Saturday, December 10, 2016

Let Us Exalt on Bended Knee

Pizza Theology

"'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.'" Jeremiah 33:3

Well, this past little while we had an event called pizza theology. If you don't remember, it's where we have a four-hour teaching period on a subject and have a break for pizza in the middle. This year we had a guest speaker from a partner ministry, Campus Christian Fellowship up at Western Washington University come to speak to us on listening to God's voice in the modern age. This topic was a question we heard our students asking a lot, and many of them had great feedback for the day. So many of us, young and old want to hear from God to tell us what we are supposed to do. Many of these college students are wanting to hear what their careers will be, who they should marry, what they should do with life in general. And while God doesn't give us all specific directives for everything in life, He does have words for all of us, and it's important to be able to take the time and the discipline to hear from Him.


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

Early December I was able to preach my first sermon of the semester. More often my time in front of the students is with a guitar in my hand and a band behind me, but this time it was me all by my lonesome. Sermons generally make me pretty nervous because of how seldom I do them, but afterwards I'm always glad that I have the experience. I talk about 1 Peter 4:1-11 and much of what I've learned about grace this semester. If you want to listen to it, you can find it here!

Christmas Party

"So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13

You know what's one of the most stressful parts of my job? Christmas Party, because it's such a big holiday! We have a themed party every and decorate the church to make it super festive. Families celebrate the holidays together and Christmas is the biggest one for families across the nation, including our spiritual family here in FOCUS. We have cores sign up to do song skits and it's always a blast watching people leave their dignity at the door in the name of group bonding. This year we had an 80s theme and required our song skits to include an 80s part in it. Our staff also does one every year! Check it out here (you'll have to scroll down a little bit)!

Keep FOCUS Growing: Next 20

"As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work." John 9:4

We're having our annual Keep Focus Growing fundraiser going on right now! This year we're focusing (haha!) on the next 20 years. FOCUS has been around for 20 years, and we're anxious to see what God has in store for the next 20 years! This year I've taken a much larger hand in the fundraiser by directing the videos you may have seen. An absurd amount of work goes into each one to two minute video, check them out here along with cute pictures of alumni's kids and beautiful art made by our students! Please consider donating to this fund! We use it to really take advantage of the opportunities God puts in our path. This is just part of the stewardship we believe God has called us to, financially and spiritually. Next year may be the year that we plant a ministry at Southern Methodist University. It'll be our first venture into a private university! There have been many connections we've made and coincidences that can only be God guiding us in that direction, and we're slowly moving forward watching for the Spirit's guidance. The money raised as part of this fundraiser will be going towards things like this! We're trying to raise $55,000 this year, so please pray and consider being a part of this mission! 

Core Reunion

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:16-18

As many of you know, cores (our small groups) are named that because they're the core of our ministry. And last year I had such a fun group of guys that I loved being around. We formed a deep bond, and I truly hope that they'll be friends for life. We all grew up a lot together last year, and this is what this community is all about: deep spiritual friendships that last a lifetime.

Thank You!

"I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers." Ephesians 1:16

Because of you I get to do a job that I love every day. Thank you all so much for believing in me and supporting me. I am thankful for each and every one of you, and if there is anything I can ever do for you, please let me know! Please have a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Power and Might of His Great Name

20 Year Celebration

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." Psalms 126:3

On October 8th, we celebrated 20 years of existence for FOCUS. We had donors, supporters, and alumni form all over come and share in this celebration. Hundreds came out to the event and eat, have fun, and fellowship with each other, young and old. It was an awesome time to really take a step back and see what God has done here for the past 20 years.  From a small little campus ministry on one campus to one that is on nine campuses across the metroplex, God has really done some amazing things.

Fall Camp

"But if we walk int he light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." 1 John 1:7

We had our Dallas fall camp on a weekend and it was a blast. We had over 150 students come out to join in a short retreat. A major part of the camp was the student testimonies. Instead of a sermon in each session we had multiple students prepare and share testimonies on how they had been brave. Students shared about confessing and coming into the light, forgiving family, learning how to reach out to others, and they really set an example and impacted their peers.

