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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Season of Thanks

Hello ministry partners!
Myself, Ira, Erin, and Krysten at our FOCUS Thanksgiving Potluck!

The first semester of UTA FOCUS is coming to a close. How crazy! I love this time of year, because of how it causes me to stop and reflect. Thanksgiving has turned into a holiday of appreciation and thanks for what God has done in our lives and around us. I am so thankful for all of you and how you have sacrificed financially to support what God is doing here on the UTA campus! This semester would not be possible without you, so thank YOU!

A huge prayer request: FOCUS does a fundraiser every year around this time to keep things going and growing through the ministry. This year our goal is $45,000 by December 9th. Last year we met our goal with flying colors! This year we are behind on donations. The money raised goes towards many things but to name a few: materials to study the bible with students, advertisement on campus, and a new part time administrative position. We need your help to keep things going! I hope you've seen that God is continually working on college campuses and how impactful your gifts have been. Will you pray and consider giving a financial gift to our 2nd Annual FOCUS Initiative? It is totally worth it! Here are a few things to consider in how your money could impact the college campus for Christ:

    If 100 people gave $5 donations, we'd have enough materials to study the bible with 200 students.
    If 100 people gave $50 donations, we'd be able to afford 100 counseling hours.
    If 10 people gave $200 donations, we could afford advertising on all of our campuses for an entire school year.
    If 20 people gave $1000 donations, we could afford a new administrative position.  

Visit www.anyfocus.org/itsworthit to give financially today! Thank you for praying and supporting campus ministry!

 
Great friends and great food!
First UTA FOCUS Thanksgiving Potluck!

This was such a blast!!! I cannot express enough how much I loved seeing our new friends this semester come and try traditional American Thanksgiving food for the FIRST time. We did this for our students for a lot of reasons, but one of the main reasons is a lot of these students don't get invited into American homes on Thanksgiving and don't have anywhere to go for the holiday. We wanted them to be able to experience something new from our culture, but also to show them the love of Christ through fellowship and food. We talked about the meaning of Thanksgiving and how it's a time to reflect and thank God for the blessings he has given us in our lives. We shared what we were thankful for and a theme stood out to me as our international friends were sharing. At least the four that I asked what they were thankful for said they were thankful for the community of FOCUS and how we have invited them into what we are doing. They miss home a little less because they have found comfort and acceptance through our community. What an answered prayer! This was the highlight of my night for sure. I love these guys! The countries represented that night were India, South Africa, Brazil, Iran, Ghana, and China.
Our first Campus Conversations display!
Ask a spiritual question, get a hot chocolate!
That was the question we posted on campus this week for our Campus Conversations display. About once a semester we set up a display instead of going around asking students spiritual questions. Because of the weather, we thought it would be nice to have hot chocolate for the students who stood outside to talk to us about their questions. It was a great experience and I think the students on campus liked seeing that we were asking questions instead of giving direct answers. Asking questions opens the conversation up and helps us get to know students on campus. Not only does it enlighten us on what the students are thinking about, we are able to have healthy conversations about spiritual things. Many students that approached us didn't know what to write because they hadn't been thinking of spiritual things as of lately, so it got them thinking deeper. Other students who had questions felt safe asking them and we were able to ask them what they thought about the questions they asked. Our students helped talk to students as they came up to our table and they did an excellent job!! Some of the questions from the display were:
Is God a good? 
How can you identify a spiritual person? 
What is the purpose of life? 
Who is the Holy Spirit?

Prayer Requests
-Will you pray with me for our students as they end the semester? They get overwhelmed and easily consumed by their grades and performing well. We want to be a source of encouragement for them to finish the semester strong!
-Will you pray with me for the Christmas break? Our students go home and aren't around the community we have built here. Not all of their homes welcome Christ and it is easy to slide back into unhealthy habbits.


Thank you again so so much. You are the best support team there is! I feel your prayers and see God working through them. I love all of you and will be talking with you soon!

Friends at the Potluck!
Dallas Mavericks game thanks to one of our supporters!
Homework and movie night with our core!

2 comments:

  1. Great to see and read about the excitement and growth of the ministry. Praying for continuation of the excitement and progress in the physical and financial support. You're doing a wonderful work...keep it up! Hugs 'n Love, V

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  2. Thanks for sharing, April! Looks like your Thanksgiving potluck was a lot of fun. I know the holidays are really difficult for international students because so many of them don't have anywhere to go or anyone to celebrate with. I am glad that you and the UTA team were able to share an American Thanksgiving with them and welcome them in as family. It sounds like they really appreciate it.

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