Our sins they are many, His mercy is more!

Hello donors! I hope that this new year is going well for all of you. Thank you so much for being patient with me. I know that this blog is a little late this month, but it’s been a busy season for ministry! I can’t wait to share what God did in the month of January.
After coming back from the winter break, the staff broke off into small groups for a week-long study on Ephesians. We learned that this book was a letter from Paul to the early church in Ephesus, and that it was most likely read out loud to the congregation as a whole. Growing up in the church, I can tend to read Scripture with the idea that none of it is new because I have read it before. However, throughout the class I was challenged to let Scripture be new to me again so that I can look at it through a fresh perspective. It was also neat to remember that Scripture was written to not just everyone as individuals, but to all of us as a body of believers. In the United States’ individualistic culture, it can be so easy to forget that we belong to one another and that we can work together to bring glory to God and to love his people.

If I were to write all I learned in the Ephesians class, we would be here for hours, but if you’re interested in learning more about Ephesians, you can actually watch the lectures for free at: https://bibleproject.com/classroom/overview/ephesians/! If you do, let me know what you learn!
For the first couple of weeks of classes, UTD went virtual, so when classes began, there were only a handful of students back in town! It was a little tough towards the beginning having to ramp up core and our weekly large group meetings again, but God has been really faithful to us and he has maintained a steady group of students across our community.
Over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, we had our yearly Winter Camp where students all across the FOCUS campuses came together for a few days of learning, fellowship, and fun. We had Biblical scholar Rikk Watts come and join us as a guest speaker, and it was phenomenal! I was struck by something in particular that Watts said, “God tells us ‘I am who I am’, he does not say ‘I am who you think I am’. I do not inform God or create God by who I think he should be, but he instead shows me who he is and that informs me. God is not what I think a perfect father is, but God shows me what a good father should be.

I think we often put God in a box and project what we think he should be onto him. Hallelujah that God is not who I make him to be, but that he shows us who he truly is through his creation, his Word, and through the Spirit.
This time of year is very exciting because we start prayerfully considering students in our community with leadership potential. Every summer, we send a handful of students to Washington state for a conference called SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry), where they have the opportunity to learn about and practice ministry skills to impact students around them. This year, a handful of girls from my core have been invited and I am so excited to see how God will shape them at SICM!

In order to send our students to SICM, every year we put on a benefit event called Showcase, featuring talents and art from across our community. The money that is raised from this event goes directly into training student leaders to be disciple makers on their campus. I would love to invite each of you to Showcase! You can go to anyfocus.org/showcase to purchase your ticket to either the 2:30 or 6:30 show. At 5pm, there will be an artisan market featuring many goods and art created by people across our community. Paintings, photography, prints, woodworking, clothing, plants, baked goods, and many more mediums will be available for sale.

Even if you are not from the Dallas area, you can still purchase a ticket or donate at the website above! I can’t wait to see you at Showcase!


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