Monday, February 6, 2017


Hello friends,

I hope you had a great January! I know I saw a lot of you guys at our Winter Camp at the beginning of the month. If you weren't able to go, you should check out our website. We recorded all the speakers, and they did such an amazing job! We talked about being the people of God. I asked a number of different students what they took away from Winter Camp, and there was just a wide variety of things that I was told. I heard that every speaker was someones favorite speaker which was just so cool to know that our students were impacted.

Also here is an unbelievably encouraging video that one of the UTA students made about Winter Camp.

I wanted to share some about a student I've gotten to work with some this year. I started doing FOJ with a girl last semester, and it started out as one of the hardest studies. She came from a very fundamentalist background, so I think in general we just had different view points on things. I would kind of ask her reasoning on things or push back on something she had said, and she would just shut down. It made for a pretty rough beginning. Honestly I thought this girl would just stop showing up to our meetings, but she remained so faithful. I switched how we talked about things and what we talked about. I figured out that she responds way better over text message than any other form of communication. It would be super awesome to share that my change has impacted her so much, but it really hasn't. I just tried to back way off and just be a friend to her. God on the other hand has just been rocking this girls world, and it has been so encouraging to watch. I saw him bring some different friends in her life that were the ones who helped her think through different things. I saw him slowly change her heart from being closed off to challenging conversations to her actively seeking out what he says about different subjects. We recently did an FOJ study on Rebirth. This study mainly explores baptism and the rebirth that happens when we choose Jesus as our Lord. I asked her at the beginning to just tell me her theology on baptism. She told me that she used to have very clear thoughts on it, but now she didn't really know what to think. I can't even express to you how cool that statement was to hear from her! Every now and then I just need a reminder from God that he's the one who's really doing the work. I'm there to participate and love people and am just so incredibly blessed to get to see him changing lives.

I also have two prayer requests:
1. There are a few different girls in our ministry right now struggling with making Jesus Lord. They've said they believe in Jesus, but they're actively choosing to still live in sin. Will you pray that they choose to not say they trust Jesus but to put that trust into action?
2. There is a girl in the ministry right now who just really needs friends. She has a few people in her life, but it's pretty hard for her to actually trust people. Long story short, another girl in the ministry hurt her, and that has just kind of seriously impacted her. Will you pray that God would heal some old wounds that have happened and that he would restore her trust in people? Will you also pray that God helps her leave this community with some life long friendships?

Student Testimony
Josh Carp (Senior, UTD, Electrical Engineer)

"Before coming to college, I was in a desperate search for friendships. I had been the unfortunate recipient of a drug-induced fight. One night, people who I thought were my friends got high on cocaine while we were hanging out. All it took was a dispute over a petty difference to send one of them over the edge, and it ended with me getting choked until I passed out. Thankfully, God brought me through that alive. However, this incident led to bitterness, rumors, and the loss of mutual friends. So, I ended high school not having many people that I considered friends. After all that, I was ready for college.

Going into my Freshman year at UTD, I made it a priority to seek out friendships and Christian community. I found out about an event that FOCUS was having during welcome week and went to check it out. There I met Sagar Gandhi who, after just one conversation, invited me over to his house to play FIFA (a soccer video game). I was taken aback by this generous invitation and willingness to invite me into his life when he knew very little about me. I decided to go to Sagar's core and get more involved in FOCUS, where I developed strong friendships. Praise God for Sagar Gandhi's invitation, the friendships I have made, and for how much leaders in FOCUS have taken time out of their busy schedules to pour into a broken and unimpressive sinner, like me, ever since!"

Thanks so much for all your prayers and support!