Friday, April 20, 2018

For I am His, and He is Mine

Student Spring Impact



Well, it finally came and went. We had a week-long evangelism outing with student from Washington. It definitely started out a little slow, poor weather meant less traffic and made it harder to initiate conversations. No doubt good things still came out of it, but it didn't match up to previous years in terms of turnout. But as the sun came out in the middle of the week, so did the moods and attitudes of all the students on campus. We unveiled a nine-square-in-the-air game, and one of our students said that he got more numbers through playing that than he had ever gotten during any other event. The Washington students also commented on how much fun and how much resolve they gained from it going back to their own campuses. God does amazing work even as we may get discouraged. He knows what He's doing, and will get done what He wants to get done, all we need to do is surrender to His will.

Spring Showcase



And finally, the project I spend the most time stressing and worrying about every year: Spring Showcase! It was great to see some of you come out for that! With about 1,000 people coming to the show, running it is always a stressful deal. But we had a lot of great acts, lots of great people who helped and volunteered, and as always in the end it was amazingly successful. The event raised over $20,000! It's only because of supporters like you that we could ever pull this off, whether you came or not, your support allows me to work on things like this. We already have talks on how to make next year's even bigger and better. All of the proceeds go to paying for students to attend SICM, the leadership conference we have in the summer. And this much money will go a long way for that. And if you weren't able to make it, I'm sorry that you missed out on my group's amazing country performance.


Thank You!


As always, thank you all for being beside me throughout this time. Whether you've been with me for a couple months, or since the beginning almost three years ago, thank you. Thank you for believing in me, for believing in the work we're doing here, and investing in college students' lives. I have faith that as long as we stick with it, God will multiply our investment in lives around the world.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Bought with the Precious Blood of Christ

Pizza Theology


We had our second semester Pizza Theology on Jesus' Second Coming. And as you can tell by the picture, we had a pretty packed house. Take a second to imagine almost 500 college-aged students willing to drive long distances to attend a four-hour, sit-and-take-notes type of lecture on a spiritual topic. It's not something that happens often, and outside of seminary students, maybe ever. But that's why I love this community. They're people who will go on to lead lives in the workplace, have families, live in the city, the suburbs, the country, and have this strong foundation of thinking critically about, and relating intimately with, God and his people. That's a transforming movement right there.



Spring Showcase


Coming up real soon is our annual Spring Showcase. It's a fundraiser to help send our potential student leaders to our leadership training conference up in Bellingham. The cost of a week-and-a-half up in Washington state with plane tickets ends up being about $700 per student, which is not something every one of them can afford. So we as a staff and community put our time and effort into helping those who need the help. Ministry leadership shouldn't be just for those who can afford it. So if you want to see a show with professional-caliber musicians, dancers, and more, then mark your calendars for April 7th. We have two shows, one at 3pm and one at 7pm with an art sale in between starting at 5:30pm. You don't want to miss this, trust me. 


Prayers and Thanks



Please pray for this next week as we enter our Student Spring Impact Week. We have a crew of students from Western Washington University who are going to be spending their spring break here to help us evangelize to our campus. Pray for good weather, good conversations, and for God's will to be done. 

And thank you all so much for your continual support. As the end of the year fast approaches I'm looking forward to having the time to spend some time with many of you again!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

No Guilt in Life, No Fear in Death


Social Justice


“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’


Matthew 25:34-30

One of the topics this generation is particularly passionate about is social justice. And yet the church culture as a whole has started to separate our "personal" walks with Jesus and the practice of justice. We wanted to preach to our students how near to God's heart the poor, oppressed, the widow, the orphan, and the foreigner are. Justice is not about doling out due judgment, but about lifting up the low and speaking truth to power, just as Jesus did. The series hit close to my heart as community service and combating racial discrimination have always been passions of mine. And it was so great being able to share with the community a call to bring justice to this world until He returns.


Science and Faith


We've now dove deep into our next series exploring the relationship between science and faith. It has been amazing listening to Sirak preach on the questions that science can and cannot answer and the questions faith can and cannot answer. We are literally overflowing in the room we meet in, not a single chair is empty and people are bringing in chairs from other rooms or sitting on steps listening. This is still such a relevant topic and has divided even the church on whether science and faith are at odds or complements to each other. There is a hunger in believers and seekers alike to know the Creator and how he relates to his creation. I saw at least a dozen new faces at our last meeting, please pray for these new individuals that they may find the life-giving water they may not know they're looking for.


