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Monday, February 29, 2016

February Festivities!

Hello dear friends! I am excited to share some of the highlights from this last month with you and all that God continues to do through your prayers and gifts. 

Combined Worship Core
In our small groups, we try to touch on many different areas of following God, what it's like to have a relationship with God, and why that is important to do in a community of believers. This semester our core has been exploring more of what it means to worship God and how we can be expressive to God about the great things he is doing in our lives. On Wednesday night, both our core and a guy core meet so we thought it would be beneficial in many ways to combine cores for a worship night! We asked a few of our students to share how God has been working in or around them this semester, and a few students shared songs and what those mean to them. 

One of the girls in our core, Kirsten, shared about her first week at UTA as a freshman. She was at a school sponsored event and decided to leave and go back to her dorm. Kirsten would admit she is a quieter person and on the timid side, and as she was alone in her dorm room something was telling her to go back to the event she was at. This is very unlike Kirsten, but she did it anyway. Once she was back at the event, one of our leaders approached her and asked if she wanted to join us while watching the movie. Now some people might think this to be a coincidence, but Kirsten did something VERY uncharacteristic by going back to the event and I believe the Holy Spirit is the one who lead her back to the event. Because of that brief and seemingly small encounter with one of our leaders, Kirsten had no friends at UTA at the time and was the FIRST to show up to our first Focus meeting. Shortly after, her and I met up and started to study the bible where she has questioned a lot about the way she is living and learned about who God truly is. I could not be more proud of Kirsten. I think she is such a beautiful girl who is encountering God deeply for the first time. And this is just one example of the students we've met this semester...God is so good! Kirsten hasn't "done anything" to deserve God's activity in her life, but it just goes to show that God seeks us out and loves us...while we were still sinners. Grace is overflowing in our ministry and that is because of the God we serve!

Parent Night
What a joy this night was! It always amazes me how God shows up at this annual event we have with Focus. One of the many values I love of our ministry is the effort and care our leaders have for getting families involved in what we are doing on the campuses. Not only was it a joy to meet my new friends parents, but I got to tell them how much their child has grown and we all got to hear from some of them how their student have been a blessing to them in return! Our goal is that the life change the students are going through now would overflow into their families and their future families. There were quite a few tears as students and parents shared about how worried or alone they were at the beginning of the semester, and how the students in our community have welcomed them with open arms. Parents were in awe of how God has provided for their children and it was encouraging to me know that these students talk about all that they are learning within the direct realm of our influence. 

Spring Showcase
Lastly, I want to tell all of you about something that is coming up on April 2nd. This is a HUGE opportunity for our students. I really want you to consider and pray about what I am going to share with you.
Each year we send a group of our students to a campus ministry training up in Bellingham, Washington (it's called SICM). When I was 19, I was asked to attend this training and could not be more excited to learn more about college ministry because I had become a Christian through the Focus ministry when I was 18. Every year students go for a week to hear about how to lead a small group, how to make spiritual friendships, how to study the bible with students, how to counsel students, etc. The list could go on. One metaphor we use it that SICM is like a dixie cup under a fire hydrant. There is so much valuable information given to these students for those 7 days. 
Spring Showcase is an event we host every year to raise money to help send those students to this training. Because they are college students (and most work part time), they don't usually have the funds to pay fully for their trip. This concert and art sale is a way to support these students through a fun family friendly evening! 
The event will be held at North Dallas Community Bible Fellowship and tickets are $15 for students and $20 for adults. This will be a great date night event! Please pray and consider supporting our students through this fun opportunity. Tickets are available for purchase at www.anyfocus.org/showcasetickets

I love you all! Thank you for reading this and taking the time to hear about the movement of the Holy Spirit on the campus of UTA!
-April


1 comment:

  1. Hey April!
    What a neat story about Kirsten! God is definitely at work in her life. I think it's so amazing to see how God reaches out to people and also uses us to reach people; we are on a team with the most incredible coach ever!

    Thanks for the way you minister to those UTA students. Love you April!

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