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!