Thursday, December 8, 2016

Wrapping Things Up

Hi friends,

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving break, and I'm hoping that you have a restful and fun Christmas break as well. I went home to Amarillo for Thanksgiving with Laurence and my friends Peter and Paul Ueng. It was a much needed break! I've felt like the past two months things have been going a mile a minute.

October we had so many events (20 Year Celebration, Jesus & Politics Class, and the All Church Leadership Conference), and I also got ENGAGED!!!!!
*We're planning to send out invitations soon, but we want you to all know that you're invited:) You can find all of the details and RSVP on our low-tech Facebook event here. We hope to see you there, and we are both really excited to start our life together!

November was a blur of ramping up for our annual fundraiser, trying to do some wedding planning, and meet with as many students as possible before the break.

Sweet December brings a much needed change of pace. All of the students are gearing up for finals, so it's hard to get meeting set up with students you don't know as well. It's been a great time to catch up on all the administrative work that has been piling up.

Any who I wanted to share two things with you: 1. Our Annual Fundraiser, and 2. Our student testimony.

Keep FOCUS Growing Fund

We started this fund a few years ago, and it has been vital to keep our ministry growing on the campuses we're already at and expanding to new campuses we feel like God is calling us to. With the money from this fund, we were able to plant a ministry at 3 new campuses. It allows us to invest in student outreach, put pastors on campus who would otherwise have to spend time support raising, and generally seize opportunities that the Lord puts in our path.

The Keep FOCUS Growing Fund will play a huge role in what 2017 looks like as we pray and consider what to do at SMU, how and whether to expand our Collin outreach, how to grow our presence at UTA, and how many of our amazing young apprentices to bring on to our long-term ministry staff. There are important decisions that will have major repercussions over the next 20 years! This year we're trying to raise $55,000!

We can hit our $55,000 goal if: 
200 people give $10
200 people give $20
100 people give $50
30 people give $100
20 people give $300
25 people give $500
10 people give $750
5 people give $1,000
2 people give $2,500
1 person gives $5,000

So I'd like you to do 2 things:
1. Pray for God to provide richly for the mission to these campuses. He has always given us what we need, and we are confident He will continue to do so if we continue asking in faith.
2. Maybe the Lord would want you to be a part of the answer to that prayer--would you consider giving a special gift? You can go to for everything you need to know. 

Student Testimony

I hope you enjoy reading this and that it encourages you. It just reminded me why all of the handwork is worth it, and why I really love and believe in campus ministry:

"My name is Sammy, and I am a freshman at Collin College. During this past summer I went through a dark stage of my life. After a rough break up, I was left feeling depressed and alone. On July 27th the depression had become so bad that I attempted suicide, and I didn't tell anyone about it. A month later I heard about FOCUS through Matt at a Welcome Week event on campus, and after having a conversation he invited me to FOCUS. My core group and FOCUS helped me see I wasn't alone; they showed me the love of Jesus, and it drove me to become a Christian. I've learned how much Jesus Loves people and how he cares for everyone. I'm closer to God than I have ever been before, and I feel loved in a safe community. God has changed my life through FOCUS!"

Sammy (Freshman, Collin College-Spring Creek Campus, Nursing)

I just wanted to say thank you for reading this. It's so encouraging to know that I have people out there praying for me and my ministry. 

Bye for now:)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Moving Forward

Hi friends,

We are past welcome week and even have a few cores underneath our belts. Thank you so much for all of your prayers. I had asked you to be praying that during this time our student would be body and persistent in meeting new people, that they would be meeting other students and professors, and that the hearts of the students on campus would be receptive to Jesus. Those prayers were definitely answered!

Welcome Week

Our students did an amazing job during welcome week despite some of the weird conditions. If you didn't know, all of the rain that occurred that week in August was during the welcome week events we had planned. We had to cancel almost every single one of the events we had planned, and we had to quickly come up with a backup plan.

