Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Hi friends,

It's sad to say that our school year has officially ended. I've been blessed in so many different ways this year. It's been a stretching, uncomfortable, growing year, and I've learned so much because of it. Here are some of the blessings I've gotten to experience this year:

I got to work on the UTD FOCUS team. This group of people is just so fun! They are hard working, God fearing, and so funny. They provide an amazing support base. In particular, Mandy has really helped me think through so many important things this year and helped me be a better minister.
Laurence Glenesk, Brandon Worsham, Sirak Asfaw, Mandy Lanciani,
 Me, Kristin Ransom, Sandra Salvador, Peter Ueng

The picture below is our UTD/Richland/TWU Dallas leader team. These are the people that you've been praying for throughout this school year! They have put in so much hard work, and I can say confidently that they finished the year strongly. 

This is my quirky group of girls that I had the privilege of mentoring this year. It is so true when people say that the people they mentor teach them more! I think that these girls challenged me and called me to be a better, more purposeful minister in so many different ways. I'm already excited for next year. I've just been thinking through all the things that I could change and improve upon, and I'm itching to try those things out!

The picture below was taken at a Ranger's game. It is all woman from the TWU Dallas campus. You can't see me or Tirzah in the picture, but we were definitely there. I wanted to share this photo with you as an encouragement. I don't think I've shared very much with you guys about how that FOCUS plant has gone. TWU Dallas is mainly a nursing school, but they also have some graduate programs as well. It's a community school, and it has very little campus life. All the people who go to this school are incredibly busy! Every semester for the nursing students is so hard, and they are putting in tons of hours trying to pass and get everything done. Needless to say we've been having challenges with consistency and building strong community there. I can't even describe to you how cool and much of a God deal that it was that this many girls came to this game. Slowly God is bringing His kingdom to this campus and showing these students that He is still the Lord of their life, even in this chaotic, stressful, demanding time of their lives. I can't wait to see how God continues working on this campus, and I want to ask that you continue praying that community would keep growing and developing here. 

To end I'd like to share our student testimony of the April with you! I hope it encourages you, and next month I'll share with how SICM went!

"God has used the community in FOCUS to make me a better friend to those around me. Throughout high school I struggled with making genuine and lasting friendships. I had certain people I would spend time with, but there was no depth to our relationships. By the time I graduated, I sadly realized that I had no peer-friends who cared about what I was going through. In addition to this, I found it hard to empathize with those around me. It was a difficult experience that taught me the value of true, real friendship. During my first 
semester of college, I was involved in a car accident with my parents and three younger siblings. Those next two months were some of the darkest times of my life. I recall sitting in the emergency room and my small group leader, Nicki, calling to see if I was okay. I can’t remember what either one of us said, but I do remember in that moment feeling loved and cared for in a profound way. It was so precious to me. After some time in the ministry, my youngest sister, Emily, told me that she didn’t know what healthy friendships looked like until she saw how I 
interacted with my co-facilitator. God was shaping the kind of friend he wanted me to be, and through it, He was impacting the people around me! I am so excited to go on this journey that God has called me to: loving and serving those around me like Christ!"

Catherine Long (Sophmore, Richland College, Echocardiography)