Thursday, September 13, 2018

Back At It Again


I hope you're doing well. I have so many exciting things to share with you this month! First I want to thank you for all your prayers for our welcome week and beginning the new school year on a positive note. I really do believe they helped so much!

Welcome Week

Games going on in the Residence Hall
The Residence Halls mainly have freshman in them,
so we met a lot of new students who had moved in earlier that day! 
Our welcome week went so well. Our students did such a great job of meeting new people. We started out our welcome week meeting students in the dorms, and it was so encouraging looking around, seeing so many of our corefas and returners there. We needed that many people there, too, because there were so many new people that needed to be met. It's been so encouraging to see people we met at different events coming to the rest of the events, showing up to FNF, and going to cores. I added some pictures of the different events we had. 
United Worship
The different Christian organizations on campus get together to worship God and meet Christians who are interested in community

Zombie Tag
We invited the people we'd been meeting for the past couple days to come play. Some of corefa's realized it was one of the new girls birthdays, and they brought cupcakes and got everyone to sign that girl happy birthday!

Fellowship Meetings

I'm sure you could have guessed this based on how I said our welcome week went, but our kickoff Friday Night Fellowship was completely filled! It was great getting to see some students who have been gone all summer and catch up with some returning students, to see some new faces we've been meeting at our events, and to see people I don't think I'd seen before at all. 

 I don't think I shared this in my past blog, but this year we started a new fellowship meeting that meets on Tuesday nights. I've been leading that, and I wasn't sure what to expect from it. It was new, so I knew not that many people would come. It was meeting at 8pm on a Tuesday, so I wasn't sure very many students would want to come to it. The first night we had around 50 people come, and I was shocked by that! I had figured we'd have somewhere around 20-30 people. The next week I also had pretty low expectations for how many people would show up. I knew several people had come because they were interested in seeing our new service and wouldn't be back again the next week. We had 50 people show up again though! Those people hadn't come back; new people had come. So for the third week, I expected about 50 people to show up again, but instead we had 70 people come! It's been so great just seeing how our students are inviting new people. Numbers don't matter, and I would have been excited if we had fewer people come. The reason why it's so exciting that we've had more people is because I can see how hard our students have been working on meeting new people and inviting those people into community and a relationship with God! Our theme this year is "All In." It has two different meanings: 1. we believe that everyone is welcome in the community, and we want our outreach to reflect that, and 2. we want people to be all in for Jesus, and I truly believe I've been seeing our students reflect both meanings of our theme!
TNF service

First FNF service of the school year

Thank you again for all your support and prayers. None of these exciting things could happen with out those things! I hope this was encouraging to hear, and like always, I'm going to end with our student testimony.

Student Testimony

Ulises Solis 
UT Arlington
"In high school and throughout my early college career, I was someone who would call myself a Christian but was not living my life as a follower of Christ. My life revolved around getting drunk most weekends and I would sometimes even go to church on Sundays with a hangover. There were a few moments during that time of my life that made me want to quit what I was doing, but I felt like God wouldn’t forgive me. When I transferred to UTA during my junior year, I felt lost and didn't know what I wanted in life. I just knew that I didn't want to keep living the life I had been living up to that point. During my first week at UTA, I was biking around campus and accidentally ended up at the first Thursday Night Fellowship of the year. I met so many welcoming people that night. I was invited to a core and my friend Cole asked to study the Bible with me. Before FOJ, I truly thought that there was no way I could be forgiven. But as the study progressed I learned about how much God loves us and how much grace he has for us. That's what led me to be baptized, which was the best decision I've ever made. I feel like God used FOCUS and all the people within the ministry to reconnect me with him. If it wasn't for me accidentally going to a fellowship night, I don't know what I would be doing with my life right now. Now I'm starting my first year as a student leader with FOCUS, and I'm praying that God works through me the same way he worked through my leaders last year so I can help other students who are lost like I was."