This is a picture of one of our last minute events, Zombie Tag!
Despite all the changes that happened, our students still went out and worked hard at inviting new people, and the people came! They also ended up loving the new events that we did. People still ask when we're going to play Zombie Tag again (the game we were explaining in the picture).


Our first FNF was a huge success because of all the hard work our students put in during our welcome week. This picture doesn't even capture how many people were in this room. We were in the Davidson Auditorium, for those of you who went to UTD or came to FOCUS in this room, and almost every seat was taken. I don't want to emphasize numbers, but I do want to emphasize how blessed we are to have such hard working students. It just reminds me of the verses in Matthew 9: 36-38 that says 'When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”' I think that our students are starting to get this verse. They saw people like Jesus did, and they answered the call for more workers to go into the harvest field. They went, and they worked hard for God which is just so cool!

Lastly I just want to ask for some more prayer. We have our Fall Camp coming up on Friday and Saturday. 1. I'd like you guys to be praying that everyone gets there safely, and the whole event goes smoothly. 2. I'd really like you guys to be praying that our students are brave, especially the new people. Going to a camp with people you don't really know can be very intimidating. It can be scary to push yourself outside of your comfort zone for something that may not seem important or worth it, but I've seen over and over again the benefit people and cores have when they go to Fall Camp. Spending that many hours together, hanging out and learning about God, just brings people together. The people who are scared to go are the ones who would benefit the most from going. So please, pray for courage for the people who are scared to go and persistence for the people who will trying to get those people to camp. 

Thanks so much! You've helped another year on these campuses possible, and I'm incredibly grateful for all that you guys do to make that happen. 

P.S. Our student testimony this month is from Michelle Nelson, a UTD grad who is currently serving as a missionary in Thailand.

I came to college knowing about God but not knowing God. I didn’t grow up as a Christian but went to youth group with friends in high school. As an overachieving perfectionist I saw church as a place to prove myself. Religion was a set of rules explaining how to be “good”. As is all too common, I had completely missed the point of Jesus.FOCUS quickly turned my attitude about God upside down. Seeing so many people who were willing to say “these are my flaws. I’m not good, but God is” was life changing for me. These people clearly knew God and had a relationship with Him. Yet they weren’t perfect and weren’t pretending to be. It’s still difficult for me to remember that I can simply accept God’s grace; He wants me to have it. I constantly have to remind myself that I’m not responsible for earning grace on my own. God has a sense of humor. Shortly after leaving UTD, God called me to Thailand. I now live in a country that is 95% Buddhist. I am immersed in a culture that is obsessed with earning merit. I see the Thai people worship idols and give offerings, and it breaks my heart. Then I look at my own life and see that, in my own way, I am trying just as hard to earn merit. God is so strategic. He puts you exactly where you need to be. He knew I needed to be in FOCUS. And now he’s brought me to Thailand to minister to people who share the same heart struggle as me. FOCUS changes students’ lives and then sends them out to minister to others. And because of that, I truly believe FOCUS will reach the world.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


It's August again! It feels like it was May yesterday, and I was getting ready to go to SICM and move to Plano. I've spent all summer long trying to prepare for this Fall. I've met lots of UTD girls, and we finally have our corefa pairs decided and peer teams set up. I'm ready for the year to begin!

We just had our Corefa Prep weekend, and we're about to head into our Welcome Week. For those of you who don't know what those things are I'll explain. At the beginning of every school year, we get all of our core leaders together in order to prep them for the year and Welcome Week. We build in some community and team building games as well to try to quickly form some bonds. Welcome Week is something the school puts on. Starting August 17th students will be moving in and events will begin and go until September 3rd, the school puts on events for all of the new and returning students to go to. We use this time as a huge outreach opportunity. New freshman, transfer, and international students have stepped on campus and are looking to make friends! We want as many of our students and staff out on campus trying to cast their nets wide, inviting as many students as possible to hangout, go to their cores, and join FOCUS.

I'd like to ask for lots of prayer. I'd like to ask that you be praying during this time that our students are bold and persistent in meeting new people and inviting them to things, that they meet other students and professors in their classes, and that the hearts of the students stepping onto campus would be receptive to Jesus!

