September 2020 Update
I know it's been a while since you've heard from me, but rest assured ministry has surprisingly kicked off without a hitch! Albeit, socially distanced, mainly outdoors, and with masks in small groups. All summer, our Denton FOCUS staff brainstormed how we could still be faithful and missional despite the Pandemic, but also in tandem with the CDC guidelines. We may have more mosquito bites than usual, but the response to Christian community has been more encouraging than usual. If you'd like to know more specifics, I'm happy to talk to you! And I'll certainly mention a couple down below, but there's so much good news to mention I can't fit it all here. Praise God.
Some more good news, here are our student testimonies from last month and this month! Please check out Dayo's story from Richland College, and Deanne's story from Collin College! Richland and Collin are our two main community college campuses, and over the years God has greatly blessed our community colleges and our universities as these guys transfer into the later years of their degrees.
Welcome Week: Back to Basics
During a typical school year, universities put together lots of events on campus the week before school to help freshmen and transfers plug into university life. Usually, there are thousands of people on campus, live music, free food, games, fireworks and free shirts for daaaays. This year it didn't happen like that. On campus living numbers are down, they provided some zoom events for those students, but the main things that were happening were students exploring campus and hanging out in the union. Rightly so! The universities are trying their best to enhance safety but still provide a college experience but it's just not the same, how could it be? During this week is where we meet the majority of whom will be involved in our ministry for the year. We usually even host a couple of events! But this year is all about the basics which has always been the backbone of our campus ministry: developing close friendships through studying scripture and Jesus together one on one, hosting weekly small groups outside, socially distanced, where people can come and experience the life Jesus has to offer , and outreach. Outreach has typically been a struggle for students and sometimes our staff! Theres fear of rejection or accidentally offending someone and historically our students have relied on us to put on events to actually meet new people. However, that can't happen this year. So together, we are all doing outreach/evangelism the way they will do it when they graduate. Eating lunch with strangers, making friends in class, sitting outside together and getting to know these people, and inviting them to know Jesus through small groups, one on ones, or even just having a discussion about spiritual things in the moment. The receptivity we've seen to having meaningful conversation with strangers is so cool and unexpected! The majority of the freshmen I talked to were just happy to be at school and not suffering in isolation at home. And our student leaders have done amazing! Instead of taking weeks to conquer their social anxiety, they leapt into the unknown and I've seen them change and feel empowered to talk to people within a week! Jesus is upto something peculiar but exciting this year in campus ministry and I'm so thankful to get to be a part of it and see it.
|Inviting girls we met at TWU to hangout!|
|Partial picture of the group of student leaders I'm discipling this year! |
|Prepping our student leaders at 8 am to avoid the heat wave! The ones sitting close together are roommates by the way :)|