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!