Friday, August 4, 2017

Ready for a new semester!

Our FOCUS staff for the 2017-2018 school year. I'm so honored to serve with this team!
Our FOCUS staff just got back from our staff retreat yesterday, and it was a blast! On Monday, we welcomed six new apprentices to the team, and then we drove an hour away to spend the week in prayer, worship, and fellowship together.

On the first night of retreat, we all went around the group and spent a few minutes sharing about the first person who reached out to us to teach us about Jesus. It was an encouraging time to see how God has worked through so many different people. One thing that struck me was that few of us remembered specific things we had been taught, but we all remembered the way those people loved us - how they sacrificed their time to meet with us, how they remained committed even when we weren't, how they invested in us through real, deep relationships. As we get ready for another school year of ministering on our campuses, I am more convinced than ever that God is at work through our relationships with one another. Would you join me in praying that God would work through the FOCUS students and staff to provide those life-changing relationships to the new students arriving at all of our campuses?

Two of our UTA students at an Orientation Involvement Fair
One vital way we connect with those new students is by meeting them during their orientations. We set up a table, hand out some free pens and wristbands, and talk to incoming students about FOCUS. As I have worked at these orientations, I've met students who are both excited and nervous about beginning a new experience, students who are actively looking for a Christian organization and those who definitely aren't interested in Christ, and of course a lot of parents who are anxious about sending their kids off to college for the first time. We've had over 250 students sign up to be contacted by FOCUS at UTA, and we still have six more orientations before school starts! Please pray with me that God would move those students to respond as we invite them into our community.

The 2017-2018 UTA FOCUS Staff (from left to right: Jalen, Caitlin, me, Sarah, Austin)
These beautiful people above are the team that I have the privilege of working with this school year. I first met Jalen during his Welcome Week as a freshman at UTD. I gave him and a few other freshmen a ride to church one morning, and now he and Dawn, another one of those students I drove to church, are both FOCUS apprentices! Caitlin found FOCUS when she walked up to one of those orientation tables (just like the one above) and met Austin. She's now the first FOCUS apprentice to graduate from UTA! As I reflect on their stories, I am continually reminded that God is always at work, even in small things, and He asks that we join Him in faithfully doing those small things for the sake of His kingdom.

Thank you for your support and prayers, especially during this busy season as we welcome new students to our campuses.

1 comment:

  1. Kelly!

    I am excited again that you are going to be at UTA! Great blog post and really look forward to hearing how your year goes!