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Monday, February 1, 2016

2016: Off to a great start!

Happy February everyone! I pray you are doing well, both physically and spiritually (that flu season is kicking in, unfortunately).
Wow, this month has had so many new and awesome things happening! I wish all of you could be a fly on the wall in these God moments that have already happened. For now, photos and explanations will have to suffice :-)

Our core group on the way to camp!

WINTER CAMP 2016
Our UTA students got to go to our annual winter camp for the FIRST time!!! This is a big deal, because last year we announced that we would be planting a college ministry at UTA. All of our other campuses got to see how God has moved since last year when looking at all 38 of our students from UTA at winter camp. It was so fun to introduce our UTA friends to the other campuses and for them to get to see our community as a whole. Arlington is a little further away from most of the other campuses, so to have them integrated into the greater community was helpful in them seeing our values and vision outside of themselves. I believe they got to see how big our God is and how He moves on so many campuses and is doing things we don't even know about.

Rikk Watts leading us in a benediction

Rikk Watts from Regent College came to speak at our camp this year, which was a huge blessing because of how much we use his audio classes in the internship and throughout our ministry. Rikk is a very intelligent man but his emphasis was on how we have to go to God to have true life and how much God wants each of us to have that. A theme from the weekend came up rather spontaneously through one of our worship leaders. He was encouraging us to worship God freely and without caring what everyone else thinks and challenged us to "get over ourselves" This phrase stuck all weekend! Language is so important and really changed the way people experienced camp. Even this week at FOCUS on the UTA campus someone referenced it again while worshipping God. How neat!

The UTA FOCUS ministry at Winter Camp
One of our students from the UTA ministry is featured below. Her testimony is a testament to how impactful college ministry is and how God is moving on the UTA campus! Kate is one of the students we have invited to SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry). Every year we look for students who show faithfulness to God and people, a teachable attitude, those who are available to what God is doing in and around them, students who take initiative, and those who have a heart for God. With those select students, we send them to Washington to visit one of our partner ministries that have been doing campus ministry quite longer than us, and they learn how to be affective disciples on the college campus. Our students that were invited are in the process of starting to raise money and one of the major ways we help raise money for them to attend this week long training is by hosting Spring Showcase. Mark your calendars for April 2nd at 7:30pm! This concert and art exhibition will raise money to send them to be trained disciples! Tickets will go on sale soon.

Visit www.anyfocus.org/updates to see more!
As promised, all of our campus staff did the #polarplunge when we raised $45,000 for the #itsworthit Keep Focus Growing Initiative! I will say it was quite cold (and I had a cold) but so fun haha. I really do want to thank all of you for your financial support. Any amount given is a huge blessing and to know all of you believe in and get the vision of what we are doing on college campuses is such an encouragement to keep going out there and loving students. God is working through y'all! 

video

Some prayer requests:
-We have started the semester with some new outreach ideas. We are focusing on friendship within outreach and eating lunch with random students on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays every week. Will you pray that we meet the students we need to and are open to the Spirit leading us? It is good practice to meet new people, but the overall goal we have in outreach is to tell students the Good News of Jesus and show them Christ.
-Prayer that our students from last semester would take ownership of the ministry and reach out to the students in their classes. A goal we have for our students is to live a seamless life, and not multiple lives (spiritual vs. student vs. friend). We want them to be equipped through ministry to have conversations with people about all areas of their life and put God as number one of all things, not just some things. 

I love you all!
April 

1 comment:

  1. Hey April!
    I am so encouraged by how many UTA students came to Winter Camp! It is crazy to think that Winter Camp last year was when we first announced that we would be starting at UTA, and now we have so many students who are going out on that campus to make friends and disciples. God is good!

    Thanks for the work that you have put into growing that ministry and loving those students. That picture of your Core in the car is so great!

    Love you April!

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