I can't wait to write back in September with some cool stories about what happens during this time!

20 Year Celebration!

Another thing I'd like to invite you to join in on is celebrating all that God has done in the first 20 years of FOCUS on October 8! I think it's going to be an incredibly fun and encouraging event, and I'd really encourage you to come if you can.

Event Details:

  • Saturday, October 8, 2016
  • UT Dallas – Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building
  • 4PM-5PM: Reception held in the main lobby
  • 5PM-7PM: Celebration Service in the main lecture hall
  • Spouses, children, family, and friends are all welcome.
You can RSVP at this link:

Thanks so much guys for all of your support, and I'm looking so forward to another year building God's kingdom on these campuses with you!

Thursday, July 14, 2016


Hello friends,

I literally can't believe that we're half way through July already. It seems like this summer has flown by. That's both exciting and nerve racking. It's exciting because that means we're a little bit closer to starting another school year of campus ministry, but it's also nerve racking because it means our fundraising season is almost over. Our staff and new apprentices have less than one month to finish raising our support for the next year of campus missions. Will you stop and pray right now that God would provide richly for every person He has called to this mission? 

Currently I have $400 left in order to be fully fundraised and set to begin a new season of ministry. God has been really good this fundraising summer, and he's provided so richly. I feel pretty confident that I'll get there, but I could really appreciate prayers. 

There are a few more ways you could help as well:

1)  If you are currently a monthly partner, help me reach this goal by recruiting one friend or family member to join our mission by matching your monthly gift?
2)  If you are not currently a financial partner, consider joining my support team with a monthly or special gift. Signing on is easy! Go to and click on “Donate”. Or you can touch base with me directly to see what this might look like for you.

You guys have been some really faithful partners, and I really appreciate all the prayers and support I've received from you guys! I'd also like to share a story from one of our students on the UTA campus. I hope it encourages you as much as it encouraged me. God is just so good, and he's doing some really cool work on these campuses!

Brooklyn Turner's Story

Social Work Major 
"I grew up with a single mom and was privileged to grow up in a Christian household. Leaving for school was a big step for me, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Coming into college I felt I had two options: I could go off, explore the party scene, and be rebellious in way that I never really have, or I could pursue my faith. During welcome week I met some of the student leaders in FOCUS; they really seemed to be interested in my life and pursued my friendship in a way that I wasn’t used to. I took that as my sign. Since then, my corefas and the other leaders in FOCUS have taught me, and displayed what living life with Jesus as a disciple looks like. Prior to college I was a Christian, but I wouldn’t say I was a disciple. Studying FOJ challenged me in that aspect. I have come to know how freeing it is to give my life completely over to God and let him set my priorities. Most of my favorite memories from my freshman year have centered around, or at least involved, the friends I have made in FOCUS. I have made deep, meaningful, Christ‐centered relationships that I wouldn’t have found, or known how to find without community. FOCUS has loved me in a way that I haven’t experienced outside of my family, and as an orientation leader, I want all of my freshman orientees to have that as well."

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer!

Bye now:)

Friday, June 10, 2016


I can't believe it. The year is officially done, and summer is now in full swing! I feel like it was just yesterday when I came on staff officially and began thinking about putting together our 2015-2016 Denton leader team. I remember being excited and nervous to be leading the TWU ministry and ready to see what God did on the Denton campuses that year. Fast forward one year, and I can tell you that God did so much.:) Now I'm sitting in a coffee shop reflecting on how I'm in a very similar position as last year. I'm excited and nervous about all these new transitions and ready for the year to begin. If you don't know, I'll be working on the UTD FOCUS staff next year. It's a bittersweet ending. I've absolutely loved my time working with the Denton team, but I feel really great about what God is calling me to now. A large reason for why I'll be transitioning to a new team is because of my relationship with Laurence Glenesk. We've been dating for almost a year now, and I'm going to join him at UTD where he's been on staff for the past three years now. We have just begun doing Guide to Decide (Woooo!), FOCUS' pre engagement material. So I'm really excited about these new changes.

