Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound!
Hello everyone!I hope that each of you is well, I have been praying for you this past month. It has been lovely getting to see so many of you this month, thank you so much for all of your support!
This semester, I have had the opportunity to mentor Carolina and Erika, two Latina core facilitators that get to lead a small group together. It has been such a joy to spend time with them every week and talking through how their core is going, and to create a space where they feel supported and loved in ministry and in personal matters.
We just started going through the book of Colossians together, and it has been so helpful to have a foundation upon which we get to point one another to God. This past week, we spent some time praising God for some of the things He has done in our lives and for this exquisite life he has given us here on earth. We teared up as we praised God for his creativity in giving us good food like posole and fideo and the memories of home and family that those bring us. I love getting time with Carolina and Erika!
In core this month, we have been focusing on a part of the fruit of the Spirit each week. One of the biggest conversations that we have had this month has been anxiety. It has been challenging and frustrating facing the havoc that anxiety has been wreaking on these students and in young people at large. I have had to have many conversations with students thinking through what makes them anxious and trying to find the root of it, and help them create steps towards surrendering their anxieties to God.
Psalm 139 has been on my heart throughout this process. “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar… Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?... If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”
Please pray for these continued conversations with students, that God would use us as mouthpieces to speak into their lives and help them see that they can trust God with it all and that only He can bring true peace.
This past weekend, our church had a retreat where we spent a couple of days in fellowship and getting to know one another. A good chunk of our college students came, and it was awesome seeing them interact with the other members of our church. I was asked to share on one of the nights on how I have grown to see my own role in community, and I shared over Romans 12:4-8, which is a passage that I have been reflecting on with students and on my own. It says, “For just as each one of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
This idea of belonging to one another is just one that I haven’t been able to shake. I belong to my brothers and sisters in Christ, and they belong to me. What a radical idea, it’s hard to wrap my head around! But it has also been so comforting to me in relieving my envious thoughts of wanting and craving what other people’s gifts are, and instead seeing those as opportunities to ask for help because other people’s gifts belong to me and my gifts belong to others. My gifts have been given to me to bless others, and praise God for that! Praise God for community!
This past month, we had our annual Family Night, where we invite students’ families and FOCUS alumni to come and be a part of our weekly fellowship service. It was awesome getting to meet students’ siblings, parents, and other loved ones! My mom and brother drove up for the service and my mom had the opportunity to share her experience as a parent of a student (me) in the ministry, and I got to translate for her! It was such an honor to have her there, especially speaking in her native language of Spanish. There were many parents and students who came up to her afterwards and thanked her for sharing. Praise God for giving us language and for helping us connect through that!
Wow, I guess I had a lot to say about this month! Please let me know how I can be praying for you this month, I’d love nothing more!