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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Happy New Year!

Hello dear friends! 

Me and my family in Colorado! I loved spending time with them!
I pray your start to 2016 has been full of joy, laughter, and King Jesus! I am excited to say that I have been doing yoga for TWO straight days with my fellow intern Danni Howard. This a big deal because I usually work out once a week...but it's a new year with new beginnings! On the FOCUS Instagram page (username is any_focus. Follow us!) I have been posting photos with the caption 'A Year in Review' and that is one of the major things I love about the end of the year. We get to look back and see all that God has done through the triumphs, hardships, laughter, friendships, tears, awkward moments, strangers, etc. In December, the students are doing finals and going home for 5 weeks and as a staff we get a lot of time to reflect and plan ahead.

I want to be quite candid with all of you in that God has been pointing out some really important things in my character since I started this internship. I was super pumped to get to meet students, study the bible with them, and be apart of God moving on the UTA campus...but I was not prepared for the things God was going to show me through our FOCUS team. Currently, I am growing in seeing feedback and input on my life as God loving me like His child. I do struggle with believing things that aren't true and that my feelings are always an indication of how I should live my life (and those feelings can be very negative at times). One major thing God has continually pointed out to me over and over again is that HE is the truth and that HE is good, and everyday I have to cling to Him if I am going to see my reality clearly. This new season of my life has shown me that conflict or challenges aren't a bad thing, but an opportunity to grow in living more like Jesus and to not see everything that is difficult as a bad thing. To be ministers of Jesus we have to become that 'clay' scripture talks about, so we can be stretched, molded, and shaped into who God wants us to be. Who God wants me to be is better than anything I can imagine or even try to do on my own. The stretching and molding this past semester hurt at times, but I pray the end product of God's work in me is to be transformed into someone who fully lives for Jesus and like Jesus. I want to encourage all of you in what God is showing me, by asking that you pray for God to show you areas that you can grow to be more like Jesus. What has been coming between you really loving people deeply the way God does? Have you been open to people speaking into your life? Do you take what they say seriously? 

I know that may be more than you wanted to read during this blog post, but it's the truth! God is working!


The fall semester ended with our Core group eating dinner together at Babe's (I had never been there, so obviously I needed my life to be changed by those biscuits) and I was really blessed by that. I love when we meet together outside of our structured small group time and just get to be with one another. It really develops true friendship and shows one another that we are more than just once a week pals, but that we actually want to be in each others lives! Jesus was all about that and I pray that continues even more this semester. Will you pray with me for the girls in this photo? God loves them so much and I am praying that they learn to love God deeply and with their whole lives.

Our Winter Camp is only one week away! Will you be in prayer for this camp? God really moves in student's lives during the 5 day camp and winter camp kicks off the spring semester in an exciting way! Will you pray that the students are open to how God is working in their lives and around them? I'll be praying for God to really work in their hearts! During Winter Camp, we will be hearing from a guest speaker from Regent College on the New Testament, we will worship together as the ENTIRE Focus community, play games, and develop deep friendships. 

I can't wait to update all of you on how God moves this semester! Thank you so much for your prayers and support. I also want to say thank you to those who gave to the Focus Initiative called "It's Worth It"! That money will be used to glorify God in the progression of this ministry.

Love y'all,
April 

Here is a testimony from one of our corefas at the UNT Focus ministry: http://anyfocus.org/updates
God has really worked in Cameron's life through college ministry. Just one of many!

2 comments:

  1. Hey April,
    I am encouraged to hear about some of your personal struggles that are helping you grow during your internship. Receiving critical feedback is never enjoyable, but when the people who give it love you and love Jesus, you can trust that they are trying to help you. If you don't go through those difficult moments with humility and a willingness to hear from God, you'll never grow into the woman God wants you to be. We're all on that journey together, and I think you and I can both count ourselves blessed to be surrounded by a team of godly men and women who love us and are willing to help us grow.

    Thanks for sharing what's going on with you. I am looking forward to Winter Camp, too! God always does amazing things in our students through that event, and I can't wait to see what He has in store for us this year.

    Love you April.

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  2. These tough seasons are the ones we often look back on with the most thanksgiving later on. Thanks for sharing and ministering out of your own pursuit of Jesus.

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