Is it May already??
I know that I am a little bit late posting this blog, but thank you so much for still taking the time to read and to see how ministry has been going at UTD! This month was super duper busy as we began to wrap up the semester.
At the beginning of April, we held our annual fundraiser to help pay for our potential leader training trip that we take over the summer. Usually we have this fundraiser in person with live performances, but this year we decided to have a virtual version of the show. Our more technologically skilled staff teamed up with some of our community’s most talented people and our fundraiser went incredibly well! We were able to raise over $24,000 which helped to significantly lower the cost of SICM for our students. Thank you so much for praying for Showcase and for giving so generously.
We held an interest meeting for students who have been invited to SICM.
We are excited for God to equip us all for next year!
Our core has been going really well. Caroline and I are so privileged to lead this small group of girls every week. I have loved seeing friendships bloom throughout this year, and as the year comes to a close, I am comforted seeing how genuinely the girls care about each other. This month, Mariana and I wanted to show Caroline and Katie some more of our Hispanic culture. We decided to take them to a snack bar with yummy Mexican treats, and later took them to a Mexican restaurant where we ate tacos. I think sometimes it can be difficult (at least for me) to bring my culture into my friendships with people who are of a different ethnicity. Having Mariana in my core this year has been so sweet, because she brings out my more cultural side and has shown me that it’s something we can proudly invite people into.
A group of our core leaders went out to eat after Deep Dive. I love these ladies and I'm so thankful for their great job in working hard this year!
One of our staff members put on a half day retreat, where we had the chance to drive up to Eisenhower State Park and spend half of a day with God out in nature. This was my second time coming to one of these retreats, and it was very much needed. As someone who has grown up in a consumerist culture, it is easy for me to default towards doing something to get something out of it. The day of the retreat, I came in with the expectation that God was going to do something big! Maybe he would show me some revelation, or maybe he would flood me with his presence, or maybe I would leave with an immense sense of peace. However, as I spent the day trying to quiet my mind and listen to God, it was funny how normal I felt and how normal it was. I didn’t experience any great calling, or a deep sense of conviction. I admit it was a little frustrating… what was I going to share during our discussion at the end of the retreat? I looked around at all of the insects all around me, felt the sun on my skin, listened to the waves. I think God was trying to tell me “Andrea, I don’t want you to try and get anything out of this time. I don’t want you to expect some grand gesture from me. I just want you to be with me. Don’t forget me.”
I would encourage you to take a little bit of time this week and spend some time with God just being still. I think it will be a sweet experience for you.
God is so good and gives us such a beautiful planet to live on!
At the end of April, we held a parking lot graduation ceremony for our graduating seniors since UTD has postponed their graduation ceremony to the fall due to COVID. The seniors invited their families to join us, and it was so incredibly sweet to watch our dear graduating students be celebrated by their friends and families. A good number of them had been involved in FOCUS for several years, some all four years of university. It is such a privilege to work with such bright students and to see them grow and mature not just as people but as followers of Jesus, knowing that God has grown us through them so much more than they could ever know.
Our beautiful group of graduates. We are so proud of them!
Thank you so very much for being so generous and consistent with your support so far this year. I am so thankful for each of you, and I pray that God would continue to pour out his blessings on you!