Thank You!


Thank you all so much for your continued support. Without you, not only would it be much more difficult financially to do what I do, but also emotionally and mentally. Knowing that you all have my back is an enormous support. I often tell my students about how much I love fundraising because it gives me the opportunity to build relationships with all of you, and I mean it.

Personal

On a personal note, my grandmother died a few nights ago. Please pray for comfort for my family and particularly my parents as they deal with the necessary things in Taiwan. Thankfully my grandmother was a Christian and we know that she is getting to see Jesus face-to-face before we do. 


Saturday, January 20, 2018

This is the Power of Christ in Me

Christmas


Wearing crowns because we're British now
Thank you guys so much for caring about me and praying for my holiday season. It meant a lot to hear from you. Our Christmas ended up going well. We skyped most of our family in the morning, minus the mom and dad who were with our grandma in Taiwan. And then we were welcomed into one of my friend and coworker's house for Christmas lunch. Our first Christmas as a segmented family went off as well as we could have hoped. 

Corefa Class


Taking notes in corefa class
To get ready for the semester we get all our corefas back to prepare for the new year. This time we brought in a psychiatrist from the Meier Clinic to help our students better understand mental illness, the causes, and the different ways to treat it. It was helpful to hear from a professional, one with a Christian perspective, how he views mental illness in its physical and spiritual facets. He also explained the effects of certain medicines and when he chooses to prescribe them and how he chooses to wean people off of them or keep them on indefinitely. As anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts plague this generation, our leaders face these challenges more and more. Whether it's within themselves or in their groups, the problem is pervasive and we want to equip our students to be able to handle those situations with grace and understanding.

Winter Camp


From on-stage
Look at everybody!
And finally, we kicked off our semester with our annual Winter Camp. This is the biggest event we put on all year with all of our campuses joining together for four days of retreat. As with most retreats we have services with worship and guest speakers. This year we had Geoff and Jessica Mumley from Campus Christian Fellowship at Western Washington University come and talk to our students about being sent ones. What makes this conference different is our community, how much they love each other how much they look out for each other, and how anxious they are to build new relationships and build on old ones across these campuses. It's a time for them to get a vision bigger than themselves, bigger than their small groups, and bigger than any individual campus. If our mission is to establish a ministry on every college campus in the DFW Metroplex we're going to need a lot more hands and a lot more laborers in his vineyard. Pray for students to continue catching the vision and considering that God could be calling them to a life of vocational ministry. Pray for students rising to leadership and accepting the opportunity God has given them in their college years. And pray for students who are finally taking the chance to be a part of this community and experiencing the blessings God has poured out to us.


Thank You

Our UTD Staff
Thank you all so much for your constant support. This past summer our FOCUS staff had a CRU minister come and share with us his wisdom on support-raising. He said a curious thing, would you rather have 30 donors giving for your salary or one? While it makes logical sense to not have one donor to whom you would be beholden to, what about one vs. 300 or one vs 3,000? Would I not rather have to keep track of one person than hundreds? Well this year, God has surprised me in this arena, as if to teach me something. So many of you have come out of nowhere to support me. Some without me asking, some with just a few words, and all with such joy when choosing to give. Now, without a doubt I would choose the many over the one because that means there are 3,000 people who are willing to sacrifice some of what they have for me. That is something beyond any amount of money, so thank you all so much for being in my corner and believing in the work God is doing here. 


Friday, December 22, 2017

From Life's First Cry to Final Breath

Christmas Party


Every year we do a Christmas Party to celebrate the season, the end of the year, and to get our community together as a family. This year we did a Christmas movies theme with the church decked out in full movie theater decor. And as always, we had our core skits as the main event. It was a really fun time that bonds people together through 

Christmas Devotional


We had our last fellowship night out in the cold! All bundled up and cuddled close together, it was a great time despite the weather, and maybe because of it. Our students loved having it outside, and it was a great opportunity to have visibility on campus. We had more than a couple students join us after hearing the music. 



