Thursday, November 30, 2023

Wrapping Up the Semester

With the semester coming to a close, we're seeing the momentum of the year start to pick up. The difficulty is trying to ensure we don't lose too much ground over the break and that we're able to pick up mostly where we left off when we hit spring semester.


In great news, we have had two baptisms in the past month! Peyton and Savannah are two seniors who have been in our ministry for a little over a year. It's always so encouraging to see students take their faith seriously, take baptism seriously, and make the decision to commit to following Jesus for the rest of their lives. Sometimes we use the baptismal at church, but sometimes like the early church we find whatever body of water we can and do the baptism there. For Peyton and Savannah they chose pools on campus and in someone's backyard. It doesn't matter where, it matters that they make the decision, and acknowledge the transformational power of Jesus Christ in their lives. I truly believe that Jesus has the answer to so many of our life's challenges, if we only choose to humble ourselves and admit that we have so little control over or knowledge of what's best for us. He calls us to only what is good, even if it can be painful sometimes.


We had an awesome speaker, Dr. Iain Provan come and teach our students about Cuckoos in our Nest. He broke down the assumptions and ideas that have infiltrated the church from society just like cuckoos infiltrate the nests of other birds. He taught and brought us back to the Bible. God's fundamental purposes for us and creation should inform the whys of everything we do. For weeks afterwards, students were talking about it with and with each other. It's exciting to see them taking what they've heard and trying to process it. They're excited to know more about God and have him influence their lives and thoughts.

Fundraising and Thank You!

We have our Keep FOCUS Growing fundraising campaign going on right now. Thank you so much for all your support for me, I couldn't do what I do without you. If I could ask you to consider if God is calling you to invest in what we do as a whole, I would appreciate it! While each of our missionaries raise our own support, there is a whole slew of things that still need funding. Outreach, healthcare, campus plants, advertising, and more all cost money that we want to invest in to keep reaching more students and to keep our most experienced ministers able to raise families and live sustainably for the entire length of God's calling. So, if you or anyone you know might be excited to hear about what's going on and give, you can go to or send them my way and I will always love talking about what God's doing and the good news of the kingdom. Thank you so much for all the ways you support me and look out for me!


As an aside, the baby is growing healthily! We just passed 22 weeks and had our anatomy scan where the doctor counted all ten fingers and all ten toes. No causes for concern! Please pray for our ministry and our baby as he keeps growing. (And yes, it's a boy!)

Thursday, October 26, 2023

October Ministry Update: Discipling and Outreach

Ministry in October

How do you describe ministry in October? It's no longer the beginning of the year with all its hecticness and excitement. But it's not far enough in for the relationships that have been built to be able to sustain their own momentum. The friendships are still new and the group culture is still being learned. However, it all competes with midterms and exams. College ministry doesn't change much from year to year, but the faces change a lot. Every year we have to disciple into what it looks like to place God first in your life and not academics, mostly to the younger students, but also to some of the older students as well. And like Jesus, it often falls on deaf ears, but we hope that seeds have been planted. And every year, we do see some of them grow up, take it to heart, and mature in their walk with Christ as they make the decision to put him first. Any ministry is just saying the same old truths to a new set of people


In October, I was able to lead a small outreach/community-building event for our Asian and Asian American students. A stormy day worried me that no one would show up. But students braved the cold and the rain to come out and get involved in community. God is always at work and he was definitely working in these students that they would choose to each other over their own comfort. Pray that this continues to translate to students getting to know Christ!

Evangelism Class

Evangelism class has started for the apprentices and I get to be their teacher this year. I'm super excited to get to walk through this with them and help them grow as evangelists. Spreading the good news is so important, but oftentimes we use guilt to motivate ourselves rather than the grace and love of Jesus. I know for myself it took a long time to grow into an ease and comfort of threading the good news into my conversations consistently. When you've experienced Jesus for yourself, it's easy to include him in your stories and life because he's been there! Please pray for our apprentices and for me as we dive into what the good news is and how to spread it to our college campuses.

Thank You!

Thank you so much for your prayers and support through the years. Ministry has its ups and downs, and it is always an encouragement to know that there are people investing in the vision that God has for this place. Baby William is growing nice and healthy so far. We chose the name William because it's the name of my dad and Emily's dad. So please continue praying for Baby William and we hope that he gets to meet y'all soon!

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

August Update: Welcome Week!

