Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Order in the Chaos

     This month has been so hectic! Welcome week at UTD has been packed full of events: ones put on by the university and ones put on by us. Classes have also started up so it's not uncommon to go nonstop through the week, and even the weekends, from morning to midnight. But this is not the time to rest, this is the time to plant seeds!

UNITED Worship

"Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord" Psalm 134:2 NIV

     FOCUS has a strong value of cooperating with other ministries. We firmly believe that "the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few." So we pray for more campus ministries and ministers, to help us reach this campus for the Lord. Each semester we have a worship night for all the ministries to come together and be united. This year, we had an outside worship night, and again God has a huge heart for international students this year. So many stopped by, interested in the music and what was going on. Chinese, Indian, and Middle Eastern students were all represented at the event. It is amazing the plans God has in store for this year!

International Students

"He said to them, 'Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to all creation.'" Mark 16:15 NIV

     This year our students have had such a heart for the international community. Each year we have so many international students come to FOCUS, but this year has been our most diverse yet. We partnered with International Christian Fellowship and sent some of our students to an event of theirs to welcome and build relationships with the newly arrived international students. Many of these students are now connected to our ministry and are so excited to learn about Jesus!

Pool Party

What's weirder than a fraternity and a Christian ministry putting on a party together? Not much. 

     For the past two years I've worked with a fraternity on campus to put on a pool party for freshman after they move in. And every year hundreds of students come out to have fun. It's such an unorthodox partnership, but  it has been so fruitful. As one of the first and largest organizations on campus, FOCUS brings numbers and resources that the fraternity does not normally have. And on the other hand, they bring people who we may not normally get to interact with, who might not normally come to a Christian-sponsored event. This is one of my favorite events every year and we have seen God do amazing things through it!

Friday Night Focus Kickoff!

"A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another" John 13:34 NIV

     We finally started off the year with our first Friday night fellowship! Over 200 students came out to experience the community of believers that we have here. And again, international students were such a large part of that number. A few of our student leaders have told us that they were so scared of reaching out to international students because they were afraid they couldn't relate or they wouldn't what to say, or they wouldn't be able to understand them. And then they'd go on to tell us of how God called them to, or cornered them into, situations where they were talking and inviting international students. Our students are so impressive in the way they welcome new students, and love new people every year, encouraging each other to do the same. Please continue praying for them as they continue to build God's kingdom throughout the school year!

Prayer List

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

For this coming month please pray for:
-Cores (our small groups). This will be the first week for most of the cores across the ministry, including my own. Please pray that we would be able to connect with God-seeking individuals!
-Worship team, as I restructure how we do worship and how we train our worship pastors. I want to build an infrastructure that will last through the years.
-Diligence and energy for all of us to stay attuned to who God wants us to reach out to and to stay afloat with the new relationships that we're building.

Thank you to everyone who support me, encourage me, and pray for me. If there is ever anything I can do for you, please let me know, I'd be delighted to be able to pay it back a little.

In Christ,