I just wanted to share two things with you in this update: SICM and our new staff. I got one of our TWU students to share about her SICM experience, so I hope you enjoy and are encouraged to see how God is working in someone who you may or may not have ever met! 


I don't have a whole lot to say about SICM, but I just wanted you all to know that our students were seriously impacted by the experience! 

Here is a testimony from one of the students who went to this conference from TWU: When I was invited to go to SICM in January, I had no idea how God would change my life in only ten days. Four months later, as I stepped on the plane to Seattle, I had just gotten through a semester filled with anxiety and stress. My faith in God was dwindling and I had mistrusted the Lord in His entirety. I did not feel like God was showing up in my life in the same way that He had been showing up in the lives of others. This all changed throughout my time in Washington. When it came to times of evangelism and worship, I had to put all of my trust in God. I knew that there was very little I could do besides show up and say “I am all Yours, God. Use me. Let me glorify You.” This was extremely difficult for me because of my anxieties, but I saw God showing up everywhere I went, even when I thought He wasn’t going to. I finally came to the conclusion that no matter what, God is constantly pursuing us. Even through our periods of doubt or plain denial of His goodness, He never stops loving us and wanting us.
-Hannah Diaz

It was so cool to get to see the students I had been working with for the past year be so impacted. I also got the really neat opportunity to stay with three UTD girls for a week. I had so much fun getting to know some of the people I'll get to do ministry along side this next year.
                     2016-2017 UTD Staff 

                                                                        New Staff
The last thing I wanted to share with you was just all of our new staff for this upcoming year. There are also some prayer requests on the photo towards the bottom.                                                              

These are our new apprentices. We're so excited to welcome them on staff in August!!!!! Four of our interns from this last year are also stepping on staff: Peter Ueng, April Ashton, Austin Gage, and Aaron Hollingsworth. I'm so excited to see what this next year holds. 

Thanks so much for reading and supporting this kingdom work!:)

Thursday, May 5, 2016


Hi friends,

We had lots of amazing things going on in April. Hopefully you were able to attend our Spring Showcase. It had some really amazing talent! I enjoyed going so much, and I already can't wait for next years. We had another baptism that happened at TWU, and I asked the girl to send me a response on why she decided to get baptized. It was a little lengthy, but I thought it was so profound. I decided to just copy all of it for you guys and let her minister instead. I really hope it impacts you as much as it did me.

Adrianne's Baptism

Why did I get Baptized? Well that’s quite a long story, but ill do my best to fit it in a few paragraphs or so.
I would have to go all the way back to getting invited to F.O.C.U.S to start my journey. Ann Haven, that wonderful gracious soul, invited me to her core or FNF about five or six times before I gave in. I held a lot of prejudice against Christian organizations and churches because of the negative experiences I had with them in the past. Many churches I were a part of, I often felt like just another body and not part of His body, or was often met with worldly judgement on my views and questions instead of being challenged out of wanting me to grow in my faith. Finally, I said yes to coming to her core, and although my anxiety was sky rocketing and I was trying to find validation in not going, I put one foot in front of the other, and stepped into a community radiating God's love.
Now, to get to why I felt led to be Baptized. I have only been a part of FOCUS for two semesters now, but I have been challenged and have grown in my faith in ways I never saw possible. Recently, I attended my first Easter service as a now true believer in God and was in awe of Him this whole service. During worship the question "Why do you believe in this?" Kept swirling in my head. I reflected on that question and my walk with God for the duration of the next few days, journaling over and over my answers.
The one I come to the most, is because God brought me out of my anxiety, challenged my views on His congregational body, and brought me into a church family that pushed me closer to Him, even when I was my most terrible, un-trusting and overly-anxious self. I called Ann Haven and explained that I wanted to be baptized, and that I was ready to make an outward declaration of my inward choice to follow the God who would bury the terrible, un-trusting and overly-anxious old me, and bring up the beautiful, trusting, darkness-fighting, and clean woman I am today. A verse I have gone back to a lot as of late is 1 Corinthians 15:10 which says By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of themyet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. By Gods grace he has loved me and met me where I was at, and continues to meet me in my mud, and washes me clean daily, and for that I committed and continue to commit it all to Him. 

