So the semester is officially over...not only for my students, but for me. I'm no longer an apprentice, but a senior staff member. I no longer live in Arlington- I've now moved to Richardson (but don't worry, I'll still be doing ministry in Arlington). And soon I will no longer be a Repa, but a Nelson. There's quite a bit of change happening in my life. I'm in a season of new beginnings that I know will have some difficulties, but for the most part, I am really excited about this season!
FOCUS is also undergoing some transition...for starters, like a lot of other organizations, we are easing out of the pandemic, so our ministry is looking more and more like normal. On top of that, UTA FOCUS staff is planting a ministry on a new campus!! We are stoked to start working on Tarrant County College's (TCC's) campus! We really believe this is something God has laid on our hearts for a little while now, and opportunities have recently come along to actually make it happen. So many students go to community college and don't get connected to anyone or anything- it's a very different atmosphere than a university, but ministry belongs here too. Jesus is for these students too. It's a great place to begin establishing roots in students so that they can continue walking in faith when they transfer to UTA or wherever else they may go afterwards!
|TCC Southeast Campus (we will be planting here and on the Northeast Campus!)|
Thinking through what it looks like to start on a new campus, I was also introduced to a parallel idea- pursuing a new group/demographic on an existing campus. This really got me thinking about a people group our ministry really lacks- student athletes. Many of you know I ran cross country and track for UTA my first 2 years of being there. This gave me a lot of opportunity to cross paths various athletes. I met, studied with, and attended the same events as not just runners, but basketball players, baseball players, volleyball players, etc. This was both a fun and difficult experience. My heart breaks at the lack of Jesus in this people group. Being an athlete and a disciple is heavy work- both require a lot of time, attention, and devotion, so it doesn't surprise me that it's rare to find student athletes who are sold out disciples of Christ.
I think ministering to athletes will mean adjusting the way we do certain things, but "how can they believe if they have not heard?" (Romans 10). God has put it on my heart to be more thoughtful of this specific group on our campus. I think being a former athlete gives me a unique opportunity to connect with some of these students. While nothing official is set in stone about when/how we will reach more athletes, it's something on my radar that I'm excited about and wanted to share with you. I invite you to pray through this with me!
Meanwhile, we will still be hosting our large group fellowship on Thursday nights!! Oh how we missed Summer FOCUS last year!!
Can You Pray For...
- My intimacy with Jesus through all this transition- to rely on him more than myself through it
- Our students to stay faithful and connected to God and one another over the summer
- My fundraising!! I'm only at about 20% of my goal and could use a lot more financial support for the upcoming school year.
- My wedding and first month of marriage!
And as always, here's a student testimony and more prayer requests for our ministry as a whole! This student is from UTA so I actually got to watch from a distance what God was doing in his heart/life.