January Update

Happy new year, all!

I want to start off by saying thank you to my friends, family, and financial and prayer supporters for being a part of my life in general, and especially over the last 6 months. This job is such a blessing, and y'all are every bit a part of it. Thank you.

Below is our monthly student testimony. I happen to know Chiazo personally, and I am thankful for her friendship through our time at UNT together. This section of my blog is dedicated to the "Why I do what I do" part of my job. Sometimes I don't know the students featured personally, but hearing this every month is God speaking directly into my heart about how Jesus is working through our ministry. Take a peak!

To celebrate the end of the year, the Apprentices decided to have a secret santa. I was gifted a pomeranian calendar and coconut pineapple water. I was very pleased with my gift. This was such a neat way to celebrate with another the end of the year.

Apprentice Secret Santa

Our individual campuses also celebrated with Christmas parties for our students! Collin's theme this year was Awkward Family Photos, and boy did it get awkward. Our Christmas party was so neat to experience. Over 100 students showed up to celebrate Jesus, friendship with another, and laughing together! Seeing our students embrace the weird with each other was definitely a hilight of the season. Our students really care about each other, and love each other, especially when they look anything but cool. That's Jesus working in our ministry, and I am thankful to serve a Lord that celebrates joy.
Awkward Preston Ridge photo (Frisco Campus of Collin College)

Awkward Collin Staff Photo: Garrett, Ryan, Me, Hannah, and Pedro

For the past few years around the Christmas season, our ministry has partnered with another ministry called Jesus Project Ministries. JPM is located in the neighborhood of Hollygrove, New Orleans. Hollygrove is low socioeconomic, high crime area, however Jesus has touched this neighborhood through JPM over the past 10 years. The residents I met in this area are some of the kindest, and most grateful people I have ever met. I learned so much about the character of Jesus through this trip. About 40 students from FOCUS went to Hollygrove for a week to give after school care, to make meals, and to serve this community during the holiday season. At the end of the week, there is a huge Christmas party for the residents and their children, and their kids get to take home a present! I loved getting to serve this community!

3 of the Collin Staff in Hollygrove! Hannah, Pedro, and Me during Christmas party setup.

Pedro and Lorena with some kids from Honduras

Things to be praying for:

1. Winter Camp, which is January 13-16. Winter Camp is a time for all 9 of our campuses (around 500 students) to come together to fellowship, learn about Jesus, and deepen their relationships with one another. Pray for safe travels, for thawing hearts, and for purposeful time together. 

2. SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry)
A 10 day long campus ministry training trip to Washington state with a campus ministry out there called CCF. Every year we invite students from FOCUS to this leadership conference to learn about being leaders in campus ministry. Ask the Lord to guide us as a staff as we invite students to experience this opportunity in May!

Thank you for supporting this vision. 



  1. Hey Shayla! I love the pictures from New Orleans, and I am so encouraged to know that so many of our students get to go there each year and serve that community. What a neat way to see the lessons that they learn in FOCUS being implemented in other areas. Keep it up Shayla!

  2. U R awesome, I love this update! Have fun this weekend, butty. Praying for you!


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