To close I just wanted to thank you for your prayers and support for this campus. It's because of your investment that these student's lives are being impacted for God.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

March Madness

Hello friends,

I hope things are going well with you. I was meeting with some girls earlier reading Philippians, and we were discussing examples we wanted to apply to our ministry. Something that really stood out to me was Pauls use of prayer and how beautiful his prayer was. He told them "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ- to the glory and praise of God." I just thought that was such a powerful prayer and one I want to be praying over you, myself, and my girls in my ministry. Whatever you or I are going through in our lives right now, I hope and pray that God is using it to bring us into a deeper relationship to him, expanding our definition of trust and relationship, filling us up with His Spirit, and emptying us of ourselves. 

With that prayer, let's begin talking about all the cool things God did in March! 


(Student Spring Impact)

If you don't know what SSI is, I'll try to explain it a little bit. We're affiliated with a ministry up in Bellingham, Washington, and during their spring break, they send students on mission trips. For the past few years, we've gotten the privilege to host students for those trips. We organize a week of outreach on our campuses for the students to go and practice reaching out to college students boldly for God. I don't know if you've ever purposefully planned to go talk to strangers and try to talk to them about God or deeper conversation, but it can be really nerve racking, even if you've done it a million times. I still can be nervous to start doing outreach! It's so cool that students have chosen to spend their Spring Break going to another campus to spread God's word. All of them started off the week apprehensive for what the experience would be like and what the conversations would consist of when they went out to talk to strangers. To me that made the fact they followed God here even more impressive. It can be scary listening to God and doing things you're uncomfortable with, but they all chose to obey anyway! 

Here are a few pictures from our week:

(waiting for our SSI group to arrive)

(the last night at FNF with all our SSI peeps)


The week was such a blast! SSI has become a really encouraging time for me. It can be stressful planning, and it completely interrupts our routine in order to host 12 students for a week; But it's so unbelievably worth it. It can be so easy to get into routines and start to take things for granted. Outreach can easily become just something that you do because you have to. Watching students come to a new place, with fresh eyes, and a Spirit of obedience is so refreshing. It just reminds me of all the blessings God has placed in my life as well as the lives of those around me. It reminds me of why we're called to go out and reach out to students on our campuses. It relights the drive to finish off the year outwardly focused. 

Our Denton intern, Aaron Hollingsworth, planned our outreach display boards for the week. We have questions posted on display boards, and we ask people passing by whether they would like to answer our question. This year they asked questions like: What's God like? What's Jesus like? What are Christians like? What should Christians be like? What kind of friends are Christians? What kind of impact have Christians had on Society? I really enjoyed the theme of our outreach this year. I think these questions led to some really insightful conversations with both Christians and Non-Christians alike experiences with Christians.


(Katie, Me, Melissa, Ann Haven, Kelly-L to R)

I often talk about what is going on in my ministry life, and I forget to share what is going on in my personal life, even though those can feel so closely intertwined. This year I've had the pleasure of living with one of my best friends, Melissa Collini, one of my core facilitators, Ann Haven Hughes, a friend I studied the bible with in college and who is now doing an internship with Cru, Kelly Reno, and my sister, Katie Hubbard. It's been a weird, strange mix of people, and honestly at times has been really challenging. Last semester, all of our differences created this tension that divided several roommates from each other. My sister isn't a Christian, so this was really hard to handle. I just really wanted her to enjoy her experience living with four Christians. But people are broken and messy and life doesn't quite turn out perfectly. I kept praying to God, asking him to answer my prayer and help our roommate situation be one that is glorifying to Him. It was really hard to see Him working to fulfill this prayer, but I'm convinced that He has. 