At the Beginning

The beginning of the year is always the most hectic. As many of you may have experienced, an unusual phenomenon happens on college campuses at the beginning of each school year. Everyone is open to new relationships, new experiences, and interrupting their schedules to find community. For some reason, the atmosphere encourages students to build new friendships, regardless of what year they are. And we take advantage of this opportunity. From sunup to way past sundown, we're out meeting new people, putting on events to invite students to. Life rarely is a steady stream of work and play/free time. God designed the seasons so that there is a season to plant, a season to harvest, but also a season to wait. As Ecclesiastes says, for everything there is a season. Well, this season is the season to plant, and we ask our students as well as ourselves to work hard. There is time to rest later, but for now, it's time to plant seeds. I've been able to meet any students eager to join Christian community, but I've also had the opportunity to meet students who are interested in learning more about Jesus. One Hindu student is very devout in his religion, but also very intrigued to learn more about Jesus and the similarities and differences. Who knows what God will do there? I also met another Hindu student who happened to be a childhood friend of a Hindu student I've been studying the Bible with already! The beauty of simply being open to talk to anyone is finding those random connections. I saw many non-Christians who had come to our events come check out our Friday Night Fellowship service, which is a much more church-like event. There was such a hum of energy because they had heard so much about it from our students who invited them to come check it out. I'm excited to see what the fruit of this labor will be. We're still in the beginning phases of the year, we're still working hard to make these relationships stick and dive deep into friendship. But we're already praying for God to do what only he can do, change hearts and minds and draw people to him. 


Please pray for our cores which start this week. These small groups are one of the main entry points into many non-Christians coming to know Jesus. Our large group fellowship often draws in the disciples, those looking to mature in their faith, and those seriously seeking truth. Our small groups draw in those people as well as those who have only the smallest inkling of interest in Jesus, sometimes they have none and are simply seeking belonging and acceptance! Our student core facilitators do such a great job at loving like Jesus and welcoming in the most surprising of people into their lives. Please pray for these groups to start well, that they would bond together, and that Jesus would shine through the love they show one another!

Thank You!

Thank you so much for all you do to support this mission here! I'm so exhausted, but so excited to see what God is doing. There's not a second I want to miss to see what he's doing. Pray for energy for all our staff and students as we continue the marathon set before us. Thank you guys so much, we couldn't do it without your support or prayers!

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Raising Up Leaders


Raising Up Leaders

Hiking with staff and alumni
    Summer is wrapping up and that means preparations for the school year need to finish too! During the summer one of our biggest projects is building our leader team for the next school year. For some ministries, there's an application process. However, we opt to talk with our student leaders, help them assess what leadership qualities are, identify potential leaders, and then go and talk to them ourselves. Too many people self-select themselves out of the leadership conversation because they've never been told they could be a leader. They might be on the quieter side, they may feel like they don't have enough biblical knowledge, or they feel like they're not confident enough. But we know enough about God to know that whom he selects to be a leader is often surprising. Someone willing to love him and his people and put in the effort to show that and grow in that could be a leader. So, we spend much of summer talking to these students, identifying if this is a good year for them to step up, speak into any doubts or insecurities they may have, and call them to a big commitment to lead this next year. Many say no for various reasons, but a lot say yes. They commit to showing up consistently, to preparing purposefully for their small groups, for doing their best to disciple others to love and follow Jesus. What we call them to, what God calls them to, is no half-measure thing. 

Hello from our weekly Summer FOCUS!
    Many leaders feel overwhelmed their first year. We meet with them at least once a week to go over what ministry they're doing and how they're feeling about it. We try to support them as best we can, but diving deep into the care of people is not a flippant thing. However, we trust that over the year they'll find the reward God has prepared for them, in the form of relationships, in the witnessing of transformational growth that only God can do, and in the deepening of their own walk with God. I have a leader who was doubtful about leading his second year but seeing one of his guys baptized towards the end of the school year gave him the motivation to do it again. Now, moving into his third year leading there was no doubt in his mind. He told me, "What else would I spend my time doing?" When you dive deep into integrating ministry into your life, you find yourself unable to envision life without God. He becomes wrapped up in every conversation, every relationship. These students experience what I experienced as a student in this ministry, God transforms you into someone who looks more like him. There's nothing like having a front row seat to watching him work in people's lives and participate in that. And that's what these leaders will get to do this next year.

Thank You!

