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)
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!