I think when people don't spend time together, they start only seeing the other person for their faults. They forget that they're humans, who mess up, and they begin to see them only in a negative light. This semester we've begun to try to spend more time together as roommates. February, March, and April was when all of our birthday's were. For every single birthday, we made the time to celebrate with all of the roommates together, making sure that everyone felt valued and cared about. Slowly a house that felt tense has turned peaceful! My sister told me that she felt incredibly cared for on her birthday, and it was one of her best ones yet. 

I wanted to share this because I feel like I've seen something so cool happening. God has brought 5 people, who came from different places, believe different things, and have such different temperaments together. People so different can naturally develop tense relationships, but God creates unity from the chaos. He brings people together who, in the world, would have had nothing to do with each other, and He makes it possible for them to form bonds of friendship. I think all of us, not just my sister, will leave this year changed for the better!


I always like to end these blogs with a thank you. Sometimes that word can become meaningless or trite, but it can also not be said enough. It means so much that you would care enough to read about my ministry and the people in these ministries. I don't think words can adequately express how appreciative I am that you would support this mission and are praying for myself and my team. It's so cool that God doesn't let us do ministry alone, but He insists on giving us a body for us to be a part of! 

Until next time,

Saturday, March 5, 2016

It's Worth It

Hello friends,

I hope your spring is starting off great. I always feel more optimistic and energetic in the Spring. I wanted to start off telling you about my friend Brooke Sim's. I was incredibly blessed to get to baptize her in February. I shared her story from my perspective and also added a short paragraph from her perspective explaining why she chose to recommit her life to God. Then I explain a great opportunity for YOU to support our SICM students while also getting to watch talented people perform.

Brooke's Baptism

I met a girl during one of our TWU FOCUS' in the Fall Semester. We have somewhere between 20-40 people show up, so you can really tell who is new. I walked over to her and said hi, and I asked her about her life. I'm not sure how exactly it came up, but she told me that she had grown up Christian until high school when she asked why she was a Christian and couldn't find a good answer, so she stopped pursing God. When I met her, she had been living for 3 years as an Atheist. Her life wasn't working out the way she thought it would, so she thought she'd give God another try. I felt strongly that God told me to meet up with her, so I asked her to study FOJ with me and had the pleasure of being involved in her spiritual growth. Brooke is one of the most inquisitive people I've ever met- she asked hard questions and really pushed to know and understand God better. I got to watch her start as an extreme skeptic and be transformed into someone who really loves and wants to follow Jesus. In January, during our final lessons, I asked her if she was ready to recommit her life to Jesus and get baptized, and she said YES (She had been putting it off because she wanted to make sure and not change her mind again!!!) It was so cool. So many TWU and UNT people came to watch her and support her in her decision. The second picture is one of all her family. This is the first baptism I've been to where so many of the family attended. I got to meet them, and they were so sweet and were so proud of the decision she had made. They thanked us profusely for the work that we were doing. Her father said it was scary watching their little girl go away and start living life differently than how they had raised her, and it was so cool that people were at her school, trying to point her back to Jesus.


Campus ministry can be so hard. You can invest in people, really open up your heart to them, and they can say no to both you and God. It's heart breaking. Sometimes you work with people who are desperately trying to follow Jesus, but are not enjoyable people to work with. They are fighting manipulation, thoughtlessness, and/or a ton of other bad habits that leave you stressed out and worn down. I've been learning this year that without a solid foundation in Jesus, there is no way that anyone could do this job long term. It's exhausting. But Jesus exhausted himself for us. God became flesh for a nation who had already strayed so far from his original purposes. He came to serve them and bring His stiff necked people back into relationship with Him, and at the end of His ministry, they tortured him and left him dying on a cross. Ministry like that is only done through a deep understanding of God's love for His people and His creation. You have to take in the bad with the good. You have to change your expectations for what success in ministry looks like and celebrate the victory of people trying to choose Jesus. I feel so blessed that I get to work with so many amazing people, even though it can be hard sometimes. Getting to see Brooke choose God was a great reminder that it really is worth it. 

