|Here's an awkward photo of some of our Preston Ridge crew to start this lil blog!|
One of my favorite parts of working with Preston Ridge FOCUS this year is meeting up with this girl, Raven.
|We were printing out signs to put out during Tuesday Morning FOCUS. "Join Us" was the only thing we could think to put, but also both agreed it sounded kind of creepy. So that's what she was goin' for in this pic :)|
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I co-lead a Core (small group) with her and Shayla. Raven is kind-hearted, passionate, bold, affectionate, and silly. I’m learning so much from her simply by observing how she befriends people. One thing we’ve spent time talking about in our one-on-one time is how the only thing we need and can rely on is the Lord. We both struggle with wanting to do things that make us feel worthy enough or qualified enough or whatever enough. In our time together, I think the Spirit has broken a lot of that down. We’ve read scripture together, thought through tough questions, and spent a lot of time in prayer. There’s definitely still a lot of room for the Spirit to work in both of us, but I’m praising Him for the gentle way He has transformed our thoughts thus far. I asked Raven to tell me some ways God has grown her this semester, and this is what she had to share:
God has been growing me in many things this semester, but I think the biggest one is my thoughts. What I mean is that at first I would always keep my thoughts to myself; I think it hindered my relationships and most importantly hindered my relationship with Abba. Once I started to speak what I was I feeling, it helped all my relationships and it allowed me to be an open book, which I feel like God calls us to be.
I’ve gotten to see this in Core. Her openness and vulnerability with the girls she ministers to has set the pace for them to open up and share ways they’re struggling, or tough things they’re thinking. I’m so thankful to get to work with this girl!
Speaking of Core, we had our last one of the semester this past Wednesday. It was such a special time with lots of tears. We had our girls go through different “worship stations”. Basically, there were 5 different areas that we spread all through the house we meet in. They wrote a Psalm to God, spent time in silence and asked God to speak, they watched a video on really beautiful images of God’s creation and were invited to praise Him for that, they drew a picture in worship to God, and they spent time reflecting on any relationship in their life that might not be pleasing to God, and asked Him to show them what to do with that. We spent about an hour freely moving throughout the house, and then came together to share what we felt God was communicating to us, or what our response to the night would be. This was so encouraging! Our girls were so vocal and honest about what they’d learned, repentant and excited to be more like Christ, and vulnerable about how they’ve doubted His existence and goodness. Upon reflecting on all of that, I think God used that night to show me that He has truly been working in each of them individually, and He’s brought this special group of girls together for a purpose. I love them so much, and they really love eachother. This is only the work of God. Please join me in praising Him for His work! I can't wait to get to spend time with them at Winter Camp (which I’ll talk more about in my next blog) and next semester.
I am so excited to tell you all about our Keep FOCUS Growing (KFG) campaign. This is an annual fundraiser we have to keep our ministry running, and to help prepare ourselves to go wherever it is the Lord may be calling us. As some of you may know, we’ve been prayerfully considering planting a FOCUS ministry on SMU’s campus. KFG will play a huge role in this exciting venture. Our goal this year is to raise $55,000. I want to invite you to take 2 or 3 minutes, and visit anyfocus.org/kfg to give. You’d be investing in students all across our campuses who have been blessed by this community. Speaking of which, here’s a testimony from a student at Collin, Sammy. There are countless other students like Sammy all across the metroplex, and your gift can help us meet them and show them the love of Jesus!
As always, thank you so much for your support. We had our last Thursday Night FOCUS last night, and I was sitting there in disbelief that I'm close to halfway through with this school year. I could not be doing this work without people like you, and I pray you know that you are a huge part in these students encountering Jesus. What a blessing it is to work with you all!
- As the semester closes, that our students would finish their semester well and not be overloaded with stress!
- That our students would not fall off during the break. Please pray they'd continue to invest in their relationship with the Lord, and with one another.
- Our KFG campaign. Please pray that the Lord provides, just like He always does, and that we'd trust Him and praise Him no matter what.
Here are some pictures from this month:
|One of our students, Austin, inviting people to answer questions we had during Outreach at Preston Ridge|
|Shayla, after one of our last classes with Matt|
|Our students at Pizza Theology: students from all campuses joined to eat pizza and hear from a speaker on hearing God's voice. This was an awesome event!|
Love you all,