Just as I say every month, it is so ridiculous to me that it’s already November. Partially because October went by in the blink of an eye, and partially because it's still 90 degrees outside. But this month was filled with lots of exciting things, and I’m sitting here thinking about all the ways I’ve seen God work and I’m tearing up! He really is so good, He’s not a distant, uncaring being. He’s a kind, involved, loving Father who desires us each to accept the invitation to come to Him and find rest. Woo! Let me tell you about this month.
20 Year Celebration
FOCUS had its 20th birthday this year! Praise God. We got to celebrate this by inviting any past FOCUS alumni as well as friends, family, supporters, and current students to join together for some reminiscing, celebrating the work God has done, and to be reminded of the vision and mission we feel God has called FOCUS to. It was such a blast, and I was so happy to see some of you there! I’ve been so blessed to be a part of this community since before I even started my Freshman year at Collin College. I feel God used this ministry and the people in it to change the course of my life. The fact that it is the community it is now is a complete act of God’s grace. We’re here not because we’re good, but because God is good! I was so happy to get to experience this event.
Reflecting On What I've Learned
I think I really do a disservice to myself (and more importantly, to God) when I forget to consider the ways in which I see Jesus working to make me new. I’m not very good at recognizing the things He’s doing, so I wanted to take some time to talk about that. I get the huge privilege to meet with Garrett Davis every week. He’s on staff with FOCUS as the campus minister at Collin. One thing we’ve spent time talking about is the idea of having a vibrant prayer life. Part of the way I’m trying to grow in this is by going to God first when anything happens, when I’m stressed, when things are going well, when I have questions about Him. I’ve realized I have the tendency to call Shayla, one of the other Apprentices, or my sister, my friends I’ve known for years, my dad, pretty much anybody before I go to God. I’ve been reminded of this time and time again since Garrett brought this up to me. I can think of multiple times where something has been stressful to me, I’ve felt discouraged, I have a question, I’ve wanted to celebrate, and I pick up the phone to tell somebody. I feel like it’s in those moments where the Spirit has gently said, “Hey! Remember me? Talk to me about this.” Who do you go to first in times like this? Is God someone you tiredly talk to at the end of the day, after you’ve had the chance to debrief with your roommates, spouse, friends, mentors? Do you seek Him? Do you trust that He’s listening, He wants to be the first one you go to, and He really can (and wants to) give you life? These are questions I’ve been asking myself in trying to figure all this out. I’m so thankful to be learning this lesson.
Once again, I am so incredibly grateful for all of you for your continued support. I hope you know that the Apprenticeship has been such an enriching experience for me. I feel like I’ve grown more in love with God, I’ve gained understanding on His character through experiencing Him in new ways, I’ve gotten to build relationships and make new ones that are so special, I get to learn from people and follow their example as they follow Christ. I don’t take for granted the chance to do this. I couldn’t experience ministry in this way without you. Thank you so much for investing in the vision.
Here are some ways you can pray:
- For Preston Ridge. God has built a cool community there, please pray that we will continue to seek Him to show us what to do and selflessly continue to reach out to the students on that campus. Please pray for this ministry and what it will look like next year.
- For all of our students who go out on campus to do outreach. They take time out of their day to just make new friends and have spiritual conversations. Please pray that they are bold, loving, and that they seek to join the Spirit where He is moving. Please pray that the people they encounter will have open and willing hearts.
- For FOCUS staff & our student leaders. This time of year is always a little bit of a challenge. Classes start picking up and getting busy, and as people settle into a routine, it’s easy to get burned out.
- For all the one-on-one studies that are happening in our ministry. I'm so thrilled and thankful to get to spend consistent time with some awesome girls. I'm so hopeful for what God is doing in them, and I know I'm not alone in thinking this! Please pray for everyone being studied with, and that they encounter Jesus this year.
Enjoy some pictures:
|This is one of our boards during Tuesday morning FOCUS at Preston Ridge. It was a great way to meet people in a not-so-intimidating way. We plan on doing more things like this on Tuesdays to meet people and build relationships.|
|Our Core! We went out to dinner to celebrate some of their birthdays. Aren't they cute? Please pray for these girls!|