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Monday, April 3, 2017

Partnership in the Gospel

Hello my friends! It's April and I'm April. It's a confusing month for me, but don't worry...I'll make it through =] I didn't have anyone make fun of my name yesterday so we are off to a good start!
Here are the highlights from the last month of ministry:

SSI Teams
Questions on display at UNT!
This month we had two teams come down from Washington state to spend their spring breaks reaching out to students on our campuses in the DFW area. We have a relationship with a college ministry up in Washington called Campus Christian Fellowship, and we feel honored and blessed to partner with them in the gospel. 

Washington is quite different from Texas, so as the students engaged in spiritual conversations they got to hear and see a lot of the bible belt influence in the south that doesn't really exist on their college campuses. We posted questions on display boards at University of North Texas as well as at Collin College. One of the questions we asked was, "If you could ask or say one thing to God what would it be?" This question really stopped people in their tracks. It took some serious thinking for some. A lot of questions revolved around what happens after we die, why evil exists, and wanting to know reasons behind why God did ______. These were all tough questions and I still have some questions about these things. Something I wanted to communicate to the people I talked to was that questions aren't always a bad thing. Yeah, sometimes there is outright disobedience in the form of questioning and pride in thinking we know better than God. But also, people have swung too far over to the other side and say that Christian don't have any questions about God and/or have all the answers. I do ask God why certain things happen, or why innocent people die, or what heaven is like. But while I am doing that I am also trusting in a Savior that knows what is best for me, and sometimes that isn't getting an answer. As we approach God in a relationship I think part of that is telling Him what is on our minds, but like David did in the Psalms we end with praise and trust in Him. 

It was such a blessing these last two weeks to see these students pray and ask God to guide them in their conversations with students and to make Jesus known to people. They were led by the Holy Spirit into conversations that only happen through the Spirit's working. I believe the Washington students encouraged our students in FOCUS and vice versa. Seeing their teams at work gave energy and encouragement to our teams. Go God!

Spring Showcase
WOW! Thank you so much to my friends and donors for participating, buy tickets, selling tickets, etc. This night was such a blessing and will help send our students to a campus ministry training this May! Truly, it is humbling to see God provide so much. We believe this is worth investing in and the students lives will be forever changed by the impact of SICM (Student Institute for Campus Ministry). The staff who runs SICM are such a blessing to spend time with and the wisdom God has given them rubs off onto our students. SICM is just the beginning of their journey in following God on the college campus, but it has the potential to impact their future families, workplaces, friendships, and much more! Here is a testimony from a student who attended SICM:

"SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry) is where I encountered God in a way I didn't even think was possible. I saw that I could be a part of His Kingdom work on my own campus and all over the world, and I built friendships that have lasted for years and will, hopefully, last for many more to come. It's amazing to fall in love with and learn about doing ministry together, and then take what we learned and apply it back at our campuses together. I found my community and my family on that trip, and I fell in love with my sweet Lord all over again. My ministry was forever impacted by SICM and has changed my outlook from "What can I get out of my life?" to "What does God want for in my life?" 
-Darby Moran

Please be in prayer for these students as they prepare to go to SICM the second week of May! Pray the Lord would get them excited, mentally prepared, and focused on the things of God. 

Photo credit: Sean Do

Commuter Core
I wanted to update you all on how our Commuter Core has been going this year! Last year I met many students on campus during our outreach time that commute to UTA and were interested in one of our cores. I felt convicted to start Commuter Core this year because I wanted to have something available for the non-traditional college student. It has been a blessing in the middle of a busy day! We meet on Wednesdays from 12:00-12:50pm so it is a shorter core than normal. It's been so neat to see who God has brought to our sweet group of friends over this last school year. I've seen God really help some of our friends open themselves up to the group, worship God together through songs and scriptures, encourage one another, befriend people they wouldn't normally be friends with, and get excited about learning about God. One thing we have added recently is reading from a pocket prayer book I bought at Barnes & Nobles. It has scriptures and prayers from the forefathers of our faith. We chose to pass the book around the group every week and have a friend pick a prayer to read at the beginning or end of our core. It has given new language and words to praising God, which has excited my prayer life personally and helps our friends minister to one another in prayer. Also, we have been going through the book of Ephesians and reflecting on the grace of God in our core and Thursday Night meetings. Here is a prayer that one of our core members, Jacob, shared with us last week in reflecting on the grace of God:

"Lord Jesus Christ; Let me seek you by desiring you, and let me desire you by seeking you. 
Let me find you by loving you, and love you in finding you. I confess, Lord, with thanksgiving, that you have made me in your image. So that I can remember you, think of you, and love you. But that image is so worn and blotted out by faults, and darkened by the smoke of sin, that it cannot do that for which it was made, unless you renew and refashion it. 
Lord, I am not trying to make my way to your height, for my understanding is in no way equal to that. But I do desire to understand a little of your truth which my heart already believes and loves.
I do not seek to understand so that I can believe, but I believe so that I may understand. And what is more, I believe that unless I do believe, I shall not understand."
-Saint Anselm 

Thank you friends for your love and support! Please let me know how I can be praying for you.

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