Monday, May 24, 2021

End of an Era


End of an Era

Hey everybody! It's time for another update! The end of the year has been bittersweet as it usually is. It's been a tough year in many ways and we're all ready to get out of it, but we also feel a sense of solidarity that we all did ministry despite the challenges this year. We ended on some really high notes. We had our second annual Parking Lot Graduation. Last year, right after a very distanced worship night in a Walmart parking lot we had a little impromptu graduation ceremony for the seniors that were there who would not be able to walk for their graduation. This year we upped our game and made it official and invited people's parents and friends. It was such a sweet time to see our seniors honored in front of their community. So many families showed up as well. As opposed to a graduation ceremony where you are one of hundreds in front of thousands of strangers, this small FOCUS graduation ceremony meant that all of your loved ones could show up and everybody clapping knew you at least a little bit. I'll admit I wasn't convinced that it was going to be that special. But once I heard the love that the community poured out on these seniors and watched these seniors walk I knew it was special. I've watched them all grow up over the past four to six years and getting to see the appreciation in their eyes was the cherry on top of a long journey.


My last year's small group got together and took a daytrip down to Austin to visit some of our members who had been taking online school down there all year. We got to catch up together and share how our years had been. We have a tradition we call "Mad, Glad, Dad" which is a low point, a high point, and how you see God in all of that. It was such a good time to see them again, not only the Austin guys, but that our Dallas guys were willing to take a 7-hour roundtrip to see them for a few hours that day. That's Christian brotherhood.


It's crazy to think that I've been doing this for six years now. I've watched everyone that grew up with me in ministry graduate and move on and now an entire other generation of students graduate and move on. It never gets easier, but it's always worth it. Now as we head into summer, we're testing the waters on being back in person. We want to respect people's choices to be socially-distanced but also recognize that many are now vaccinated and we need that close community. Pray as we continue to navigate what's best for our students and as we head into the next school year!


Also because it's summer, it's support-raising season. Many of you have been through this with me many times before, but I just wanted to give you a heads up that I'll be reaching out and trying to get some time to talk to all of you. Summer comes with it less demands so I get to spend that extra time with you guys! I'm always so excited to get to see many of you and talk to many of you, so I'll be in touch soon. Thank you for all that you do, for me and for God's kingdom. Love you!