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.
CAN YOU PRAY?
- 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!