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.