November

Greetings friends and supporters!

In case you haven't heard, it's officially November. With this season of pies and thankfulness upon us, I want to reflect back on the whirlwind month of October. Yes, I am aware that I talked about pies and thankfulness in the same sentence because who isn't thankful for pie?

20 Year Celebration

On October 8th, FOCUS celebrated its 20th birthday with almost 800 attendees! As a 26 year old apprentice, it was really neat to meet and hear from so many people that were formerly involved or currently involved with this ministry. The Celebration taught me a few things. First of all, it reminded me of the value of perseverance. As disciples, we don't have the luxury to quit when things get tough. Hearing stories of the early days when FOCUS was anywhere from a few to several people only at UTD was really meaningful. These people walked and prayed for our campuses in the rain, and trusted that God would coordinate his vision and timing in FOCUS. It wasn't easy, but due to the faitfhulness of the foundation layers, they were able to reach a depressed college person like me at UNT, 15 years later. God is so good and cool. 

Another cool thing about the celebration is that I felt like I got a glimpse of the kingdom when I was there. This happens to me occasionally, but seeing people of different races, cultural backgrounds, and different ages, who were all there because they were touched by the Spirit was so inspiring to me. It reminded me of why kingdom vision matters. When you pursue the kingdom vision, and not just human vision, you'll see Jesus in new and different ways. 

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Walk for Freedom

A cool thing about working with college students is that you get to quickly learn how young people seek to serve. On of our students, Carol, is a passionate trailblazer for anti-human trafficking needs. Human trafficking is the biggest form of slavery going on in the world today. Carol inspired our students to join her at an event called Walk for Freedom. WFF is a silent protest in which participants walk silently, through a major city to call attention to this injustice. Last year, about 100 people showed up for this event. Carol and her team mobilized the city of Dallas, and our students to join her in this event. This year there were over 300 in attendance. It was such a neat experience. We were able to talk to people about what we were doing, and we were met with understanding and piqued interests. I am proud of our students for showing up and calling polite attention to an injustice that is largely not talked about. I am also proud of the city of Dallas and its people for meeting us with kindness, and seeking to understand. I really saw the character of Christ being displayed in a big way at this event. 



Our Collin College students representing at the Walk for Freedom event. Photo by Ryan Jacobson. 

Thankfulness

As we enter into a season of presupposed thankfulness, I wanted to share with you guys about what God has been teaching me. I am a person who is sometimes wrought with deep anxiety, and sometimes overwhelmed to the point of feeling helpless in a broken world. It's hard for me to feel content and thankful in those moments. 

My fellow apprentices and I have been taking a spirtual disciplines class led by our UNT campus pastor, Matt Clark. The source of our material has been coming from a book called The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard. Each of us have chosen a discipline to incorporate into our lives, and I chose the discipline of silence. 

Through pursuing silence, and time with God in those moments, I have increasingly become more thankful for the really small stuff. God has laid it on my heart that thankfulness isn't a season, it's a mindset. Even amongst the chaos of the world, I know that God is working to bring it to His order. I'm thankful for the students I get to meet with, for our precious core girls, for the FOCUS staff, for the classes that challenge me, and lastly, but least, for Jesus saving us. It's easy for me to forget about him when the world screams at you for hundred different reasons. When I think about these small luxuries and for the field where I'm planted, it doesn't seem so bad.  



Hannah and I's core after a birthday celebration for our October birthdays



Our Tuesday Morning Fellowship at Preston Ridge. There are only 3 people in this photo who were a part of Preston Ridge Focus last year! God has provided us with so many new people!

Thank YOU!

Each month, I become more thankful and in awe of the support God has brought me through your continued prayers, and financial support to make this vision of campus ministry possible. As always, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Please continue to pray for Jesus to be known by our students. Let me know how I can be praying for you. 

Love,

Shayla

Comments

  1. Hey Shayla, I am thankful for you! Nice reminder for all of us these days.

    I also love what you said about the 20 Year Celebration. It really is a glimpse of the kingdom to see generations of people from such diverse backgrounds praising Jesus together.

    Love you Shayla.

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