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,