Jesus and Politics

"Jesus said, 'My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place." John 18:36

Finally this coming Saturday, Sarah Hubbard and I will be teaching a seven hour class on Jesus and Politics or what we like to call, "Jesus: The Man, the Myth, the...Politician?" With all the controversy and talk surrounding this election season we thought it best that we talk with our students, discuss, and teach how to think like a Christian even in the political arena. We want to convey that God's values are different than any one party can contain, that He has called us to care about our neighbors and their well-being and politics is one way we can do that. We've put so much work into preparing this class and I'm excited to see how it goes! Please pray for us!

Thank You!

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity" Proverbs 17:17

My brother has come to join the ranks of Uengs in Texas (of which I was the only member previously).  It has been great showing him around, introducing him to FOCUS and friends, and him cooking and cleaning up after me! It reminds me a little of Epaphroditus and Paul, that Epaphroditus was sent to deliver a letter to Paul and help him in his daily ministry just as the church in Phillipi that he came from was supporting Paul financially. I have to admit that my room becomes a huge mess throughout the week, particularly these past few weeks when my weekends are taken up by events and appointments. Paul hasn't just keep my room tidy, he cleaned it when he arrived, and he has made my bed after I've already taken off most days. This help is a metaphor and a reminder of your support for me. I'm always so thankful and filled with joy when I think of all of you, my supporters, and I jump at opportunities to spend time with any of you. I pray that your ministries are also being blessed and that we can encourage each other in times of joy and in times of sorrow. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

It's A Good Life We Lead

Get ready. I really pour my heart out in this one.

It's Only Beginning

Our corefas!
Oh wow, August was such a busy month, where do I even start? Well, school has started and we're in the full swing of things! It's been crazy but so good. We had two corefa (small group facilitator) prep sessions in early August. One was to prepare them for the rush of welcome week, what to expect when meeting a ton of strangers, and to calm their nerves as they got ready to talk to and build relationships with new people! The second was to teach them how to begin leading their cores (small groups). This year I'm leading a peer team (group of small group leaders) of eight awesome guys. Pray that I mentor them well!

Welcome Week!

Games on the Mall
United Worship with other ministries
Along those lines, our welcome week was such a success. Despite forecasts of rain, we trusted that God knew what He was doing and we would take whatever He gave us. Well, the forecasts were almost entirely correct and all but one of our events had to change due to weather. You would expect turnout would suffer because of that, but not at all! If anything, many of our events were even more successful than usual because the rain funneled students inside and to our events as well as lowered the temperature so that when we were able to play outside it was nice and cool. God's plans are higher than ours! 

Zombie Tag indoors because of the rain
More Games on the Mall

One of my favorite moments of welcome was the time we played games on the mall. The mall is a long strip of land right down the middle of campus that passes by most of the classroom buildings and the Student Union. Because of possible muddy conditions we changed our original plan of playing sports on the fields, but then the day of we reverted back to the plan since the fields felt dry enough to play on. However, since we had already planned to play on the mall as a contingency we decided to go ahead with it before we would head to the fields at the advertised time. All of this is to say that this event was unadvertised and only had a few hours to spread by Facebook event and word of mouth. Well, as you can see from the picture it had such a great turnout. Easily hundreds of students, ours included, were a part of the games we played. From throwing around a Frisbee to games we played in a circle, to just talks on the wooden steps, it was a sight that gave me chills. When one of our directors came by the event I told her, "Welcome to the kingdom of heaven." It really was an amazing sight to see God's people enjoying each other and obeying His commands to go and make disciples.

First Friday Night

First FNF
Our first Friday Night Fellowship also had a great turnout! So many of our students really put their all in inviting new students to come enjoy this community of God. A really great and surprising part of it was that while the band practiced in the hour before we started many students, particularly international students, heard the music and came by to check out what was going on. And so many of them stayed! Hopefully we will be faithful with the opportunities God has given us here and are willing to put in the effort to really come alongside these individuals and show them who Jesus is.   


