"He's a GOOD God!"
Yay! It feels like just yesterday we were starting the month of October and now it’s already over. This month has brought a lot of challenges but there is so much good news that I want to share with you all. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to read through my blog and reflect on how God has been working at UTD with your help. Love you donors!
This was my first time at a pumpkin patch! It was so much fun to spend time with these sweet girls in the ministry.
My core is going pretty well! Our two girls Mariana and Katie have been so eager to know more about the Bible and ask many questions. Sometimes it is difficult to rely on my own knowledge to answer their more difficult questions, but I have to remember that it’s okay not knowing exactly what to say. The more important thing is that I allow for a place where the girls feel comfortable enough to share their doubts and questions, and that they feel heard through that. Caroline and I have been leading the girls through the book of Ephesians, which honestly has a lot of really tough scriptures that we are learning to wrestle with and apply them to our lives. I have been pondering what it looks like to suffer for Christ in my own ministry, and how I can sacrifice looking only towards my own self interests and instead learn to put other people’s needs before my own.
We finished reading the Old Testament this month, so that class has officially wrapped up! It has been such an incredible experience reading through the entire first half of the Bible in such a short amount of time. It was honestly something I never expected to be able to do and it sparked a hunger for learning more about God. I am so excited to read through the New Testament having this stronger foundation. Throughout the semester, we have been listening to an audio class taught by Iain Provan, an Old Testament scholar who teaches at Regent College. For our last Old Testament class, we got to video call him and ask him questions that we’d had throughout the class, and he answered all of them for us! It was such a uniquely special experience that I will never forget.
Here is a snapshot of our videocall with Iain Provan. He is so wise and I couldn’t help but smile throughout the whole meeting, it was such a privilege!
This month we got to do a really small scale outreach event on campus, where we set up socially distanced games and invited students passing by to join us, and then engaged in conversations with them about how their semester had been going so far. Although there are FAR less people on campus than on a normal year, we still got to meet a few new students, praise God! One of the students that walked by was shocked that people were actually out on campus and confessed that she hadn’t made a single friend since the semester started. It broke my heart to think that she hadn’t had a normal human interaction in a while and that if we hadn’t been there that day, she would have gone another day without talking to someone. As a team, we are still brainstorming ways that we can reach those students that are so difficult to get to. I have kept the parable of the lost sheep on my heart and how we must continue to work hard to find those students that really need friends and more importantly, Jesus.
At our outreach event, we brought some UTD coloring sheets which the students really enjoyed!
One of our staff members, Garrett Davis, organized a half day retreat for a number of us to go and spend time with God in nature at Eisenhower State Park (which is on the border with Oklahoma). It was honestly really difficult to quiet my mind and fully focus on God as I tried to escape from the busyness of live and put aside my worries about what all I had to get done when I got back to Dallas. Throughout the morning, I became overwhelmed with how vast God's power and might is as I looked around at his beautiful creation. When reading through Luke 10 about the story of Jesus at Mary and Martha's house, I got to reflect on how I can tend to focus on working and working and working and how I can easily forget that at the heart of ministry is Jesus. With my perfectionist heart, it can be easy to feel disappointed in myself for not doing enough or making everything just right, but God has been showing me that I am not working for myself or for a human master, but that it is all for God's glory.
I found this cranny in the woods that had this beautiful view! I was overwhelmed by
the exquisite gift of getting to experience God’s creation.
Please continue to pray for the UTD students that we haven’t gotten the chance to reach yet. It is nearly the end of the semester and a lot of students are thinking of moving back home after this semester ends since the next will be totally online. Please pray that we are able to find innovative ways that work to reach those students!
For next year’s plans! I am still praying about whether or not I feel called to stay doing campus ministry. If not, I would like to figure out what next year will look like for me. Please pray for guidance, wisdom and discernment as I begin thinking more deeply about this!
Please pray for our cores and that they continue to grow. This is such a strange year for ministry and our core leaders are being so faithful and hardworking. Pray for continued motivation and that we are able to be faithful with the people already in the ministry and those we will continue to meet!
Of course, please pray that students on campus stay healthy and that God may continue to keep COVID away, and that he helps us be wise in our decisions in how to love and disciple students.
Thank you so much for reading through my blog. Please please please let me know how I can be praying for you and your loved ones throughout this month, I would love to encourage you!
I was given the neat opportunity to share at our weekly livestreams (which we named Deep Dive). Students sent in verses that have been on their hearts recently :)
I am so in love with my apprentice class. God has been so good in giving me these sweet friends. Here we are celebrating Joey’s birthday (he’s the one in the middle)!
Some sweet girls on the leader team, Andria and Caroline! Praise God for their faithfulness and hardwork in leading a core and seeking God.