Hold To God's Unchanging Hand!

Happy leap day everyone! I hope that you have each had a great month, I have so much to tell you. The Lord has been so good to us this month.

This past month I have visited several cores and they were each so special! I have been super encouraged with our core facilitators and how each of them have cultivated a culture within their group–one of laughter, vulnerability, compassion, and love. Eri & Saemi’s core has been going through the fruit of the Spirit together and I got to hear them share about self-control. Cassie & Elizabeth’s core were going through an article on spiritual disciplines and I got to hear them share about thankfulness. Briley & Mykayla’s core has been reading through Hosea and learning about the gracious character of God. Kaitlyn & Savannah’s core have been going through 1 Peter together. The couple of times I visited their core their girls were so talkative and eager to share, that Kaitlyn had to cut off some of the tangents they were going on haha. The other time I visited, they were doing a galentine’s day where they played blind karaoke and were just having a blast, encouraging one another to sing loudly and laughing together.

Kaitlyn, one of my roommates who has been leading core this year, has been such an encouragement to me this month. She has slowly brought in people to her core and into our larger FOCUS community by just talking to people about Jesus at work, in her classes, and on campus.

A student in her core, Lily, who I have been studying the Bible with this year, has also been sharing the goodness of Jesus with her roommate, who just started coming to core with her. She is not Christian, but has had questions about who God is and was drawn to the love and support that Lily has been shown through her core, so she decided to come. I got to witness this student be encouraged at the galentine’s day core to do the blind karaoke, and I got teary as I watched all of her new friends cheer her on in support. It was a fun and silly moment, but it was one that made me so thankful to God–that girls on our UTD campus would have a place where they can be free of shame and have whole hearted friendship with girls they just met a few months or days ago.

This month I have been so encouraged by all of the girls I have had the opportunity to study FOJ with. Two of the girls, Lily and Grace, have even stepped up to start their own FOJ with the new girls in the core, Caris and Sandra. For both Lily and Grace, this is their first year in the ministry, so I have been so impressed with how God has moved in their hearts to first of all, be disciples, and secondly to then go and make disciples. Please be in prayer as these students step out of their comfort zones to be faithful to God and serve their fellow core members through studying the Bible with them!

On a different note, there have been moments this month where I have been faced by my own judgmental and at moments, Pharisaic heart. I get frustrated when students have not been receptive to the things that I have been challenging them on or encouraging them to think about or do, or when they are stubbornly holding on to their own desires for their lives instead of letting Jesus reign over their lives. I have seen this frustration also expressed in our core leaders or in my fellow staff members from time to time.

However, this month, the Spirit has reminded me of Paul’s conversion story (which can be found in Acts 9), where Paul, a man who heavily persecuted Christians is spoken to by God, and then becomes probably the most determined of the apostles, planting churches, being persecuted and eventually being killed for his zealous faith and refusal to stop preaching the gospel. Through remembering what God did through the life of Paul, I have been encouraged to dream with God about what he could do through each of the students that I meet with, trying to picture them not just for who they currently are, but for who God could transform them into. Through this exercise, it has also allowed my patience, compassion, and love to grow for each student.

A couple of weeks ago, I got to meet with a couple of student leaders, Rebecca and Portia, and I had them go through this exercise. We shared together at the end what they envisioned God could do through each of the girls’ gifts, personalities, and stages of life. It was a sweet and encouraging time, and all of us walked away from our meeting feeling empowered and expectant at what God could do through us too.

This coming month, here are some things we would appreciate prayer for:

  • Every year, we invite students with leadership potential to a week-long training in Washington state. Tomorrow is the deadline to sign up and we are still having conversations with students who are on the fence. Please be praying that God would lead each student who he wants there to sign up!

  • Please be praying for each new student who walks into our ministry for the first time. We are always getting new students who hear about our ministry or are invited by someone to come, and we always want to welcome them with open arms and hearts. Please pray that we would not overlook anyone, especially with a ministry our size!

  • We have an event coming up at the end of March called Rez Fair (Rez is short for resurrection)! We usually do a huge event on campus, and we are partnering with over 10 campus ministries this year to put this on! However, our campus is undergoing construction so our original plan will have to be shifted and potentially downsized. Please pray that God would use this event regardless of its size to reach those who are looking for Him!

    Thank you so much for all of your support and prayers. I pray you have a great upcoming month. Love you lots!



Popular Posts