The year has begun!
Hello supporters! I hope each of you is doing well and that for those of you in Dallas, you have been enjoying this nice rain and cooler weather. I sure have loved seeing the greenery flourish around here! This month has been INCREDIBLE! God has been so good to us and has been blessing our ministry abundantly, I can’t wait to share what he has been up to on our campus!
This past month, the new freshmen students moved into their dorms and the fall semester has begun. I cannot describe the excitement and newness that the new school year brings, and the hope that God has filled our hearts with as we see UTD coming back to life after the initial hit of the pandemic in 2020. The halls and classrooms are filled, the walkways are teeming with students, student organizations are starting to re-bloom, and students are slowly opening up to being more involved on campus! After experiencing a year of COVID ministry where we had to do everything online and students struggled with connecting with others, it overwhelms me with inexplicable joy to see the answered prayer of God bringing life back to our campus.
During our weeks of welcome, we held so many events to welcome the students to UTD and to our organization. There have been many stories of us meeting students that it’s hard to choose which ones to emphasize, but here are a few!
I met Anastasia, a freshman studying Business, during one of the game nights on campus. We instantly hit it off and have become good friends over the past few weeks. She told me that she hadn’t been to church since elementary school, but was open to asking more questions about her faith. She has been coming to almost every event that we have had and is so eager to make friends and learn more about God. She has come to church with me every week and it has been so neat seeing how God is pursuing her and she is pursuing Him!
Angela is another student I met. She is also studying Business and is a freshman. During core our first week, she shared about many hardships she has been through and how it has given her so much perspective in seeing how God has been carrying her this whole time. It is such an honor to have someone like Angela in our core, I think God will use her to center us on the goodness of God this year and lead the other girls who are going through tough times. I love her.
Portia, another freshman, is at UTD, where her older brother Nhala also attends and is a student leader in our ministry. She was hesitant to join our ministry at first, but it was pretty hard to ignore everyone that was reaching out to her who wanted to get to know her. She has joined my core and we are starting FOJ (FOCUS on Jesus, a Bible study) today!
This year, I have had the honor of spearheading Latino outreach and it has been going very well so far. We had a Latino mixer where students played question bingo where they went around and asked each other questions to get to know each other. It was a huge success! There were so many laughs and I was approached several times with students thanking me for creating a space where they felt seen and heard by other Latino students. This past week, I threw a karaoke party for this group and it was so sweet seeing everyone singing along to Spanish songs we grew up listening to. I am thrilled to keep exploring how to outreach to the Hispanic population on campus!
Please pray for our student leaders as they juggle classes, work, leading core, and making time for rest! We couldn’t do anything without the help of our students, and we are very grateful for them. After this season of sowing lots of seed, please pray that they find time to rest and wait on the Lord as he works through them in the lives of the students they are outreaching to.
Pray for our continued outreach! Although the first weeks of classes have gone by, there are still so many students to meet! Please pray that we have eyes to see those students that are on the edges of our reach, that God would bring them in and that we would be ready with arms open to love them!