I've been praying that you're all doing well. I feel like February and now half of March has flown by. We started off our semester trying to figure out who we were going to invite to the Student Institute of Campus Ministry (SICM). I'm sure most of you have heard of this. If you don't know what SICM is, it's a leadership conference in Bellingham, Washington that we send some of our potential leaders. It is an amazing experience; I went as a student, and I've gone every year that I've been on staff. I still take away so much from it. In February all the staff met with the potential leaders, then we made the invites and got all the people registered. It was a lot of work, but I'm so excited for those people and for this trip!
Another special thing that happened in February was our Pizza Theology over race. If you weren't able to attend, I'd highly recommend taking the time to listen to it. We had several people from our ministry share about their experiences with race, and it was so incredibly impactful to hear. All of the people who shared were so articulate and vulnerable. Click here if you'd like to listen.
The last thing I'd like to share is probably my favorite thing to happen in February. I GOT MARRIED!!!!! Thank you for those of you who were able to make it, and we wish you could have made it for the ones who couldn't. Married life has been really great so far, and we can't believe that a month has already passed. This has probably been one of the smoothest roommate transitions I've ever had. Below are some photos of our wedding that aren't on Facebook. Hope you enjoy:)
This week we're about to have students from Bellingham, Washington fly here and spend a week doing outreach on several of our campuses. I'd like to ask that this is in your prayers throughout the week.
I'll leave you will this student testimony; I hope it encourages you:)
"I grew up in Vietnam with Buddhist parents. My aunt shared the gospel with me and my brother, and I became a Christian when I was around six. Looking back, I can see how God was pursuing me and leading me to grow in my relationship with Him by giving me a desire to go to church.When I came to America, my host families helped me grow in my faith. My parents came to visit me and my brother after a couple years. My parents thought that because we were thankful to God, we were not thankful to them, and they were really angry. They were in Vietnam working hard to provide for me and my brother to go to school in the States. They made us choose: we could stop following God and they would continue to support us financially, or we could follow God and He would support us. My brother and I chose God. I didn’t know how I was going to be able to transfer to UTA, but God provided a way. My parents, after my aunt spoke with them, decided to continue supporting me until I graduate. My relationship with my parents has changed a lot since that conversation. In some ways, I feel like they disowned me and my brother. My parents aren’t really my family anymore. But FOCUS has since filled that role, and the people in this community have become my family. FOCUS has challenged me to go outside of my comfort zone and invest in people. It has been a safe place for me to have hard conversations. Because of FOCUS I have deep friendships. I was accepted to a nursing school in Florida, and seriously considered going, but decided to stay at UTA because I saw what God was doing on this campus. I have so much to be thankful for and can see the great things that God is doing in my life and in those around me."Hallie Tran (On the left, Junior, University of Texas at Arlington, Nursing)
Thanks so much for all your support! :)