoughtful things to share.

3. The internship ended:(

This was the last month of the internship!!!!! We had so many great classes to end things with, though. We read Elmer Gantry at the beginning of the month. If you've never read the book, and you want to do ministry in any capacity, I would suggest you read it. Pride and hypocrisy of the church are major themes throughout the book. It opened up a lot of really challenging questions for all of us on how we deal with hypocrisy and pride both within ourselves and within the church. To finish off the month we did an audio class from Regent over the Sermon on the Mount. I feel like that section of Matthew has taken on such depth and meaning now. It also opened up a lot of questions, but I think that is how learning goes. You learn a little bit more information just to realize there are 20 new questions you didn't even know to be asking. We then ended our week with a prayer day and then a fun activity. I'm so sad to say that the internship is officially over, but I'm excited for this new step!

I just wanted to end by saying thank you for all of your support:) I've appreciated you taking the time to read these posts, and I hope you continue to follow them as I step on staff. I also wanted to ask that you be thinking about people who would be interested in supporting a campus missionary. I need people to support me financially while I'm on staff, and I definitely don't know enough people personally to fill that need. The cool thing is that God does have more than enough! So please be praying for him to reveal who any of those people could be!

Bye until next month:)

Friday, May 1, 2015

T-minus one month

Hi friends,

Well there goes one more month, and it's crazy to think there is only one month left! I've thought a lot about what I wanted to share from this month, and I feel like it is just so hard to choose. I feel like I've learned an incredible amount this month and gotten to do some really hard/fun things as well. In a vain effort to be concise, I'll only pick a few to share.

At the beginning of the month I got to share my first sermon in front of FOCUS. It was on Good Friday, so my sermon was over the hope found in the cross and resurrection. I don't think I've ever been so glad to have had to do announcements until that point. I was able to speak comfortably in front of all those people because I've already had to address them almost every week before hand. Also I realized I really like giving/thinking about sermons. That sounds weird. I just never would have thought that would have been the case, but I like sitting and thinking on a subject, then I like sharing those thoughts and emotions.

This month we also started a class over the Holy Spirit. I can't even begin to tell you how confused I am about the trinity. I think on some level that confusion will never go away: God is mysterious and larger, more complex than we can ever fathom. It has been nice actually thinking about him, though. I just never gave the Holy Spirit much credit in my day to day life, but the Bible talks so much about the Spirit and his role in our faith. I think I've just realized that I had this profound ignorance on the subject, and I wasn't giving the Spirit enough power in my life. I think back to my Body Stewardship class, and I think about all the things I wanted to change to be a better steward of the body God gave me. And it comes down to just that. I wanted to make those changes, so I failed. I didn't give those changes to the Spirit. I didn't ask him for his power or strength in making those changes. Yet God has given us this precious blessing of letting His spirit dwell in us for those exact purposes! I still have no idea exactly what that relationship should or will look like moving forward. I still think there is much to think about and change, but now I know that I should be thinking about this.

As this internship draws to a close, I can't help but feel sad. I almost want to start the year all over again. To sit and think about all these great topics because I feel like hearing and reading all that material just once isn't enough. I feel as if I've only retained a very small amount of information. I am excited for next year and all the new possibilities that await, but I am sad that means that this year has to end.

There are a couple of things I'd like you to pray for! We have our Spring Formal coming up this weekend. This is a time where we come together for one of the last times as a community and celebrate/commemorate the year. I'd like you to pray that everything goes as planned, and we can end the year well. I'd like you to be praying for all the students finals and moves. A lot of our students will be going home to difficult situations, so it'd be great if you could pray for their summers as well. In a little over a week, we'll be sending a group of students to Washington for SICM which is basically a Christian leadership retreat. The students learn so much, and I know from personal experience that it can have such a big impact on those going. I just ask that you pray for the trip and for God to be preparing the hearts of the students going, so they can get what they need to take away from the experience. On a more personal note, I'm starting fundraising for being on staff. I'd like to ask that you keep that in your prayers as well. While this is a really great time to see God as provider, I don't always see it as such. So I'd ask that you pray that I keep my spirit's up and be diligent in the work set before me. Also if you know of anyone who would like to support a campus missionary-let me know!

