Welcome to my first blog post! If you're reading this, it probably means that you've played some role in getting me to where I am now. You've agreed to support campus missions with me by prayer or financial support, and I'm so incredibly thankful for both of those things. Getting to show you some of the effects that those two things have in the next year is why I'm going to be keeping you guys updated every month, so I hope you see this as a source of encouragement to see where God is working, and see how much you really are getting to be a part of ministry with me.
If you're wondering when is the time to give your pledged donation, now is the time! If you have any questions about that process still, please let me know!
I wanted to use this first blog to let you know a few things: First of all, from the absolute bottom of my heart, thank you to you guys who have agreed to support me financially and through prayer. I hope you get excited as you see what some of that support and prayer goes to. I know I'm already so excited, and we're barely getting started.
Secondly, I wanted to just familiarize you a little bit with FOCUS, specifically where I'll be working, and who I get to work most closely with. Below is a picture of the team of FOCUS staff that will be working together at the Collin College campuses this year. I'm so excited to work with these fine folks. Everyone in this picture besides Garrett is part of our apprenticeship team, and there are three other apprentices on our team not in this picture who are going to be with FOCUS at UTD, Richland College, UNT, and TWU. I'll get another picture of all of the apprentice team up later, but for now, here's the team at Collin College.
|(left to right: Pedro, Garrett, Hannah, Shayla, myself)|
Now for where we'll be, there are two Collin College campuses in DFW that FOCUS has a ministry at, and our team will be working with both of those. Below is a picture of the Spring Creek campus, located in Plano, TX. The FOCUS ministry there that started up about 4 years ago.
The second campus is a little younger, the FOCUS ministry there is in a lot of ways still getting started, which is really exciting, and I can't wait to see what God continues to do with it this next year. Here's a picture of the Preston Ridge campus, in Frisco TX.
Bear with me for this next part, I promise it's important. Student leaders really are the heart of our ministry. These are college guys and girls who have been in the ministry for a time already and have dedicated consistent weekly time amidst their school and work schedules to be minsters on their campuses. They're reaching out to other students and being involved in their lives continually. FOCUS tries to really equip them to do this well by investing a ton of time into them training them how to do that well and from a Biblical perspective, and through those one on one relationships I mentioned earlier. One of the ways many of these student leaders are involved is by being a co-leader of a small group of other college students. These groups are called CORES. So we call the leaders of those cores Core Facilitators, or corefas for short. Don't worry, I'll put some quick reference definitions on these terms on the side, in case you forget.
These small groups are not set up with the goal of being more than just a weekly meeting, but as a springboard for those one on one relationships. CORES are the reason I fell in love with this ministry, and the people in the ones I was a part of had a major part in why I fell in love with Jesus. Those guys I met in those cores at UNT went on to become my best friends, roommates, and guys in my wedding. I have no doubt that many of them will be lifelong friends. So to say that cores and core facilitators are an important piece to all this is an understatement. I've seen the massive impact those relationships have had on my life, and on countless others. That's a big part of what we want to share with new students coming onto these campuses.
All that to say, THIS Saturday, we're gathering all of those student leaders together for a day of training and relationship building so that they are ready for this fall and are able to start thinking and planning with their co-core leader and other student leaders about how to minister to the students they come into contact with. To do that well, it truly does take building a good relationship with your fellow student leaders who will be working alongside you this next year. So please be in prayer for that this Saturday, and for the next couple weeks, that God will really speak to all of the leaders during that time and build those relationships between them so they can better serve in this team.
Last little thing, we've already kicked off the start of this apprenticeship! This past week, the staff and apprentices of FOCUS got to go on a retreat, to spend three days together building relationships, and getting ready for this fall. It really encouraged me so much to see how much thought the staff puts into their decisions for FOCUS and their relationships with people and with Jesus. I'm truly honored to get to work with them and learn from them this next year. I can't wait to share about some of the things we get to learn in our upcoming apprenticeship classes we're taking this fall and next spring.
I know this one was a little long, thanks for sticking with me. We got some housekeeping taken care of though, so look forward to more pictures and stories in the future. :)
Some specific things to pray for the next few weeks:
- As mentioned above, the Corefa prep day for our student leaders is this Saturday. Pray for God to lead us towards His plans for Collin this next year, and that our student leaders and staff would be earnestly seeking to follow that plan and not our own.
- For myself and the fellow apprentices as we start out this year, that we would be ready to be humble and with the attitude of a servant. Pray that we would have a strong desire to learn more about the heart of God.
- Just pray for the rest of this month, there's a lot of exciting things happening as school gets started on campus and we kick off the year. These first few weeks are so key interns of reaching out to new students. I'll be sharing about some of those things in next month's update, but just be praying for those events to bring in people that God has for us and for us to be faithful in seeking people out.
Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to be a part of this. I truly am so thankful for you guys.