Marla's Baptism in the Pool
One of the ladies in our ministry also got baptized on the first week of school! It was a great encouragement to start off the year and really showed what this community is about. We love to hang out and we believe it is an important part of the Christian life, but at the end of the day we're here because of Jesus. He binds us all together, no matter how similar or different we are.

Thank You!

The bed frame in all its glory
Last but not least, I finally bought a bed frame! After years of sleeping on a mattress on the ground, I decided it was time to at least look like an adult! Thanks to all my supporters who helped me get to this stage in life! 

On a more serious note, thank you so much for all that you do for me: that you've given me this opportunity and privilege to be on the front lines at this campus. It is truly amazing what I get to do and what I get to witness here. I was talking to a coworker a few days ago and we were talking about the guys we were discipling. As we talked about where they were, what we were doing with them, I talked about the Comet Cafe. This is the eating area in the Student Union where most of the restaurants are and where most students eat. I talked about how I have lunch there with one of the students I'm reaching out to, and how I'm never worried that we'll eat alone because I know there will be at least a dozen of our students eating lunch there as well or at least passing by. And to this he said "It's a good life we lead." And truly it is. We may not make a salary that makes others jealous, we may not work hours that others envy, but it's a life we wouldn't trade for anything else. To God be all the glory!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Let Earth and Heavenly Saints Proclaim

Ordination Ceremony

"Again Jesus said, 'Simon son of John, do you love me?' He answered, 'Yes Lord, you know that I love you.' Jesus said, 'Take care of my sheep.'" John 21:16
This year we had our very first ordination ceremony. The staff and incoming apprentices (previously called interns) made promises to the community on how we would live our lives, how we would act towards them, and what we would do for them. Many individuals from the churches involved with FOCUS came as well to witness it.

Staff Retreat

"One who has unreliable friend soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24

Early this month we also had our staff retreat for all of our staff across campuses. It was a great time of learning, relating, and fun. Unfortunately, I was having too much fun and didn't even take a single picture! So until one of my coworkers chooses to unveil one they took, you'll just have to imagine what it was like. But we were on a lake so it looked something like this picture we took in Washington. We really value being like a family, in our community and among our staff. So it's important to us to get quality time together even when we our campuses are far apart. 

Looking Forward

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death." Philippians 1:20

Over the summer we've been working a lot, but a lot of that is planning for the new year, brainstorming on more effective methods, preparing our new students leaders, and deciding who those should even be. This summer has really stretched me since I'm not a huge fan of planning. I like to do and be productive, and I only like to plan what's necessary and immediate. So having to rest and allow this season to take its course has been a challenge, but a lot has been planned and I'm really looking forward to the new things we have going on this next year. We have plans to utilize even more of our students, giving them opportunities to serve and catch a vision for a ministry-filled life, we have plans for a politics class to help our students learn how to think through politics as a follower of Jesus, and so much more! I can't wait to tell y'all of how it works out this year!


"Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done." Psalm 105:1

Thank you to all of my supporters both past and present who are praying for me and giving to this mission. I couldn't do what I do without your help. Please pray as the first week of school starts soon and our students are going to be meeting new students on campus! It's probably the busiest two weeks of the entire school year so pray for energy all around. Thanks so much, guys!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

Support Raising

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21

Part of going on staff entails raising support again for the next three years. And phew, I've really hit the ground running. I have absolutely loved getting to catch up with many of you and hear about your years and the way God has shown up. It has been so encouraging to hear you take pride in me and my participation in God's work this past year, but also watching me grow over the course of the past decade or so. Your efforts in ministry have also been a great encouragement to me to see how a disciple lives in different stages of life. I hope to continue to meet with everyone that I can and be able to spur one another on throughout this summer. 

