I hope your summer is going well. I know for some people, the summer can get really busy and crazy, so if that's you, I hope you still find some rest and joy in the craziness! Summer for us can be a more restful time where we can spend more time connecting with students and with God. There's a lot of time spend in prayer planning for the upcoming year, and it's a much needed change of pace.
I wanted to update you on how SICM went! I think the students were really impacted by the experience; I keep hearing really great feedback! We were able to go to their large group meeting twice which was neat. They had some of a senior preach each night on a passage of Colossians, and I think it was powerful for our students to see other students preaching. I think it just broadens what they feel God could be calling them to do or to think about.
For most of the week, we were in classes from 10 am to 5pm with an hour and a half break for lunch. We started the morning off with worship and had a worship night one of the evenings. It seemed like every one of our students LOVED the morning worship and worship night. One of the worship morning times, we read the story of how a few common hymns were inspired, then we sang the hymn. That was just a really powerful activity that I think gives more life and gravity to the songs we were singing! Another common thing students expressed was really impactful was the evangelism day. Most of them were really nervous or even scared to go out on the Western Washington campus and try to talk to strangers. They realized after they had done it, though, that there wasn't as much to fear as they first believed. The people they talked to were pretty willing to talk and share their opinions, even if they don't believe in God.
At the end of the week, we celebrate by going to a beautiful forested area by the water. The students can go explore, play on the water, play volleyball, or just sit and hangout for a little bit, then we gather them together and give them certificates of completion. It's a time where we give everyone from a specific campus those certificates, then pray for them and their ministry.
This year at the end, we also had two baptisms! Both guys had grown up in the church, but hadn't been living their lives for Jesus. They wanted to take the opportunity to recommit their lives to Him in front of the entire community!
Thank you so much for praying for this and for donating to send students to go. Since I've come back, I've been having conversations with students about being a core facilitator this next school year, and the people who have gone have all felt lead to be one because of how SICM showed them they don't have to be "ready" to serve, they just have to be "willing." They are excited to go back on their campuses and work hard to serve the Lord and make disciples!
On that note, though, it would be so helpful if you could keep our corefa conversations in your prayers! Thanks again for making all this possible!
Richland Community College
"I was very hopeful for what God was going to do during my first semester in college. I did, however, have a lot of anxiety about my professors, whether or not I would build Godly friendships, and how I would find a good Christian community. In the past, I’ve struggled with making friends--I think because I feared rejection. My fears made it hard for me to actually open up and connect with others, either in a spiritual or non-spiritual way. When the Club Fair came around at Richland, I went up to the FOCUS booth and talked to Sandra, one of the campus ministers at Richland. I found what I was looking for! I have built spiritual relationships that have become a second family to me. I have made unexpected friendships through serving on the worship team at UTD and doing a one-on-one Bible study. That’s the beauty of FOCUS--they love on you and challenge you to be more like Jesus. This year, the theme was ‘'Send Me'. This has become a theme for my life because I feel the need to share the love of Christ. Thankfully, I was able to attend SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry) where I was trained to do just that! Top-notch teachers taught us all sorts of things about what it looks like to be a missionary to our campuses. I want to thank FOCUS for believing in me and equipping me to be a “sent-one!”