Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Gearing Up For The Year

I just wanted to thank you all for your prayers this summer. I ended up fundraising more this summer than I ever have before, and I really could not have done that with out you guys!!!! Now August is in full swing, and we have our Welcome Week prep this weekend for our core facilitators (similar to small group leaders). 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. Welcome Week is something the school puts on, and it's one of the busiest times of our year. Starting August 16th students will be moving in, and events will begin and go until September 1st.  We use this time as a huge outreach opportunity. New freshman, transfer, and international students will step onto campus and be 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 Christian community. 

I'd like to ask for prayer. If you could be praying this period that our students are bold and persistent in meeting new people and inviting them to things. Pray that our students reach out to the students and professors in their classes. And pray that the hearts and minds of the students stepping onto campus would be receptive to Jesus!

Also I added a photo of our UTD staff this year, as well as a picture of our apprentices! We took these at our August staff retreat which was just so fun and rejuvenating. I hope you enjoy the photos and the student testimony below:)

Our 2017-2018 UTD staff
Left to right back row: Peter Ueng, Laurence Glenesk, Brandon Worsham, Eddie Perez, Sirak Asfaw
Left to right front row: Sandra Salvador, Mandy Lanciani, Sarah Glenesk, Dawn McElroy

Our 2017-2018 apprentices. Left to right: Eddie Perez, Kristen Stroud,
Caitlin Quiroz, Dawn McElroy Jalen Quintana, Rhett Hayes 

Student Testimony

 “I grew up in the Methodist church surrounded by various spiritual mentors. Though I had a good church upbringing, I don’t think I really knew how to truly seek God. My spiritual growth was consequently very slow, with many stops and dead ends. I knew God was there, but for too many years I believed that I could find Him by myself.
            It was not until I began dealing with crippling anxiety and depression that I began truly seeking God. The support from my church during my time in a psychiatric hospital gave me a new thirst for God and community.
            I found FOCUS late into my first semester of college in 2015. Since joining, the ministry continuously shows me the importance of community in growing our relationship with God. FOCUS has challenged my beliefs, encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone, and even helped me to be more confident in my own skin. This year, I have been asked to be a student leader. Despite my fears of inadequacy, I know that I have been equipped with a community that will continue to guide and shape me into a better disciple, so I may go and make new disciples for God’s Kingdom.”

Morgan Chappell (Senior, Texas Woman’s University, Communication Sciences and Disorders)