Spring Showcase

Every year the FOCUS staff puts on a fundraiser to help raise money to send potential student leaders to a conference in Bellingham, Washington. This week long conference focuses on how the students can be more effective in ministering on their campuses. I think sending our students to another state and having them interact with another ministry also shows them how big God really is. As someone who has gotten the opportunity to go, I can't begin to tell you how amazing the experience is and how informative the lessons are.
I'm extremely proud to announce the Spring Showcase. Our interns have worked hard at compiling talented artists to donate their time and gifts and put together a fantastic event.
Date: April 2nd, 2016
Time: Art sale starts at 6:30PM; Show starts at 7:30PM
Address: North Dallas Community Bible Fellowship
Refreshments will also be available for purchase in the lobby before the event and during intermission.

It's going to be a really fun event, and I'll hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading and supporting the vision our organization has. I definitely don't say it enough, but the work you do is instrumental. None of this would be possible without the roles you play.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Helter Skelter

Hi friends,

It has been a whirl wind of activity since getting back from Christmas vacation. We've had so many exciting things happen in January like our Staff Retreat, Winter Camp, Corefa Class, and obviously our schools starting up again. I feel as if I've just now got back into the groove of things and fine tuned my schedule for this semester. I wish I could talk about all these exciting things, but for your sakes, I'll just pick a couple. That way you aren't reading a 20 page essay!

To start off I want to talk about our Keep FOCUS Growing Initiative. Our goal was to reach $45,000. There are lots of small and big things I never even realized an organization needs in order for it to keep running, and without this money, 2016 would have been a little rough to get through. Luckily enough, we reached our goal!!!!!! Thank you so much for helping us to reach our goal. We are so incredibly blessed to have so many people who believe and support in the work that we do. In order to say thank you to our students, we did this thing called a Polar Plunge. If you don't know what that is (like me), then basically it's where you jump into a freezing pool in the middle of winter. Here's some footage of the event:

Needless to say, our students loved it!

Winter Camp:

I'm just not even sure if I could begin to share about how cool or impactful our Winter Camp was. First off we had so many TWU students go this year. Really we had a lot of students go this year. I think our numbers of people who attended were close to 600! We even had a school from Wichita Falls join us this year. They had heard about us because of one of our alumna's brothers. 

Our guest speaker this year was Rikk Watts. He is a seminary professor at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. He did a really great series over Who Jesus really was. Not only was what he had to say extremely impactful and challenging, but his energy and excitement to talk about Jesus was infectious. He would tell a lot of stories while he was preaching, and it was so impactful to hear some biblical parables or stories told in a way that we would understand. At one point that weekend, he said that "our God isn't a God of good and evil, but a God of life." I just found that statement so impactful. I think I can often think of God only caring about making me good or getting rid of my sin. When I mess up, then I can see myself as worthless or not good enough. But God doesn't just want to make us perfect, and he has already made us good (Genesis 1). Instead he is teaching us what it means to truly live and live to fullest. We don't need to feel bad when we stumble around as we're learning and maturing. We wouldn't get mad if our children didn't act like adults! If you weren't able to go to Winter Camp, I would highly suggest you listening to the audios. You can find them on our website and search Winter Camp 2016.

First TWU for the semester after event


I just can't really describe to you how much God is working on this campus or in these people. These people came into our ministry for lots of different reasons, but there hearts were open to the spirit. They wanted to know God deeper and more intimately, and I get to watch as He begins to transform their minds and their lives. Right now in our ministry, we're talking through the Sermon on the Mount and asking ourselves how God is wanting us to change how we treat people. It has been cool to see those girls (and guys) not only dwelling on God's word and asking him how he wants them to change, but also for them to then try to change! I wish I could go through and tell you each of their stories, but I definitely don't have time to in every blog. In my next one, I will share one story pretty explicitly, so be on the look out for that!

Thanks for all your love and support:)