Oh, how I love Jesus!
Hello ministry partners!
I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful fall season. I am so excited to share with you some of the things that God has been doing so far this semester, so buckle in!
Our core has been going so well so far! Rebecca and I have had the wonderful opportunity to facilitate discussions with the group of girls that God has given us. With every passing week, the girls become more and more vulnerable and open with one another, and it is so beautiful to watch them become friends with one another. This past week we talked about patience in our core, and it was amazing how each of them shared what areas they struggle to be patient in and trying to figure out the root of their impatience. As each student shared, there was a lot of nodding and affirming, and you could tell that the girls were realizing that they were not the only ones who struggled with it. Praise be to God for giving us the gift of community where confession of sin is free of shame, is full of grace, and brings us closer to one another.
This month, we had our annual Fall Camp with all of the UTD FOCUS students, where we spent 22 hours bonding, eating, playing games, worshiping, and having core discussions. It was incredible! It was such a gift getting to see one of my core girls, Portia, open up during worship. She had expressed to me previously that she was surprised to see college students at our large group meetings singing loudly and raising their hands during worship and that she wondered why they felt so compelled to express their worship outwardly, since that is not really something she grew up doing. Throughout Fall Camp weekend, I got to witness Portia slowly get more comfortable singing and swaying during worship, and she shared with me later that she had been really excited to praise God. God is so good y’all!
So far this semester, I have had the opportunity to study the Bible with seven students so far, and it is absolutely the bestest thing I get to do! (I know bestest isn’t a word, but you know what I mean). Even though I go through the same Scriptures with every student, I learn so much about God, my students, and myself through each and every study. It has only proved to me that “the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
Another Scripture in FOJ (our Bible study that we go through, called Focus On Jesus) that has been resonating with me is in John 13, where Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (verses 34-35). One of the questions I typically ask after this Scripture is: how might your day to day life change if you followed this? I love asking this question because it brings Scripture down to earth and into our lives personally and practically. One of my students this week said, “I would be very different than I am now. I think that I tend to use a lot of mental space judging almost everyone. If I followed this, it would really change the way that I saw people as worthy of being loved.” WOW, me too! Students really minister to me in ways that I don’t expect, praise God!
Please pray for our continued Hispanic outreach! As Hispanic Heritage month has come to an end, I really want to continue to host hangouts for our Hispanic students on campus.
For our students! We are currently finishing up midterms season, and this is typically the time in the semester where students begin experiencing fatigue and elevated anxiety about the rest of the semester. Please pray that they continue to work hard without idolizing academics!