July 4th with students and alumni
    Thank you so much for being a part of this! Without your support, I wouldn't be able to do what I do. It's because of your generosity I get to have these conversations, I get to challenge these students to take a leap of faith, and we all get to mature in Christ. So thank you so much for believing in me, believing in this mission, and trusting God to take your gift and multiply it for his kingdom!

Thursday, June 29, 2023

June Update: Graduation!


Hey guys, big news! Over the past five years, I've been attending Fuller Theological Seminary to get my Master of Divinity degree. It's been a grueling, time-consuming, but rewarding experience to grow in understanding and faith and get to learn from amazing professors and classmates. It was both stressful and helpful to do ministry full-time at the same time as going to school for ministry. I got to learn about God and turn right around and apply the things I was learning to real life and real situations. Now finally, after many late nights and hundreds of pages of writing, I've finished! A big thank you to my directors who put up with the crazy hours I was putting in, my coworkers and family who looked out for my physical and mental health, and my wife who let me cancel dates and crawl out of bed after we said good night so that I could finish my homework. Thankful for the experience, and thankful for the end of this part of the journey! A lot of my coworkers and my family flew out to Pasadena to attend graduation. Both Brandon and I got our degrees this year and attended commencement. 

Summer Planning

Over the summer, our biggest projects are planning for the next school year and selecting our leader team. Planning for the school year involves considering what values are we heating up for our community. We have to ask ourselves the questions, what is our community good at and what does it need help in? In a college ministry, turnover is so quick that values can just as quickly disappear if they aren't heated up and stressed year to year. Not only that, but the culture of students changes quickly as well. I only graduated 8 years ago and already this generation of students is not the same as mine. They like different things and are attracted to different things. So, we as a ministry have to adapt to that and speak the gospel into their culture. Ministry is never static! 

Student Leaders 

And as we select our leader team, we look for students where God has ignited a passion for learning, for loving people, and for serving. Not everyone who wants to lead should, and there are plenty of people who would never volunteer to lead who are called to lead. And it's our job to heed God's calling to select the students who we believe will guide the next generation well. We talk with dozens of guys and girls seeking those who would lead others to Jesus and not to themselves or to an organization. It's a lot of work, but it sets each year up for success if we put in the work now. So, please pray as we select our student leader team for this next school year!

 Thank You!

Thank you so much for your support! It's because of your support that I have had so many opportunities to learn and grow and minister to so many people. This degree is just a reflection of what God has been doing in me and what you have invested in. My prayer is to be a minister in all areas of my life even as my focus is on college students, and that God's life and light would be evident to all people.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Finishing Well


The End of the School Year


The school year has ended! The 2022-23 school year has come to a close and it is always a whirlwind to wrap up the year. Students get to finals season and it becomes a stressful time for them. Our student leaders do so well juggling all that they have going on as well as focusing on ending their Bible studies and transitioning their relationships with their peers from the school year into the summer. It's tough to go from seeing someone multiple times a week to not at all for a couple months! And it's difficult to see how important it is to make that transition well when tests and papers are hanging over your head. But they manage it so well, and I'm so proud of them. 

Parking Lot Graduation


Part of the end of the year is Parking Lot Graduation. A few years ago during COVID, we had a little worship night at a Walmart parking lot for any students still in the area. We would set up a little speaker in the back of my truck and little pods would show up in their cars and SUVs and park in two lines across from each other. We would worship together, each from our own little vehicles in the lot. At the last one of the year, I knew that graduation ceremonies had been canceled at nearly every school in the nation and many of our students there were seniors and had missed that opportunity to be celebrated. So, I threw on Pomp and Circumstance, told our graduates to line up at one end of the parking lot and announced their names one by one as we cheered for them as they took their graduation walk. This sparked an annual tradition of Parking Lot Graduation where we all crown into the parking lot and cheer for the graduates who are part of FOCUS. It's such a special time (and much more abbreviated than normal graduation) where we get to celebrate our graduates. Many friends and family come out to see their student take the walk in this dimly lit parking lot, surrounded by their ministry friends who cheer loudly for every single person walking the lot. 



A bit of an overlap with the end of the year is the transition to starting summer. And summer is kicked off with the Student Institute of Campus Ministry (SICM). Every year, we bring students to Washington state to attend a leadership conference put on by Campus Christian Fellowship at Western Washington University. These students are identified by their leaders in the previous year as people who could potentially lead this coming school year. They get a week of training in campus ministry: the gospel, leading small groups, asking good questions, leading Bible studies, campus evangelism, and more. This year, we've brought over 100 students eager and excited to learn how to lead others to Christ during their time in college. So pray for energy! Pray for open hearts and minds! Pray for deepened relationship! This is often a pivotal moment in their lives where they catch a vision for ministry, not just for college but for the rest of their lives. 

