Grace on top of grace
Hello supporters! I hope you are enjoying these final days of summer. I have been feeling so thankful for each of you as we transition into the school year. It continues to blow my mind how God provides for me to be able to serve God with all of my heart and mind because of your generosity. Thank you!
This past month, FOCUS has been helping out with the children’s ministry at my church, called Jesus and Me, and it has been a blast! The curriculum that is used in the ministry has the kids going through the entirety of the Bible in 3 years, and it has been so incredible to see how these children already knew so much Scripture at such an early age. One of the Sundays, we spent some time memorizing Joshua 1:9, which says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” In learning this Scripture alongside the kids, I am in awe of how Scripture can reach into the hearts of everyone, no matter our age. Praise God!
This summer, I have had the honor of studying the Bible with several students, and God has been showing me so much through each of them! With one of my students, Sandra, we have been learning about God’s grace and understandably, it has been difficult to explain the scope and magnitude of it. This has led to both of us opening up and sharing times when we have experienced God’s grace and areas where we are still struggling to accept God’s grace. I am overwhelmed by John 1:16 which says “Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given” and again in Romans 8:39 which says “No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God.” I encourage you to spend some time reflecting on God’s grace and to ask God to reveal what areas of your life you are still refusing to accept it.
This summer, I had the privilege to attend the Global Leadership Conference with a handful of other FOCUS ministers, and it was incredible to catch a glimpse of how God is moving all across the globe. While having lunch on one of the days, we got to hear from a missionary who has been working in Iran planting underground churches and helping to translate the Bible into their language. With God’s provision, the underground churches there have somehow boomed and have grown exponentially with so many Iranians learning about Jesus and spreading the gospel. How incredible is that?! It is so easy to forget how blessed we are living in the United States where we have unlimited access to the Bible in our language. Praise God for calling missionaries across the world and for providing for them over abundantly.
Last week, our staff got together for our annual fall staff retreat and IT WAS AWESOME!! God knows that I really needed it and that our staff really needed it. We had the opportunity to meet together as a UTD team and it was so helpful to bond together before the school year starts and everything gets so busy! Spending time with God out in nature is always a favorite time of this retreat and rejuvenates our hearts, it is so comforting. One of the major things that stood out to me during our retreat was this theme of loving from the heart. 1 John 4: 11-12 says “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another… If we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” We spent some time reflecting on how we can grow in loving others with our whole hearts. One of the questions that has been resonating in my heart and mind has been: Do you want to risk loving too much or too little? As we go into the school year and meet lots of new students, my prayer is that God would keep revealing to me how to love students like He loves them.
Students move in this coming week! Please pray that as they say goodbye to their loved ones and transition to university life, that God would continue to chase after their hearts and that they would find him here at UTD!
Please pray for our student leaders! Our core facilitators are having a training this Monday to prepare for welcome week and for their first handful of cores. Please pray for God’s guidance and wisdom as they navigate serving God and being good students!
Our welcome week events are starting next week! Please pray that every student who comes to our events would feel God’s love through us and that they would feel so welcomed. We are so excited to meet them!!
God is so good!
Thank you so much for reading this update. My heart could burst with excitement for these next two weeks of welcoming students to UTD. Thank you for being faithful in supporting me, I can’t wait to show you what God will do!