Going Home

"Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds" Psalm 71:17

I got to visit both of my homes in the past month! I took a week in Washington to visit my supporters there, and it was so awesome! I got to visit my home church and see a lot of the people who had a part in my upbringing in the Lord. I hope to continue to encourage you all reading this just as much as you have encouraged me in my childhood and in my present pursuit of the calling God has given me here. The picture on the left is where I got baptized! 
I also was able to visit home in California where my family lives. Father's day was that weekend so I'm thankful that I was there! My siblings and cousins were all in town and it was a great blast to be able to hang out and catch up with them as well.

Summer FOCUS

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective" James 5:16

Every summer we continue to meet together by combining all of our campuses together for the students who are still here. It's a great place to continue students' growth during the months of summer, and they absolutely love being able to see each other even while school's out. 

Last night during our weekly gathering, I introduced myself to a student and struck up a conversation. During the conversation he confided that he was not doing well in school and was worried about telling his parents. I asked questions, counseled him, and encouraged him to trust in those who love him. I ask that you would pray for this student and others like him who are going through similar situations.

Thank You!

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" Romans 8:28

Thank you to all my supporters this past year! Your consistent prayers, encouragements, and financial help have been integral to the role God has given me here in Dallas. Thank you to all who I've been able to meet with so far for your support and trust in me. I'm looking forward to meeting with the supporters who I have not gotten around to yet. And I hope to be able to meet with all of you again soon!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Praise Him Above

End of the Year

"Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker." Psalm 95:6-7

With my co-leader, Dave
This has been such an amazing year. I can’t hope to describe exactly how much impact it has has had on me in addition to so many others. I could start by giving a big shout-out to my co-leader, Dave. He has grown so much this year and become such a good friend to me. He has really shown up for this community and served it well. I wouldn’t trade his friendship for the world. He and my core guys have taught me, exemplified to me what being close, intimate friends really means. 
With my flight group

Another big shout out to Stuart, for showing up to our studies ready and eager to learn, for always having a big smile and enthusiasm, and for always being able to bring life to the places he’s at.


"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be build up." Ephesians 4:11-12

New UTD Staff

The Student Institute of Campus Ministry was as powerful as I remembered it to be. Over 120 students went on the trip (that was a big undertaking!) and they all loved it. It was a week of intense learning and relating, getting to know each other and being extremely well-behaved guests. On the trip I got to stay with an amazing host family, the Powells, and I got to witness up close what it could look like to be fervent disciples as a married couple with children. It looks 
With my friend and supporter, Kevin
drastically different from being single and unattached, but it is no less powerful, and in some ways even more so. I also got to meet up with an old friend and supporter while in town, and it was such a refreshing experience. Kevin and I have known each other since we were 10 and now, over a decade later and thousands of miles apart, our lives are still intertwined because of the unity of the Spirit.

Thank You!

"You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God." 2 Corinthians 9:11-12
Core and Company

So, as many of you know I'll be going on staff with FOCUS for the next three years. Thank you all for being a part of my internship experience this past year. Some of you I have known for a few years, some of you have known me since I was little more than a baby (looking at you, Changs!). But thank you to all of you so much for believing in me and in the work God has prepared for me here in Dallas. I hope to meet up with each and every one of you face-to-face this summer if nothing more than to catch up and thank you in person. Love you all!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

All Creatures Here Below

Pizza Theology

"He answered, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind...'" Luke 10:27

We had another Sunday of learning this semester for all of our campuses to come together and dive deep into a single topic, a topic that can't even be scratched by a normal Sunday or Friday night sermon: Gender, Marriage, and Sexuality. It amazes me how our students are constantly so excited to spend 5 hours of their weekend learning about how to think, and they come out in droves! Hundreds of students packed into the room to hear our campus pastors talk about what they've learned, what they've read, and what they've studied. And in the end, there are more questions than answers! But more often than not, it's about arriving at the right questions rather than the "right" answer. And our students are learning to think for themselves, how to think like a Christian, rather than just a mindless drone in society gobbling up whatever anyone tells them. They'll think like a true follower of Christ.