I hope April has been just as good for you. Thanks for all of your support. Ministry can be really hard and knowing that there is a community out there who care makes doing it that much easier. As always let me know if there is anything I can be praying for you about:)

P.S. Sorry for being lame and not having photos! I was such a slacker this month...

You da best!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Million and One Things

Hi Friends,

I think I could probably write 20 pages on all the things that happened in March.  I don't know if you had a busy month, but I feel as if the whole month was just a blur because of all the things that we had going on.  A few things I'm really excited about and want to share were SSI and the Spring Showcase Event we put on.


I have so many thoughts and feelings about SSI.  I had so much fun that week, and I think I learned so much.  The three years I was at UTD, I never really participated in it.  Now I'm really sad I didn't.  Those students are the coolest!  If you don't know what SSI is it stands for Spring Student Impact.  A group of students from Washington spend their spring break going to other college campuses around the US to do evangelism and bless those students.  The fact that students would spend money and time to do that is so humbling.  Those students not only made the decision to give up their spring break, but they worked tirelessly, were so bold and committed in their outreach, went super early in the day until late at night, all without complaint.  The SSI students were so bold with doing outreach. The ask questions about Jesus.  They asked the people they were talking about if they could pray for them.  They got numbers and got the people they were talking to hooked up with a student from Denton.  They invited the people they had met to FOCUS.  Most of all their outreach didn't stop when they had left the outreach times.

One really cool story I want to share happened on Wednesday.  Tuesday through Thursday during SSI week we had outreach going on both the UNT campus and the TWU campus.  On Wednesday I had a group out at TWU, and we finish earlier than the UNT group.  We headed over to the square where we were going to meet the other group soon.  While we were waiting for them, we ran into this guy with three of the cutest, tiniest dogs ever!  All of us started playing with the puppies, except for one girl, Lexie.  She started talking to the guy, asking him questions.  Of course he asks her about herself, so she shares she's from Washington and in Texas on a mission trip.  So they start talking about that.  They talked for many 30 minutes as everyone else arrived, then he said he had to go eat.  The SSI group starts debriefing the day, and maybe 30-40 minutes go by when this guy comes back with fruit and juice for us.  He even brought cups and ice.  He said he thought what we were doing was really cool, and he wanted to bring us that in order to let us know.  I was just so encouraged and challenged by this.  Conversations really do matter; they really can have an impact!  And God is really cool.


I'm not sure if these photos really show just how packed that auditorium was, but let me assure you it was packed.  It was so encouraging to see that many people show up.  We had four weeks to plan the event.  Two of those weeks had snow days.  One of them was spring break, and the other was SSI.  Seriously, it was only God who made this event successful.  He was able to bring a community together in such weird circumstances in order to get his work done.  

The Spring Showcase was an event to raise funds for SICM.  We send students there every year, and it is a christian student leadership camp that helps develop student leadership skills.  It helps these students think through discipleship while also letting them see God at work in another ministry half way across the country.  As someone who has gone to SICM before. I can assure you it is a life altering trip.  You learn so much while also being given so many resources on how to keep learning and thinking after you leave.  The trip is kind of expensive, and we really don't like money to be an issue.  If a person is willing to commit to learning about God, we want to make sure they have an opportunity.  This showcase was a way for us to help the students be able to afford this trip, and we were very successful.  Sadly I don't have statistics or number yet.

