I'm staying on staff!

Hi friends! Thanks so much for reading my monthly updates! I have a couple updates and a super exciting announcement for you this month.

Number one, I'm super excited to announce that I'll be staying on staff after my apprenticeship ends! The plan is to move over to Collin College and stay there for a year, and after that, see what God does. That means that I'll be contacting all of you who support me in the next few months to ask if you'd like to continue to support me throughout next year, so if you want to be praying about that now, that would be amazing. Thank you!

Collin students at Winter Camp earlier this year! These are the people I will get to work with starting in August. 
Secondly, I've had a lot of people ask me how I fill up an entire week with ministry, so I wanted to show you what my schedule typically looks like.

Pretty much anything that says "Meet with ___" means I'm meeting up one-on-one with a student or occasionally another staff …

Beginning and Deepening Relationships

Winter Camp was a huge success! We had hundred of students from campuses all over the DFW metroplex come worship God for four days in a row. Each day we had one or two sessions with worship before and a guest speaker, John Stackhouse from Regent University. The talks were incredibly powerful and if you're interested in checking them out, they're available here. (They're actually pretty short and inspirational. I'd most recommend the Sunday night one.) Two girls from our small group (Wulan and Nathalie) came, and the four of us (two of them plus Ada and I) were able to grow a lot closer together.

This is during one of our worship services at camp (If you want to hear the songs we sang all during camp, here's a Spotify playlist of the whole thing!)

John Stackhouse speaking at Winter Camp 
We had a particularly bonding experience at the Sunday night service. Every few years, we do a lament service at Winter Camp, where we give people space to grieve things they've…

Karaoke, Skits, Sermons and More!

Our year ended with a couple big events. First, we had one last Christmas themed outreach event we dubbed Christmas carol-oke. We had a live band set up in the middle of campus and invited people to come karaoke to Christmas songs. Our hope was mainly to just get our name out there and to build some friendships with UTD students we may not meet otherwise. It went great, and all the students had a lot of fun!

My new small friend Jackson and I dancing to Christmas songs at carol-oke

To wrap up the year for the students, we had our annual Christmas party. The UTD apprentices - me, Emily McDonald, Darby and Drew - were in charge of planning the party. We settled on a beach theme, and every year, we encourage the student small groups to put together a short skit or song to perform in front of everyone.

Ada's and my core + Meg and Andrea's core in our skit attire

A video of our core skit! 

In addition to each core doing a skit, the UTD staff also gets together and does a skit, so he…

Thank you!

This month, because we just had Thanksgiving, I want to take a minute and express how thankful I am to be working on a team with such amazing people. I don't have time to talk about everyone I'm thankful for, but here are just a few.

This is Wulan, and I am really proud of her. About halfway through this semester, she made a decision to make Christian community a priority in her life. And boy has she succeeded. She's been one of our most consistent core members since then. She came to Pizza Theology just to learn more about the story of the Bible (an incredible, but somewhat intimidating event with hundreds of students from around DFW), and she's faithfully come to study Genesis with me almost every Tuesday.

Here, on the left is Emily. I get to work with her and two other apprentices on the UTD campus. Emily has an incredible heart for people, and I'm so encouraged by the work she is doing. She leads a small group like mine, and it's so clear that everyone in he…

Reaching Out

God is really working here at UTD! 
There are two things we, as a community, wanted to put more effort into this year: outreach to non-Christians on campus, and service projects.
One of our service projects was a coordinated effort with a local church. Students from our ministry signed up to wash cars for single mothers. I was pretty convicted by this event because it was optional and I fully intended to sleep in that morning until a girl from my core last year asked me about it. It was pretty amazing how many students from our ministry volunteered to give up their Saturday morning serving in this way. I'm really proud of them and am learning to be more of a servant.

FOCUS students who came to serve at the car wash!
We had our regular outreach to the campus this month, but we dedicated special effort to a party on Halloween night. The goal was to get as many new people to hear about FOCUS, and hopefully have enough fun with us that they'll want to come back.  It was a huge su…

Fall is Finally Here!

Fall is definitely my favorite time of year.  With this beautiful weather, I've gotten to spend a lot more time outside talking to God.  One of the biggest things I've realized is just how grateful I am to be here doing ministry.  College is full of students with open hearts ready to receive Jesus, so thank you so much for your support as we reach out to them.

The biggest event this month was our annual Fall Camp. The whole UTD FOCUS community drove an hour away to hang out for roughly 24 hours together.  We worshiped, listened to talks about the importance of community, played sports, did crafts, and had a spontaneous dance party!  Seven girls from my core came, and we all got to know each other a lot better and shared about each of our experience in Christian community.  I'm really grateful that each of them is a part of my life.

My sweet core girls at Fall Camp!  Bottom row: Winnie, Juhee, Ally; top row: Sarah, me, Nathalie, Monica and Ada.  
One thing we've really …

We've Hit the Ground Running!

School started a couple weeks ago and we are moving at full speed!  We started off this month by playing board games in the residence halls as the students moved in.  That way, we talked with every freshman that came through the doors on those nights.  Quite a few of them came back and are now involved in our small groups! 

Board game night in the freshman residence halls!
My small group (also known as a core, because it's the core of the ministry), started meeting two weeks ago.  The students that showed up were a mix of freshman we met that first week, international students who have been in the US just a few weeks, students who were involved in our ministry last year and a few girls who brought friends.  After knowing each other for only two weeks, these girls are already making meals for the sick members of the group and studying the Bible together.  I'm so proud of them and super excited for everything that God is going to do with and through us!

Ally (who is studying the…