End of the Year

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a  time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance..."Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

As the school year drew to a close, it was filled with bittersweet memories. Every year at the last Friday Night Fellowship we open up the mic for our students to share, and share they did. Story after story of students talking of how God had changed their lives that year. Through relationship and community, God's love was apparent to them and the truth of God was allowed into their hearts. One of the guys in my core shared how he was challenged to speak before the whole community of how God had worked in his life, how he rededicated his life, and how he's been clean from drugs for months. Another student spoke about finding real friendships and deep relationships here where no one was judged for the things they've never told anyone. These are the testimonies that you have been investing in! And I hope you know how much of an impact you have. 


"For lack of guidance, a nation falls. but victory is won through many advisers" Proverbs 11:14

Finally the time has come! At this very moment, I'm sitting in an airport with six of the 110 or so students that we're sending to the Student Institute of Campus Ministry at Bellingham, Washington (my home state!). This leadership conference will prepare them for the future as they lead others in discipleship. It is so exciting to be seeing the next generation of leaders ready to learn and serve the community in the coming years! Please pray for energy, open hearts, and eager minds in the next week as they learn so much about best strategies to impact college students' lives.

Thank You!

"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35

One of the sermons in our last month touched on the topic of generosity. As a visual example, over 200 paper stars were taped to the walls, each one representing a supporter of a staff worker at UTD. Each one representing one of you. That was a moment of impact as it sank in. These students, many of whom you've never met, are loved and cared by you, whom they also may never meet. That is the kingdom of God. That is the family of God. So, thank you so much for loving me, loving these students, and for all your support this past year. It means so much to me!

Monday, April 11, 2016

From Whom All Blessings Flow

SSI students bonding with our Richland students
Another month, another crazy time of ministry. This past month, and really this past semester, has been jam-packed with events and big ministry opportunities. I feel like every weekend has something new and exciting happening. Here's the low-down!

Spring Student Impact (SSI)

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

Introduction to Chick-Fil-A!
SSI students at our evangelism boards
Every year we have one week dedicated to campus evangelism. A group of students from Western Washington University (Go Vikings!) comes down to get the hands-on experience of talking to people about Jesus. It was so much fun getting to know these students, seeing their nervousness and inexperience going into the first day and watching them get more and more comfortable with asking people questions and sharing the good news. They had such great attitudes every day, sometimes doing as much as six hours of evangelism a day. We got to share with them Texas culture and we all had a blast! It's opportunities liked this that reveal God's kingdom advancing across the nation.

Spring Showcase

"How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!" Psalm 133:1
Packed house!
For the past four months, the 14 interns and two directors have been planning our Spring Showcase. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year that we put on to help raise money to send our students to SICM (see past blog for details). It's a concert of various students from our community and alumni who display musical talents, dance, and even a little comedy on the side. Last year, about 500 people attended. This year, about 900 people showed up and we raised more than double what we made last year. It was a phenomenal success!
Part of the Spring Showcase crew

Thank You!

"For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God's people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers." Ephesians 1:15-16

Core at Friday Night Fellowship
And as always, thanks to all my supporters for all that you do for me. Because of you, so many students' lives are impacted through the power of our great God. He uses all of us in different ways to further his kingdom here on Earth. Thanks to you, I get a front row seat to the ways He is shaping these young men's hearts. Not only are they better men of God now, they will be better friends, better husbands, and better fathers in the future because of Him. Thank you all so much!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

It is Time

Man, February has been busy! It's like I haven't come up for air in a while. But it's the beginning of the harvest now. After months of sowing the seed and nurturing it, God has been raising up some mighty individuals in our ministry.


"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes form God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." 1 John 4:7

This year we have over 100 students going to SICM, the Student Institute of Campus Ministry! This is our leadership conference that we send students to in Bellingham at Western Washington University. I and most of the other leader in the ministry have gone through this training and it was part of the reason why I committed to this ministry my freshman year. A community here in Texas that had ties to my home state of Washington seemed like a God coincidence to me. Our students have to raise a couple hundred dollars to go on this trip and many of our students have hosted fundraisers like pancake nights and spaghetti nights for the community to attend. And our students have really turned up! Each students has raised enough money to pay for nearly all of the trip per fundraiser. It's been amazing how the students band together and build community while lifting each other up!