We've also just received a lot of positive feedback from the event which has been so encouraging since we were working under such stressful conditions.  It really was a fun event to plan:)

Well to wrap things up, I hope you had a good month.  I'd like to ask that you pray for my brother.  He's really struggling with drug addiction and mental health.  I'd also really appreciate it if you could be praying for my fundraising for staff.  If there is anything I could be praying for any of you, please let me know:)

You guys are the best,

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Thanks For The Memories

Hey friends,

I only have two things to share with you.  The first is a girl from TWU getting baptized!!!!  It was so great seeing in happen.  The girls name is Adriana, and she's been in my core all year long.  At the beginning of the year, she was so unsure about God, but she asked so many questions!  You could tell she was really seeking him out, and at the beginning of February she was finally ready to accept him as Lord.  Getting to see that transformation was so encouraging.  It's so cool to see what God can do.  Adriana had contemplated for a long time on whether she was ready or not to actually get baptized (she just felt like the commitment was a really serious one and didn't want to make it haphazardly).  When she finally decided to do it, it was soooo cold outside!  I was so proud of her though.  Instead of postponing the event, she went ahead and got baptized (and let me tell you it was freezing outside)!!!!1

The next awesome update is our parent night.  I cannot even tell you how encouraging it was to hear parents talk about the transformation's their kids have had since coming to FOCUS.  I seriously was tearing up almost every time a parent talked.  We had a lot of parents and family members come as well which was really cool!  

I hope you had a great February and enjoyed the snow and ice.  I got a few snow days out of that; if you did too, then I hope you got to relax and recuperate like I did:) Thanks so much for all your support and prayers. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Bursting with Excitement

Hi friends,

January was such a cool month!  I don't know if it is just me, but I always like the spring semester or months so much better.  It's like the year is energizing itself, and you can see the promise of God to make everything new being fulfilled in some small part as all the plants start to come back to life.  Anyway I hope your January went well.

To start off our year in FOCUS, we had our Winter Camp.  We had all of our six campuses come together for 4 days to learn about God and praise him together.  It was so much fun.  We had a speaker come all the way down from Canada.  His name is Iain Provan, and he is an Old Testament scholar.  He teaches at Regent College in Vancouver, and we've been listening to some of the audios from his and other professors from that college for years.  We were shocked and excited that he agreed to come and speak.  He did such a great job, too.  Our theme this year in FOCUS is words of life, and every session he spoke at he revealed how the Old Testament fit into God's words of life.  The interns and staff got to have a lunch with him as well, and it was so encouraging, for both him and us.  Getting to see him in a more casual light just reminded me that he is just a man doing God's work, nothing more.  That may sound weird, but it can be so easy to idealize a person.  But he is just a man who had his own journey with God, which to me is so much more encouraging.  He has impacted so many people because he listened to God.  He shared with us how encouraging it was to see our community.  He had no idea about us, yet here we were, listening to his audios, trying to learn more and more about who this God we follow is.  Now this really neat relationship is being formed between us and Regent College.  When Iain returned back home, he said he put in a good word for us with the other professors in case we wanted to ask someone else to come speak at a Winter Camp in the future!  I could seriously keep going on about how great Winter Camp was.  Just getting to see a few hundred college students, alumni, and adults praising God together is such an inspiring sight.  I'm so glad we do it; all of the hard work needed to put that on is worth it.

It isn't the best photo, but I hope it gives you an idea of how many people were there.:)

