Monday, August 31, 2020

First Month - His Hand in Unprecedented Times


Hannah and I tabling outside the UTA library,
interacting with the students who pass by!
     Wow, I cannot believe it has been a full month already! Where did the time go? I'm not sure, but God has really been using it. First off to my readers and supporters- THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS over Welcome Week at UTA! Prayers answered ten-fold, let me tell you all about it: Just about each night of the past week or so (beginning with August 22nd and still happening), we have been having informal hang outs (outdoors and masks required) on campus. We have been throwing frisbee, playing volleyball, and making crafts while inviting new people in to join us. It's incredible how many have been receptive to this invitation! We have been able to befriend so many students here. I believe this is partly the result of COVID-19 and the desperation people are feeling for social interaction because of it, but I believe even more so that this is due to God's spirit working in hearts all around us. We even had to split up our core-fas (our student leaders) around campus because too many students that we had met and invited showed up- what a blessing of an issue to have! (Don't worry, we were able to keep people in small, socially distanced groups!) I am beyond excited to share about the students who choose to stick around and invest more time in our ministry. I eagerly await the fruit that comes from new students being actively discipled by our returning students and staff members. Keep praying over those sweet souls we've recently encountered and are pursuing right now!

     We also had our first TNF (Thursday Night Fellowship) this past week. We will be live-streaming every Thursday night at 7:30 so that students can tune in either from their home, or from a location where we have a small watch party. It was definitely not quite the same to worship with only our UTA staff members, and a couple of students who lead worship, but nonetheless, GOD IS MOVING.
First TNF! Filming and streaming from the Northeast Church.
     That's actually something he has been teaching me a lot about. I've been reading in the Old Testament quite a bit lately and it seems that time and time again, God works through an unexpected person or situation- like how Joseph is sold into slavery by his brothers and actually ends up being a powerful political figure in Egypt, or how David commits adultery and murder yet God still uses his bloodline to bring up the messiah, or even how such strange, possibly even mentally ill people were prophets God used to speak his word of judgement and hope through, and there's so many more things I could list! Then on top of that I am getting to watch first-hand how immensely God is blessing campus ministry in these unprecedented times- first by a wildly successful fundraising season, not just for myself but for the FOCUS staff at large, and then all of these people showing up to our casual hangouts, eagerly responding to our invitation into Christian community! I mean, seriously God?! He truly is bringing beauty out of ashes. "God works through the unexpected" is definitely a statement I would have agreed with a few months ago, but now it is written on my heart after experiencing a season such as this one.

     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.
This is my co-fa, Sam. We are so excited to lead core together this year. We haven't always been close friends, but she has been great about seeking to know me more through intentional questions. I'm excited for our friendship and how God will use us to minister to women in our core this year.

NEWSFLASH: I am going to start including testimonies from FOCUS students at the end of my blogs to celebrate what God has done in our ministry and encourage those of you who support me or FOCUS with real examples of how your contribution is making a difference for God's kingdom!

Deanne's Prayer Requests:
  • 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.

Thank you so much for reading, praying, and supporting!

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Let's Get Started!

Hi readers/supporters!!

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:
First Day!
We've only really known each other (apart from some Zoom interactions) for about a week, but I am already so excited for the fruit these relationships will produce. Having this small group to walk through this season will be such a blessing.
Side note: We also got ordained this week! It is encouraging and empowering to be a woman in ministry.

Just Reading Away...

I also wanted to say- even though I have only been doing this for about a week, my preparation began long before that, especially considering fundraising. For those who don't know, I have fundraised my salary for this year to be able to do my apprenticeship with F.O.C.U.S., but I would imagine many of you reading are actually supporting me, so 
                          THANK YOU!!!

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!