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Monday, August 31, 2015

A September to Remember!

Wow! There are so many things I want to write about on here that have happened this last month. God has been doing amazing things and it's hard to put into words, but I will do my best!
Our UTA leader team! These are the people that have committed the next school year to making and maturing disciples. These are students who transferred from our other campuses, interns, and staff.

In my last post I mentioned going on a staff retreat and a week after that post we went on an exclusive UTA leader retreat. This was HUGE for our ministry at UTA, since we didn't know one another super well before diving into the crazy world of campus ministry. This retreat made it very evident to me that God has called each one of us to the UTA campus and is going to use our unique gifts to bring people into a relationship with Him. One day during the retreat I spent time walking around the river and asking the Lord what was one thing I could share during our worship time that would encourage our team. The idea of a "godly community is a community that remembers" came to mind. We are to be people who remember what Christ did for everyone on the cross, we remember where He brought us from, and where He is taking this community. That is a reoccurring theme that I have seen come up during our Old Testament Foundations class (one of our internship classes). God's people continually forgot the things he for them while they were in the wilderness or surrounded by difficulty. We want to be a community that remembers who God truly is and what he has done for us!

Kaylee, Erin, Kassidy, and I on move-in day!

UTA freshman moved into the dorms on August 24th, and we walked on campus that day not knowing who we would meet or what to expect, other than God was going to do awesome things. We had prayed and prayed for this day, because of how important this time of year is for meeting students and how open minded they are to starting something new. Some students are lonely, scared, excited, nervous, etc. We wanted to be there for anyone who needed a hand moving in or to feel welcomed to the campus. It was an AWESOME day! The number of people we met and were able to serve is endless. We got people's phone numbers to invite them to our events and other campus events, and most of all to get to know them better. One really great God moment was when I met a counselor from the UTA counseling center and got to talk to her about how God called us here to Arlington. She then shared how she is apart of church planting in the Ft. Worth area and loves the Lord. This was really neat, because one of our campus pastors prayed the DAY before for someone to lead students to Christ in the counseling center on campus. What an answered prayer and a great connection to have for our community!

Our first official FOCUS event! Board game night in the cafeteria!
Wow, this was a highlight of last week! We had been meeting people for three days straight and invited tons of students to join us for some fun in the cafeteria. We had about 50-60 students show up that night! How cool! It was a great time to get to know each other casually and to enjoy being silly together.

All Corefa Meeting
This last picture is from our All Corefa Meeting this past Saturday. I wanted to share this photo with all of you, so you can be in prayer for the people in this picture. Our small group leaders are called Core Facilitators (Corefas) and these are the students who are involved with Focus and impact those on campus the most. These are people from ages 18-23(ish) who have committed to leading students into a relationship with Christ at all of our campuses in the DFW area. Please pray for them to be obedient to the Holy Spirit as they are on campus for the next 9 months.

As always, thank you so much for taking time to read this blog. I really could go on and on with funny stories and God stories from this last week of meeting the students at UTA. One thing I like to remember often is how much God LOVES all of these students, and how important it is that I see them how God does. We are going to start meeting in our big group for FOCUS this week and our small groups start next week, as well as our one-on-one bible studies. Please pray for those things to be full of Christ. Let me know how I can partner with you in prayer as well!


Here are a few more photos for your enjoyment!
First day of school at UTA!

Games at a Target event for UTA students!

Myself with new friends waiting to get into the Target event!
Pie Five with new students we had just met that day during move-in!
Kaylee and I during freshman move-in! Kaylee is one of our student leaders and I had the privilege to study the bible with her two years ago!

Friday, August 7, 2015

August Excitement!

Myself, Tana Worsham (my Pastoral Supervisor), and Sarah King (UTA Campus Director)

I am so excited that August is finally here! I feel like the interns have been building up to this month for a while now and it feels good to be here. Fundraising over the summer was a challenging and great experience. I really had to learn to let down any fears or reservations I had to see God work. I learned to be bold when I was scared, and I learned to trust God even when things seemed impossible. God is always at work around us (and is working in other ministries as well!), but I am thankful to our Lord to have a wonderful support team like all of you. I truly believe that God works all of this out so we can bless one another and be supporting one another. That is community after all! Please let me know this next year how I can be praying for you all and supporting you through this partnership. I really mean that!

Our reading material for the year! (This photo is for you Renee and Kevin)

I cannot wait to meet the students here at UTA! They start to move in on August 24th. That week is so crucial for what we are doing here on campus. Freshman are away from their parents for the first time, class hasn't started, and they probably don't know anyone! Please pray that we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit leading us to the students who need Christ most. It can be a scary and exciting time for new students, and we want to be there for them.

FOCUS Staff 2015-2016 (all campuses)

Our staff had the privilege to go to Port Aransas this week! We got to bond as a new staff and learn about each others stories. My favorite parts of the retreat had to be sharing how we all got involved in Focus and how all of those stories tie together to create God's story. What was most powerful to me during that sharing time is the fact that God worked through our weaknesses as new leaders. I can remember leading a small group for the first time in 2008 and feeling like I didn't know what I was doing and how I still needed God to develop some fundamental parts of my character. Even though I made a lot of mistakes, God still used me (and many others) to impact his Kingdom. That ties into the reading we have been doing as an intern group, because I see through Genesis to Judges so much failure from the Israelites and the mistakes Moses, Aaron, etc. made while trying to follow God...yet God still used them and had grace on them! Time after time God had grace on them. Don't get me wrong, I do see God's wrath and justice in the Old Testament, but what I also see is God not giving up on his people. God has not given up on me or you, and he loves us and uses us regardless of our short comings.