We also had our first TWU and UNT FOCUS' for the year.  Sarah King spoke at both of them, and she did an awesome job.  We definitely had new faces at both large group meetings, which was encouraging.  I just can't wait to see what God does on both campuses this semester.  Something that Sarah shared at UNT FOCUS really challenged me, though, and I'd like to share it with you as well.  She spoke about truth and how we shouldn't be afraid to search for truth because truth will be truth regardless of whether we admit it or not.  With time our understanding of the truth may broaden or completely change, and that shouldn't frighten us, it should excite us.  That means we are understanding more and more of God because our belief is that God is truth.  With that, Satan has fed us a lot of lies, and often times we don't even realize we are believing lies.  They just seem natural.  I think the shape of a common lie is that we aren't good enough or we are too much, but either way it leaves us feeling like we don't quite fit.  We then find ourselves trying to make ourselves fit, looking to people to satiate our need to be accepted, wanted, or whatever we're feeling at the time.  We forget that God thinks we are precious; that he made us uniquely, and that no one in the world is quite like us.  Instead of that being a bad thing, we need to see that as amazing.  Even if we are the weakest person, and we do everything wrong, God uses the weak to shame the strong.  God's power is perfected in our weakness.  This lie that Satan has insisted we believe leaves us separate from God, incapable of action, and the body of Christ is much weaker because of it.  We need to combat the lies with truth.  We don't need to be perfect; we need to trust God and follow him because all things work for his good, even if they look terrible.  At the end Sarah gave us the challenge to think of all the lies that Satan has you believing, then go to scripture to find the truth that God has given you.  Use the truth to defeat the lies.  I sincerely hope you do this challenge:)

Lastly, but certainly not least, this month we found out some of who the new staff members will be and where they will be going!  Miriam Freeman will be coming on staff and staying at UNT, Cody McCarty will be coming on staff and going to UNT, Ana Fineout will be coming on staff, and Sarah King, who is already on staff, will be going to UTA to help start that ministry!  I will also be coming on staff at TWU, and I'm so excited about it.  I just want to ask that you be praying for that transition, with Sarah leaving and me staying on.  I'd also ask that you be praying and thinking about continuing to support me next year.  

Anyway, thanks so much for all the support you've already given.  I appreciate it so much, and you really are an invaluable team member:)

You da best

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Ending the Year

Hi friends,

I hope you had a blessed holiday.  I got two weeks off and went home to Amarillo to visit my family, so I'm feeling pretty recharged and ready for the new year.  I am so excited to see what 2015 brings, even if that means there is only 5 months left of the internship:/

I have a few things I want to share about December.  We had our Denton Christmas Party at the beginning of the month.  The theme was classy, and the TWU girls all got ready together.  It was so much fun.  At the beginning of the year I really prayed for community on the TWU campus, and it has been so cool seeing God answer that prayer.  While we were shopping together for makeup and stuff for the party, one of our core girls, who is really quiet and reserved, had no makeup and had never used it before.  One of the other core girls decided to pay for some makeup for her, so she could have some and not feel weird about getting ready with us.  I had no idea this even happened until checkout! One core girl saw anothers need and filled it.  Then we went back to the dorm room to get ready all the girls helped with putting on her makeup and doing her hair.  It was so cool to see the girls had actually formed friendships and were taking care of each other.  The party was so much fun too.  We had food and did a devotional, then at the end we had a no talent-talent show.  I think everyone really enjoyed the party!

Another thing I want to share is our last core.  We read an excerpt from "College Ministry in a Post Christian Culture," then we discussed what it would look like for us as a core to be disciple makers.  Before I can continue I have to describe to you one of our girls.  She wasn't really Christian before she came into this year, but she's been studying the bible with Sarah King.  She believes now and is thinking about getting baptized (total side note, but super cool!).  Well once the conversation got started this girl shared about how her family didn't believe, and it was really hard to see the destruction in their lives because of it.  It was really encouraging to see her get that and explain why people needed God.  I mean a few months earlier she didn't even know if she bought into all this, but now she could articulate why people needed God and was thinking of ways she needed to change that could help get people to him.  God is so present on this campus, and I'm so lucky to get to be a part of it!

I'd like to end on some prayer requests.  We are leaving for staff retreat today after church, and I'd like y'all to be praying for a safe trip and that the retreat draws us closer as a staff.  The second prayer request is for Winter Camp coming up later this month.  I'd ask that you be praying that the weather is good, that people will encounter God while they are there, and that people all get there and back safely.  Thank you so much:)

Till next month,