Exciting times approach us!

Hello donors, it’s the end of July, which means that it’s time to update you on how ministry has been going this month! For those of you who are new to my support team, welcome! I’m so excited to be sharing how God will work this year on UTD and beyond.

This is my friend Sandra! She is on FOCUS staff at Richland College

First, I wanted to invite you all to a Licensing Ceremony that we will be having tomorrow (Sunday, August 1st) at 6pm at anyfocus.org/licensing. Every year, the oncoming apprentices and the staff who have chosen to recommit to a number of years of doing ministry will take part in this ceremony. In it we will be expressing our commitment to pastoring and serving the students at our campuses and asking God to guide us in the decisions we will make daily. I would love to have each of you there to witness our commitment to these students!

This past Thursday we wrapped up our series for Summer FOCUS! Throughout the summer we have been deepening our relationship to Jesus through very challenging and thought-provoking sermons. Something that really challenged me during this series is seeing how Jesus uses his power to bless others and how he shows overwhelming amounts of grace to those who don’t deserve it, including myself Some questions to think through are:

  • When is a time you’ve been undeserving of the grace you received?

  • How has God shown you his mercy?

  • Who in your life is it hard for you to be confident in Christ around?

  • How can you life your life to display Jesus’s selflesslness to them?

Our students praying over our campuses at Summer FOCUS!

This past month the staff has been working on preparing for the fall semester that is quickly approaching us. Thankfully, UTD has opened up for the summer and plans to go back to normal in the fall. I have been to campus a few times this summer and it is so exciting to see furniture back in the buildings, I can’t help but picture students walking around and being back in person. I event went to the bookstore and bought a UTD baseball cap! I remember during one of our workshops, a speaker mentioned that in order to expect God to move through us on campus, we have to learn to love our campus and have pride in the school and that an easy way to show that is to wear some campus merchandise! That way students will easily see and notice that we are not just here to push some agenda on them, but that we love the school and are excited to be there.

UTD is looking a lot more normal, praise God!

During the first week of campus, we will be throwing an event where we specifically invite Hispanic and Latino students to welcome them to campus! We are partnering with a few other Hispanic organizations and we met all together this past week to plan it. As a Hispanic student, I remember there not being many events specifically catered to our culture and it was difficult to find other Hispanic students that I could connect with. We threw this event a couple of years ago and had so much success that we realized what a need there was to do it again. God has blessed me immensely by allowing me to lead this event this year.

Our staff on campus shooting a promotional video to show on TVs across campus!

All of that being said, I have many prayer requests that I would love to have you join me in praying daily for the next couple of weeks.

  • Please pray for our student leaders that will be leading our small groups this year! The second week of August we have a week-long training planned for them in order to equip them for how to lead well. Please pray that we would grow in our boldness and willingness to listen to the Spirit and be guided to do our best for God this year. 

  • Our welcome week events! We have been planning these events for a while and have been praying over them. This year we essentially have two incoming classes--freshmen who just graduated high school and students who are starting their second year at UTD and didn’t get a normal first year. Please pray that we would be able to reach them and that they would be receptive to God through us!

  • This year FOCUS will be planting at 5 new campuses and we are really really excited about it! Please pray that we would start off the year strong and continue to trust in God throughout the year, and that students from these new campuses would find true life and relationships in our community!

Thank you so much to each and every one of you for supporting me through this journey. I pray that God would bless you immensely this next month! As always, I leave you with the student testimony.


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