Can you believe the end of the school year has come and passed? Even with classes ending, it hasn’t been hard to stay busy this month. I would love to share some highlights with you! Get ready for lots of photos!
The apprentices threw me a surprise birthday party! (Not all of them are pictured here)
A couple of months ago, my driver’s side door handle broke off in my car! I decided that I would fix it later that month. For the meantime, I was opening the door by rolling down the window and opening it from the outside, and that worked well until this one week in May when it was pouring every day! I was pretty stressed out with other things, that my car door was just the cherry on top of things I had to get done. As I was driving to my class, I prayed that God would somehow give me a way to fix my car soon. During our class, we took a break, and our instructor Brad Davis randomly asked us “So are any of you having any car trouble? I’d love to help you as much as I can!” and I immediately told him about my car door. He ordered the part and fixed it a few days later. Praise God!! That experience taught me that God is listening to our prayers, even the small ones, and that he delights in giving us good gifts.
Brad fixing my car :)
The FOCUS staff got together for a pioneering workshop, where we talked about different strategies for planting ministries at new campuses and for outreaching to different types of people on campuses. It got me fired up to lead more minority-focused outreach on the UTD campus next year and to start thinking about ways that we could welcome them into our community. This fall, we will be planting FOCUS ministries on five campuses across the DFW metroplex, so please pray for those to go well and for God to lead us through that process!
We have begun our summer fellowship meetings. With more and more people getting vaccinated, we were able to meet inside without social distancing!
A couple of our UTD staff women led a retreat for the graduating seniors, where we talked about how to transition out of FOCUS well. Our speakers emphasized the importance of finding ways to do ministry outside of FOCUS. It can be easy to believe that ministry can only happen in church or in a Christian group. However, God has placed every single one of us in a specific place, where He wants to make himself known, whether that be in graduate school, in the workplace, on a sports team, in your neighborhood, etc. I would like to invite you to take some time and think about how you can be a positive influence in your workspace and neighborhood where you’ve been placed. How can you show people the love of God there?
I commissioned one of my friends to draw the apprentices. Look at how cute it is!!
The end of May marked the end of the 10-month apprenticeship! Our final assignment as apprentices was to deliver a sermon describing the three main takeaways from the year. We had the opportunity to gather as a staff team and listen to every single one of the sermons, and it was so encouraging and sweet! It was interesting to see how God taught us all pretty similar lessons, but in very different ways. I am amazed at how God can speak to everyone so differently and still reveal his same love, grace, and power.
We had a Q&A with Rikk Watts, a professor of New Testament theology.
In many ways, this year has been the most spiritually, emotionally, socially, and mentally challenging year of my life and I have been stretched out of my comfort zone in several areas of my life. It has been difficult to always know how to balance my responsibilities and still stay in tune with God and not lose sight of him. However, this year has also been one of the best years of my life. God has taught me a lot this year through the students I’ve met, the conversations I’ve had, the classes we took, and the other apprentices that went along this journey with me.
My core girls made a poster to commemorate the year. Here we are at the end of year party!
I want to thank each of you for being so faithful in your generosity towards me. I know that for many of you, it took effort and sacrifice to be able to support me financially this year, and I cannot express in words how thankful I am for you. Without your support, I could not have done this, and I pray that God would multiply his blessings on your life.