Winter CampI know I've spoken to you about winter camp already, but I wanted to take another opportunity to brag on how amazing this community is. To have a college ministry where so many students are hungry to learn and to grow is such an encouragement, and I hope that you are encouraged to be a part of what God is doing here as well. Around 600 students showed up to pour into one another and to listen from Dr. John Stackhouse. What an experience!
This leads me to ask for prayers about a very amorphous topic: that our students would be on mission. I've been thinking and reflecting a lot recently on an axiom: when you aim for community, you'll sometimes get it. When you aim for mission, you'll almost always get community. I believe that community is essential to Jesus' mission, but all too often we end up focusing on the community rather than allowing it to form naturally when we're on mission together. Our students sacrifice so much and dedicate so much to be a part of God's kingdom on this campus, but I know that we, myself included, can fall into thinking that it's for the sake of friendship and community that we want to bring people in. We see the impact that true, deep, and whole friendships have on us that we want that for other people. But it's really in the pursuit of Jesus that such things happen. When we come in for the sake of friendship we don't really turn away from our selfishness, it's still focused on me and what I can get. But when we come into community looking for ways to bless others, to worship God, to see his purposes fulfilled in others' lives, then we finally deny ourselves and see real community formed. So I'd like to ask for your prayers, because that's a lot easier said than done. We've been pushing events such as worship nights, Scripture reading nights, prayer walks, and the like to form disciples who are catching the vision. Pray for continued growth in this area!
That being said, I have seen what friendships can look like when you're on mission together. I wanted to take a little space to talk about my boss, mentor, and dear friend Brandon. He has walked with me since I was still a college student, and he has been encouraging and challenging me for years. He's been there when I've fallen hard, and he's supported me to do things that I never thought I'd be doing. To be on mission together makes the relationship that much sweeter, and I thank God for Brandon's friendship. I pray that we can all be more open and vulnerable with each other, to risk being hurt, to develop authentic and deep friendships with each other.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this ministry! Because of your support I'm able to meet with students and see their hearts being transformed to be like God's. Thank you for believing in me and in God's mission here in Dallas!