Sunday, January 10, 2021
Saturday, December 12, 2020
MERRY almost CHRISTMAS, YOU GUYS!
It's getting very close to the end of the semester, so we had to have our last in-person core right before Thanksgiving. We reflected on the year so far and I was touched by how these girls expressed so much gratefulness towards what I call our "little pocket of community" (or our core). They talked about how thankful they are for the friendships they've made here and for a place to experience Jesus together. This was encouraging to me because that really is the vision of FOCUS coming to life- bringing students into an environment that loves God deeply and loves people well. I've seen each of these girls grow in how they think about and live out their faith in Christ. I'm sad to have an extended break because of the pandemic, but we will continue to meet virtually in December.
|Sam and I started this fire for s'mores by ourselves with no instruction. |
Are we ridiculous for doing so? YES.
Am I very impressed with us? Also YES.
In other news...
I AM ENGAGED!
For those of you who have never been introduced, this is Austin! He is thoughtful, servant-hearted, and such a goofball. He also is involved in campus ministry with FOCUS. He leads and loves on other students so well and I am ecstatic about calling him my husband one day! The Holy Spirit has taught me so much about being a selfless disciple and a faithful friend through Austin.
Love you, pal!
And here's something sweet to bring the conversation back to ministry- This wonderful girl brought me flowers and a card to say congrats on engagement!
This is Thu. I'm studying FOJ (Focus on Jesus, a one on one bible study) with her this year. She grew up in a Buddhist home, but is exploring Jesus right now. She's great. I can't wait to tell you more about her!
Student in the Spotlight:
It has been so neat and refreshing studying the Bible with Thu because she's seeing so many stories about God through a fresh lens. I often breeze over familiar passages of scripture, numb to the impact they may have, but Thu is reading a lot of these stories for the first time. My favorite thing is when she told me that she found a lot of hope in Jesus and the things we talk about in core- AND SHE MEANT IT. It was so convicting to me. I don't know how often I sit and experience the hope Jesus offers because it's just my norm. Thu's hunger for the word of God is life-giving to me and I am so happy to call her my friend. Pray that God continues to work in/through this relationship.
PRAY PRAY PRAY:
- For the students in our ministry going home to hard family circumstances and/or isolation from Christian community over the holidays. Pray for our leaders to love on them well from a distance/virtually.
- For the book clubs, scripture readings, and fun events we have planned virtually over the break. Our pastors have thoughtfully prepared things for our students over the next month or 2 that we think could really serve them. I'll be leading a book club!
- For Austin and I! Please pray that we are selfless and honoring to our friends, our families, and God as we wedding plan. Pray that we are doing things now that set us up for a successful, godly marriage.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Another Month, Another Blog!
|Here's some pictures from Fall Park Day!|
|An exciting game of volley ball, if you couldn't tell|
Student in the Spotlight!
Melina and I are studying FOJ. She has been so hungry for God's word and truth. She has been humbly seeking guidance in multiple areas of her life and I think the Lord is really using her humble attitude and teachability to mold her to look more like him. I adore spending time with her and I think God has given us a really special friendship. I asked her if she would tell me what's been impactful to her about FOJ so I could share it with others and she said, "how vulnerable I can be...Throughout my life I truly struggled with opening up to people but having FOJs with Taylor have been really helpful towards my spiritual and mental health. I also love how we both have this big love for Jesus!" This girl is the sweetest and God is doing work I cannot even begin to take credit for. He has been so strategic in aligning our struggles. I've been able to minister and speak into Melina's life by sharing truths God has pointed me to in my own hardships.
- Over my one on one studies with Melina, Sarah, Vanessa, and Thu
- For our last cores to be impactful and for our ministry to be thoughtful and creative in loving our students while they're at home! We won't really see anyone after Thanksgiving until January
- Safe travels/healthy bodies as people go home for Thanksgiving celebrations
- For my teaching certification tests! I plan on taking them in December and am still deciding if I want to go into teaching after this year or if I want to stay in ministry for a little longer- so please pray over that decision too!
|Here's our monthly student testimony. Read and pray please and thank you!|
Saturday, October 3, 2020
|Here are my girls!!|
- Continued growth and maturity amongst the women in my core and wisdom for Sam and I to be able to foster that; also for our core to be a genuine group of friends in life-transforming, loving relationships with one another!
- For my own intimacy with God and leaning into what he's teaching me and how he's healing me
- For all of the current apprentices in F.O.C.U.S. who are busy and tired- that we would manage time well and be re-energized by God's spirit, people, and rest!
Monday, August 31, 2020
|Hannah and I tabling outside the UTA library, |
interacting with the students who pass by!
|First TNF! Filming and streaming from the Northeast Church.|
Things are really just getting started, but I do not doubt I'll have more specific and awesome stories to share in my next posts as the school year gets rolling.
- Over mine and Sam's core! We will start Tuesday September 1st and will meet every Tuesday from here on out. Pray for girls to experience community that models the kingdom of God and for Sam and I to be faithful disciple-makers.
- For our pastor's to have wisdom and perseverance to minister in these unprecedented times
- For our university and college administrators- that they can make both a safe and positive environment for students in the decisions they make.
Saturday, August 8, 2020
First, know that I am SO thankful that you are reading this! It is such an honor to have your attention for a minute and I am incredibly eager to share with you what I've been up to and what God is doing.
I just completed the first week of doing my apprenticeship with F.O.C.U.S. and man has it been a long, but very rich one. College courses have not yet begun for students on the campuses we minister to, so right now the apprentices have just been learning...and learning...and learning more! We have read from Genesis to Joshua in the past week while also listening to Iaian Proven's lectures (from Regent College) in addition to having our own class discussions (shout out to Brandon and Victoria for leading those- they have been great!). It's been a pretty hefty work-load, but I have already gotten so much out of my experience. I have been challenged (and will continue to be) to think about and wrestle with parts of God and things in scripture that make me very uncomfortable, but I know this is valuable and I am deepening my understanding of God's goodness. I also am so glad I get to do it with such a sweet group of people by my side.
Here's the apprentice ladies:
I have been so in awe of God's goodness and provision for me through the generosity of His people. I hit my fundraising goal and even got to increase my budget a bit because of how generous people were. WOW. I still can't get over the fact that so many people have demonstrated love for me and to God's kingdom work by giving financially.
To my supporters: Y'all are incredible and I cannot begin to express how thankful I am. Your generosity has made me more generous.
Can you believe I wrote so much and it's only been a week? I look forward to sharing about this next month with you all! Here is the biggest thing you can be in prayer for right now:
- WELCOME WEEK! This is a time where we typically meet new students who are moving in and fresh to campus. It's a great opportunity to invite people into loving, Christ-centered community, but this year is going to look very different due to the challenges Covid-19 poses, so please pray for our wisdom in going about how we reach students in these times and for receptive hearts as we invite people into friendship!