Friday, April 3, 2015

Spring Has Sprung!

What an amazing March we had in FOCUS!  Last time I updated you, I asked for prayers concerning SSI, Spring Showcase, and our staffing decisions for next year.  Now I am excited to tell you how wonderfully all of those things went!

SSI stands for Student Spring Impact.  That means a bunch of college Students from our sister ministry in Washington spend their Spring break making an Impact for God on college campuses in Texas.  Our Denton team hosted ten students and two interns for the week.  We drove them around, fed them authentic Texas food, and showed them some of our favorite spots in Denton.  But most importantly, we joined with them to reach out to students on our campuses with the good news of Jesus Christ.  From Monday through Friday, this team, along with many of our staff and students, engaged other students in conversations about God's love. 

The SSI Team from Washington

Questions on Display, one of our tools for starting conversations
Overall, SSI was a huge success!  The passion and enthusiasm of the students from Washington inspired our students to speak boldly about the love of Jesus and invite many new people to experience his love at FOCUS.  Please pray that our students would continue to reach out and build meaningful new relationships with others, so that many would be led to relationship with Jesus!

Bright and early on Saturday morning, we dropped off the SSI team at the airport to return home to Washington.  Later that day, we had almost 600 people at the Spring Showcase!

This incredible event featured music and dance performances and an art sale, all featuring the talents of our students and alumni.  I was amazed by how many outstanding artists were willing to sacrifice their time and efforts to make this event a success.  Wow!

Two UNT students, Chiazo and Kirby, performing at Spring Showcase
But we didn't hold the Spring Showcase just to show off the talent of our FOCUS members; this event raised thousands of dollars to send students to SICM!  SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry) is a week-long intensive ministry training conference where students learn the skills needed to teach Bible studies, facilitate small groups, and lead their fellow students to a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ.  We believe in SICM because we believe that when Jesus said "Go and make disciples" (Matthew 28:19), he meant for every one of his followers to do that.  College students have a special opportunity to make disciples because they are surrounded by thousands of open-minded young people who yearn for answers to the big questions in life; SICM equips college students to help others find those answers in Jesus.

The Spring Showcase was a huge success, and the funds raised there will help grow God's kingdom on our college campuses.  Thank you to everyone who performed, sold tickets, worked the event, attended the performance, bought artwork, made a donation, or prayed for us!  You are helping us achieve an incredible vision on our campuses!

Finally, I told you we made some decisions about our staff and intern team for next school year.  I am happy to announce that we accepted thirteen amazing young people to the internship for the 2015-2016 school year!  I am thrilled to be working with such an enthusiastic, intelligent, creative, and hard-working team of new interns.  I am also excited to announce that I will be remaining with the Denton team for the next school year.  We will have a team of six staff in Denton: Matt (currently the Denton team director), Cody, Miriam, and Sarah (current interns who will continue on as staff next year), and Aaron (a new intern).  The six of us will have our work cut out for us as we pastor FOCUS communities at three campuses: UNT, TWU, and, starting for the first time this fall, NCTC.  Please pray for me and this team as we prepare to spread God's kingdom on our Denton campuses.

Thank you so much for the prayers and support you offer me and all our FOCUS students.  God is doing incredible things in the lives of young people, and you are a part of that.  Thank you!