Thank You!


Thank you for your support! Campus ministry and being with these college students is so rewarding. They are funny, immature, quirky, idealistic, eager to serve and grow, and the transformation that Jesus enacts in them is so powerful. It's because of your support that I get to be a part of that process and help guide these young individuals to pursue Jesus. I'm excited for what's to come and I can't wait to talk to many of you this summer!

Thursday, March 16, 2023

2023 March Update: To Reach 30,000 Students

Hey all! Another month, another ministry update! We're smack dab in the middle of the semester with midterms and spring break coming up, but here's how the students have been doing!

Diversity on Campus

One of our young staff pastors had the idea to put together a show to celebrate black history and to help our black student population be seen on this campus. UTD's demographic makeup is 32% Asian American, 22% Anglo, 22% international students, 13% Hispanic, and 5% Black, with biracial and other races comprising the remaining 6%. It's a very diverse campus, but with Blacks making up so few of the student population it can be challenging to feel heard or understood. There are no Black ministries on campus, so we've had the opportunity to provide a space and a ministry for them to come and belong without having to hide their culture. It was a great turnout, a lot of work, and so many students both Christian and non-Christian were blessed by the talented people our pastor found to be a part of the show.


We also began implementing a new vision to reach all 30,000 students on our campus. It can be so easy to get comfortable and complacent with the size we've always been, doing the things we've always done, and not making any waves. However, I don't believe that that is what God wants from us. There are so many students at UTD, and so many new ones every year, that we have a unique opportunity to help them find Jesus and grow closer to him. We've been casting a vision for our large group fellowship, started a new sermon series to explain the gospel and its ramifications, and posted advertisements all around campus.


Surprisingly, our advertisements have been making waves around campus. It's sent small pockets of the online community into arguments about the signs. These signs contain questions such as "Does Jesus care about politics?", "Does Jesus care about my gay friends?", and "Does Jesus care about me?" These signs have been ripped up and stolen, sometimes lasting only a few hours before being vandalized. These questions are hitting a sore spot for our society because these are the questions people are asking and think the church has answered. However, they fail to realize the depth of Jesus' love and grace for them and instead run straight to what the world frequently offers as a response: hate. Hopefully, when we implement the next part of our advertising plan to tell them, "Yes, Jesus cares about you," "Yes, Jesus cares about your gay friends," and "Yes, Jesus cares about politics," they might have ears to hear the Lord who is calling them to him. 

Thank You!

Please pray as we continue to try to reach this campus! 30,000 students, and our few hundred in the ministry are just a drop in the bucket. But we hope that all 30,000 every year get an opportunity to meet Jesus and make a decision for themselves to follow him or not. Thank you for all your support, and I hope to see many of you this summer!

Thursday, January 12, 2023


The holidays seem to whiz by! I was able to see my parents this Christmas season, which has been a rarity the past decade because of work and family schedules. It was so nice to have home cooking for two weeks and get to show my parents the faith community we have here in Texas. I pray that the holiday season was equally enjoyable and restful for you and your families this year. 

Students Over the Break

Over the break, we've been able to keep up with students even more than previous years. We set up devotional groups that met up weekly on each day of the week. Naturally, when we get out of routine and structure we have difficulty being productive, spending time with God, or doing many of the good habits we develop over a semester. So those groups were meant to combat that and help and encourage one another to be good disciples over the month-long break. It has been great getting to see the students online over a period of time when contact can just suddenly go dead. And it's been great for them and us in remembering to be like Jesus even when the demands of life are very different.

Winter Retreat

Coming up this weekend, we have Winter Retreat! (That's our rebrand of Winter Camp.) It's exciting to have one after having to cancel the one two years
ago and nearly having the campground cancel it last year and only being able to do it at limited capacity. We have almost 550 people attending which is both daunting and exciting! Please pray for our worship leaders, our speakers, and our students to be listening to God and seeking to grow and start the semester well with the heart and eyes of Jesus. We're eagerly anticipating how God is going to use this experience to change lives!

Thank You!

Thank you all so much for your continued support and kindness towards me. I am so thankful for what I get to do and how you guys support me in that. Please let me know if ever there is anything I can do for you!