Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Stampede is over

Each fall, UTA kicks off the new semester with the Maverick Stampede - a two-week extravaganza of moving in, waffles, free t-shirts, dance parties, pool parties, burgers, balloons, carnival games, and school spirit. These events are meant to welcome students to the campus, either for the first time or as returners, but FOCUS utilizes these events for a different purpose; our students show up to meet new people, make friends, and invite them into the FOCUS community and life with Jesus.

On the first day of class, we handed out popsicles and encouraged students with these posters.

Silly selfies at girls' game night - eight of the ladies in this picture are new friends we met last week!
I am beaming with pride for how hard our student leaders have worked during the Mav Stampede. They were tirelessly meeting new people, getting phone numbers, and making connections. The result of their efforts was clearly seen at our first TNF - Thursday Night Fellowship.

Most people in FOCUS come because of a personal invitation - but a few see signs like this and come to visit our meetings.

Students milling around before our first TNF (photo cred: Ryan Jacobson)
Our first TNF was an outdoor gathering in the middle of campus. Meeting outside isn't ideal, but we were blessed to have beautiful weather for our first meeting. Since we were in a highly visible spot on campus, we also had a few people see us as they were walking by and decide to stay! Sarah shared a message about how Jesus was sent into the world to save it, and how we are now sent to on a mission to spread the good news. Lots of people were interested in what she had to say and engaged in conversation about the message afterward. Join me in praising God for leading these people to show up and hear from Him!

I will be co-leading a Core this year with Charity; she's a senior accounting major with a goofy sense of humor and a passion for spreadsheets. Our first Core meeting is TONIGHT at 6 pm. Please pray for us and all the ladies we've invited. Core is a place where people make close friends and grow closer to God in the context of loving community. I'm praying that our Core will be that place for all the women we've been meeting on campus these past two weeks.

Next time I'll update you on how Core is going and our plans for Fall Camp. Please pray for that event as we prepare a special experience to help these young people connect with each other and with Jesus.

THANK YOU so much for your prayers, your financial support, and your love for college students at UTA and all our campuses.