Today, December 3rd, is our annual Keep FOCUS Growing fundraiser! We do it every year on giving Tuesday, because Facebook uses that day to waive all transactions fees for online donations. We are trying to raise money for staff salary shortfalls, outreach budgets, supplies, administrators and much more. Some generous donors have agreed to match up to a total of $36,000 in donations to the FOCUS ministry today only. If that's something you'd like to participate in, please go to our Facebook page and donate. Also, if you're reading this before 1:30, I'll be going live on Facebook at that time to tell you more about it!
In other news, the Collin ministry is still going amazingly and I'm loving it. I wanted to give you a specific few highlights from this month. I would also like to formally apologize because I am terrible at remembering to take pictures of people.
1. I'm finishing a Focus on Jesus study with my sweet and incredibly faithful friend Lauren. I'm pretty sure she's never missed a lesson and has never missed a core meeting, so that's really just been a blessing to me. It's so encouraging to see people who are so eager to be part of community. She also just started leading the study with another newcomer in our core and I'm just really proud of her.
2. The new Focus on Jesus study is uh-mazing. It has ten lessons and is in chronological order, from creation to Jesus' second coming. The primary goal is to really tell the whole story of the Bible and to make connections that we don't always get. I think it does that super well, and every time I sit down to study with one of my girls, I feel like God teaches both of us. Check it out if you're interested. My absolute favorite is lesson is #4, just in case you wanted to know.
Focus on Jesus introduction
The best lesson in its entirety. You're welcome.
3. I feel like the girls I'm working with are also my close friends. I got to spend some time just hanging out with my peer team girls (the three other small group leaders that I mentor) and we just had dinner and saw a movie and it was super easy. It just made me realize how much a part of my life they've become and how real these friendships are. I also very much missed them over Thanksgiving break and I'm glad to be back.
4. Our staff women across all campuses are working to develop relationships with each other. We meet sometimes all together, but usually in smaller groups just to talk about what's going on in ministry, to use each other as a resource and to develop friendships. It's been very uplifting to know what's going on at the other campuses, and it's very encouraging to have a weekly place where I can just let people know what's going on in my life and what I need help with.
5. Our Christian History class has been enlightening. The first and second year senior staff members, along with a couple others who wanted a refresher, are taking a class from Regent college on Christian history. We listen to the lectures every week and come together to discuss them. I loved history back when my mom taught it to us, but it's been neat to actively learn to apply it to ministry. So far we've covered up to the Reformation, and I am looking forward to part 2.
Christian history topics
6. The Collin staff in general is great to work with. This team is not just encouraging and fun. I've also loved how willing they are to try new things and do whatever we need to in order to bring Jesus to the Collin campus. Today and tomorrow, we're setting up booths on campus to write Christmas cards for kids in hospitals. We're using it as an opportunity to both let the campus know who FOCUS is and what we care about, and to serve the community we live in. Please pray that it goes well!
7. All of you! I mentioned this last month, but I'm fully fundraised and just recently I sat down to recognize how incredible that is. In total, that was $30,000 which is kind of insane that I have so many friends willing to invest so much in me. I know that's because God's hand is on this ministry and he is in your hearts and you're really willing to listen. I want to make sure I stay faithful to him and serve you as well, so please reach out if there's ever anything I can do for you.
Prayers for you this Christmas season! I hope God really blesses you and that you get the chance to bless other people with what he's given you. As always, thank you for your prayers and support!