Corefa Class

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36

This month we had a great corefa class for all of our core facilitators (small group leaders). Once or twice a semester, all of our corefas across our campuses come together to learn together on how to be better leaders. Along with teaching them how to lead cores (small groups) int o the next semester, we also had a focus on how to help others deal with sexual issues. In this day and culture, a large percentage of the population struggles with sex in some form or fashion. And this is just one of the issues that our corefas get to walk alongside other students and help them grow and mature into stronger men and women of God. These student leaders are not much older than the ones they minister, and sometimes they are younger, but they have made the commitment to help others grow, to be poured into by our staff and to pour into others. So pray for them as they near the end of the school year, that they and the students they minister to may be impacted for the rest of their lives.

Thank You!

"I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus." 1 Corinthians 1:4

One saying we have in the community is that "thanks never goes without saying". It means that we need to take every opportunity to vocalize our gratitude, even if we think it's being implied. So I never want to miss an opportunity to recognize that it's because of such great supporters that I get to do what I do. That I get to help equip students for life now and in the future. That I get to help make and mature disciples for the glory of God. So thank you all so much for all that you have done, for all that you do, and for all that you will continue to do in my life! Your impact has shaped me in more ways than we may ever know this side of eternity. Thank you so much!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Season of Harvest

With the second semester well on its way, God has already been doing amazing things! 

Winter Camp

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25

Every spring semester we start it off right with winter camp, our biggest event of the year. Every campus, some alumni, ministry friends up in Wichita Falls, and some high school students, come to celebrate and worship together. This year we had close to 550 come and enjoy community over this four-day event. But while big events are fun and great, the real work happens in our cores. Our small groups find so much time to bond together and also to reach out beyond their band of friends. My core this year has been so amazing, it's like they were made to be together in public. They sing, they clap, they start chants. These guys are crazy, and I love it. My co-leader, Dave, loved seeing our guys at the dance party. His favorite part was that they were dancing like it was nobody's business, so comfortable with each other that they didn't care what others thought because they had found acceptance in a group that mattered. And that was the story of the weekend. Everybody was showered with so much love, it was a time where the sole focus was a love for God and for others.

Staff Retreat

"For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." Romans 12:4-5

For our staff, we also started the semester with a good retreat to bond together. As a leader team the pressure is on us to lead not just by words, but with example first and foremost. So in that example, we strive to be a close-knit team that is open and vulnerable with each other, that brings up the hard stuff, and deals with conflict admirably. It was so much fun to have time with my fellow interns, people I've grown to love so much. Under extreme pressure and long days and weeks we've grown so much individually and together. 

Keep FOCUS Growing

"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:11

Our annual fundraiser hit our $45,000 goal! Total God deal. And as we promised our students, we did a polar plunge: jumping into a freezing pool on campus to celebrate the great ways God works to provide for his children. See the video here!

Student Finances Class

"Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will brim over with new wine." Proverbs 3:9-10

This month we started up a student finances class to help teach our students how to think about and treat money. Money and sex are two things that our culture has no problem throwing in our face, but talking seriously about? Not a chance. So we're going through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, a class I took early last semester. Over 20 students have dedicated two hours of the next four Saturdays to learn how to think about money now, instead of dealing with it later. So far, this class has honestly been so much fun to listen to the stories of our students and to share tips and tricks that have helped me be a good steward of my money. 

Thank You!

"I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers." Ephesians 1:16

Much of my desire to think and deal with my money extremely responsibly is because many of you support me financially. That's a very big deal to me, that you would trust me to manage your support well and that the work I do is worth it. So, thank you so much for placing your trust in me and in what God is doing here in Dallas. I love you all and am always so excited to share with you the amazing things happening here!