Bittersweet closing to the year!

Hello everyone! I hope that you are all having a lovely spring season so far. The school year is almost over and we are starting to wrap things up around here. Students are starting to lock down to study for their finals, turn in their final papers and projects, and discuss their summer plans. It is a bittersweet time!

This past month, I had the amazing opportunity to preach at one of our Friday Night Fellowships on campus! We have been going through a series of different practices to help us deepen our intimacy with God. I was assigned the practice of secrecy, which is when you perform good acts without telling anybody about them, but keeping them between you and God. This practice is based out of Matthew 6, where Jesus says, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them… When you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (v. 1-4).

It was really challenging to practice secrecy and to reflect on my own grasping for attention and recognition from others over that of God. It became increasingly obvious to me how deeply rooted my desire for praise from my coworkers, students, friends, and family was and how I often did not leave much room to do things only for God to see. I think it was a message that the students resonated with, especially being at a competitive school like UTD which can bleed into comparison in their own lives, leading them to seek recognition from others over that of God. If you would like to give the sermon a listen, you can do so here! (

One of the most incredible things that happened this month was the solar eclipse! UTD was in the path of totality, so on that day our students and pastors gathered on campus to watch it, and campus was SO packed! I don’t think I had ever seen that many students out on campus, they covered every open area of the campus, it was truly incredible. I got emotional sharing the moment with the students as they jumped up and down, screamed, gasped, and admired the eclipse, knowing that these rare events are only possible through God’s power and perfectly made creation. Whether the students there believed in God or not, I praised God that he allowed us all to experience it together, and that hopefully one day they would come to believe in him and in who he really is.

God has been so good, we have had 3 of our girls get baptized this past month! Kayla, Maddie, and Renae all gave such powerful testimonies at their baptisms, but something that Maddie said has been ringing in my ears. She started her testimony by saying, “I had been alive for 21 years, but it hasn’t been until Jesus came and saved my life that I have been truly living. He has brought me from death to life, and I have realized that life without Jesus is no life at all.” I love getting to witness God completely change people’s lives and give them a life that they could not have dreamed of, surrounded by people who love him and love them generously. Thank you so much for investing and for being a part of what God is doing in the lives of students like Maddie.

This past Friday, we had our Parking Lot Graduation ceremony for our graduating seniors! This tradition started during COVID when UTD had to cancel all of the graduation ceremonies, so FOCUS impromptu put together a graduation ceremony for us in a Walmart parking lot, using a truck to play Pomp and Circumstance and calling out or names for us to walk down the lot as students cheered from the sidelines. It is bittersweet to watch the students you have watched grow and mature in Christ celebrate their end of their time here, it is one of my favorite things we do each year. Would you join me in praying for each of our graduates as they take their next steps after college?

Please also join me in prayer as we prepare to send off our students to SICM, a 10-day conference in Bellingham, Washington, where they will learn how to navigate being a leader in a campus ministry. Usually during or after this trip, our staff begins having more serious conversations with students to build up our leader team for the fall. Please pray that God would move in the hearts of the students who go on this trip, that they would feel encouraged to be lights on our campus and wherever they go this summer. Please also pray that God would give us wisdom as we have conversations with the students who come back from this trip, and even those who were not able to come as we build our core facilitator team! It is an exciting time!

Thank you so much for all of your support towards me and God’s work at UTD. It means so much to know I have a team of people praying for students on our campus!



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