Sunday, January 31, 2021

Back in Action

Hello Everyone,

I cannot believe another month has gone by!

    To start...because our work on campus gets a little slower in the winter with students going home for the holidays- our staff takes a retreat that equips us more as ministers before they get back for the next semester.
I love my fellow apprentices!

    So quite obviously, large group events are more complicated this year. Planning something like an all-staff retreat had its difficulties, and over half of our staff chose to participate in our discussions via zoom, but luckily all of the newbies on our FOCUS staff team (as pictured) were in a healthy and safe position to attend in person! It was an incredibly restful experience and reignited my passion for campus ministry after not having students around for so many consecutive weeks in a row. 
We had a devotional time in the mornings where each staff person told their story of how they got involved in campus ministry and some common themes stuck out to me. Currently for me, these themes apply to campus ministry, but I think they could apply to wherever you choose to do your own DON'T MISS THIS READERS! Here's what kept coming up: being warm and welcoming, being relational, and inviting people into day to day life. These are things I often get sloppy on and take for granted, but God has used these things OVER and OVER again to impact souls, draw them into community, and more importantly, into His kingdom. 
How are you living out those themes? What does that look like to be warm and welcoming at your school? To be relational in your work place? To invite your next-door neighbors into your day to day life?

Can you tell I'm becoming more comfortable with this whole "pastor" thing?

    Shortly after we got back from our retreat, students came back to campus! It has been so good to get back into meeting up with people face to face!

    Cores and one on ones have started up again and I've been encouraged by the girls' eagerness to be back in community with one another. Some of these girls are really developing an authentic love for God for the first time in their lives and I would love if you chose to pray alongside me for that work in their hearts to continue this semester. As I've watched this unfold, my goal for a few of these girls has transitioned into developing them not solely as women that love Jesus, but ones that are also strong leaders and disciple makers.

Big News!!

    I am BEYOND excited to announce that I am officially staying on staff with FOCUS for the 2021-2022 school year at UT Arlington! I know God will continue do awesome things here and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. I will continue fundraising my support and if you are excited about the idea to either continue or start supporting me financially, feel free to text me, email me, or comment on my blog! I'm so thankful for those of you who have chosen to support me this school year during my apprenticeship and I am eager to partner with some of you for longer.


  • For our FOCUS staff and students to be wise with Covid-19 precautions and also for protection from the virus so that ministry will not be any more hindered
  • For my ministry to be purposefully extended to my roommates (who are also students) rather than just to my core and the girls I study the Bible with

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Half Way!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! (Kind of..)

    First I would like to say that I am deeply saddened at the events that have taken place in our country. This spiritual and political climate is one that brings me to my knees in prayer. We are in deep need of the hope Jesus promises. 

    While there certainly is bad news in the world that I do not wish to ignore, I do still think there is space to share good news. SO...I'm about half way through my 10 month commitment with F.O.C.U.S. and man this is both exciting and scary. I really think this year has been a catalyst to growth in my faith. 
December was an interesting month because hardly any students were around. Most of them went home and stayed home after Thanksgiving, so we met up with students virtually. This was a bummer, but I know it was wise considering we would be seeing our families for Christmas and over our breaks. 
I miss my girls a bunch, but here are some highlights of virtual meet ups:

Sam and I "hung out" with Sarah for a while just catching up, sharing about our breaks, reflecting on time with our families...and looking at funny sheep. I know it's silly, but I am convinced that God loves humor and can use it as a way to do ministry and soften people's hearts. That is my honest justification of how that sheep picture is spiritual.

    Another neat thing done over the course of this past month was a book club! Our UTA team decided to offer students opportunities to engage with community in purposeful ways. Each staff member led a different activity- some through scripture and some through books. I've been leading a book club through Love Does by Bob Goff. I have been so in awe of how God is using these simple stories to foster deep conversation and convict myself and our students to love the people around us more and better.

    This is Thu and I on a Face Time. This is her dog Tuna that I got to meet over the phone. I love them both!! I know I've introduced Thu in my other posts. It was sweet to see her on FaceTime, but I'm ready to get back to studying scripture with her in person! Honestly I've had a bad attitude in the past about technology, but getting to use it to maintain so many relationships recently has made me so thankful for the gift it is.

In other news...

I learned a lot through our Holy Spirit class. We read Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God by Gordon Fee and the book along with our class discussions really brought to my attention how often we pay lip service to belief in the Holy Spirit, but don't actually live in a way that expresses or acknowledges that belief. God is so gracious and humble to work through his spirit on Earth so frequently, yet not get hardly any recognition for it. I'm growing to attribute more of the things around me to the Holy Spirit and I am working to bring even just his name into conversation more.


 - The biggest thing we can ask for right now is just prayers over this spring semester- for God to use FOCUS to bring the Kingdom to this campus despite the obstacles present. Pray for myself and our 6 other campus pastors to be well rested and excited to pour into students around us over this next month. Pray for God to show up in BIG ways this semester and move in the hearts and lives of students that greatly surpasses our expectations and shows us more of who God is.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday,
I can't wait to share about the rest of this semester as it begins to get rolling!