SMU Advent Service


We had our first advent service at our SMU campus to celebrate the season. We went through a traditional service led by an episcopal priest. We sang through old hymns and through Bible passages that went from Genesis to the Gospels speaking of the entire gospel story. It was a great night of meaning and tradition. 


Thank You and Merry Christmas!


Thank you to everyone so much for your constant support,  it means so much to me. Because of you I'm able to take part in a career that I love and interact with people that I love every day. I hope this Christmas season is a good one for all of you. Because my brother works in customer service, the two of us will be spending Christmas in Dallas while my parents are in Taiwan visiting my grandmother in the hospital. If you could pray for her continued improvement, I would very much appreciate it, as well as for my family in general as we try to spend some time together this season in three different places. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Jesus Commands My Destiny

All-Church Retreat


This month we had a chance for our DFW Metro Family of Churches to get together and celebrate 20 years together. It was a rare opportunity to get some good time being in fellowship with people of all ages rather than just college students. It was such a great time to be a part of a family that's so much bigger than just the people I see week-to-week or the students I minister to.

Pizza Theology


We got to host Professor Bill Watson from Criswell College to speak to our students on the Sermon on the Mount this semester for pizza theology. It was an amazing night that our students absolutely loved. I would highly suggest everyone listen to it here! He has such insight into this famous passage of the Scripture, and really painted a picture for what this life is about. 

Prayer Requests


There are a few things that I've been anxious to share with you and ask for your prayers:

A student named Aaron that I met at Welcome Week this year has been a part of one of our cores this semester. He is not a Christian, but is earnestly seeking and asking questions. Please pray that he continues to have a heart for the truth.

As we head into the holiday season and the end of the semester this is a time that many of our cores start realizing the brotherhood/sisterhood they've built in their short time together. Please pray for lasting friendships and a strong finish to this semester.

Thanksgiving


Thank you all so much for all you've done for me, it has been such a great experience to have you all supporting me. Some of you year after year, some of you for the first time, every one of you means so much to me. Please if there's anything I can ever do for any of you, don't hesitate to ask. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

No Power of Hell, No Sin of Man

Fall Camp
"The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry." Psalm 34:15


So over a weekend we had our 2017 Fall Camp! For just two days and a night, our students retreat from their school stresses and everyday life things and spend some quality time with their brothers and sisters in Christ. Fall Camp is always a good way to cast a vision for our students on what this community is like and how they can be a part of it. It's especially great for our smaller campuses in the Dallas area, Richland, TWU Dallas, and now SMU, to physically see that Christ's family is bigger than what they may see on just their one campus. We had multiple students share their testimonies on how God has shaped and changed their view of being a Christian, a disciple. A common thread throughout the testimonies was that we often get comfortable and complacent on who's "in" and who's "out" when really our God is not as concerned about these trivial things we seem to be concerned about. What we need to concern ourselves with is making Jesus the Lord of my life. 


Worship Night and Outreach

"And he said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation...'" Mark 16:15


We also had our first week of concerted outreach  (after welcome week of course!) We started it off with a worship night to get our hearts and minds in the right place cast a vision for our students. We firmly believe that relationship and sharing life is the best way to introduce people to God, though we have no doubt that our one-off conversations and brief interactions are part of the watering process as well. We started each day of outreach off with campus conversations, sending our students off in pairs to talk to people, start conversations, relationships, and invite them to the things we were doing so we could share life together. This is the most intimidating thing for our students as you can imagine. Spreading the gospel and speaking to strangers has easily been one of the big fears in all Christian communities. But we encouraged them to invite the people they talked to to hang out with us int he afternoon and then have dinner with us that night. I personally met and got five students' numbers. Please pray as I continue to invite them to join our community and our lives.


Thank You!

"This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:29


Thank you so much for your continued support of me and this ministry. It's because of you and our God that I get to spend time with amazing men and women who are dedicated to making His name known here at UTD. Please continue to pray as our ministry continues to grow, that we may include and integrate these enthusiastic new disciples, and as our ministry faces some tough challenges from the enemy in people who want to divide and sow enmity in the community. Your prayers mean the world to me, and I hope to always show my gratitude for your support!