First of all, I would like to thank you for your support (both financial and prayer). It has been such a blessing to have you backing me up on this decision and making it possible.
The year is off to a great start! We spent most of August preparing for the new school year. This involved developing our new leader team; planning events geared toward meeting new students; designing, printing, and distributing advertising for our large group meetings as well as our opening week events; and praying over the campus.
School started last week at Collin and I spent most days in the cafeteria during lunch or at opening week events (where we played volleyball or basketball and provided free soft drinks) meeting and talking to new students. It was pretty neat being able to meet that many young people (mainly fresh out of highschool). There was such a wide variety of personalities. One student I met, named Eric, has been paralyzed from the waist down from birth, but he has never let that hold him back and he sees it as such a positive experience in his life because it has made him stronger. Another guy, named Joseph, was taking dual credit courses and he is only seventeen. I met him sitting by himself in the cafeteria. It was a little weird being so much older than the students, because they would always assume at first that I was also student there and I would have to explain why I was really there. That just made it easier to tell them my purpose for being there. I told them that I was a full-time campus ministry intern for FOCUS and let them know where and when we meet. I handed out business cards that included our meeting time and place and also swapped phone numbers with them in order to get together another time. Some of the people we have in our small groups or one-on-one studies may never come to anything else within our ministry. Our goal isn't just to get people to go to FOCUS, but to develop meaningful, purposeful relationships and search for those willing to seek out Christ. When good soil is found we plant.
Speaking of good soil, I recently reconnected with a friend at one of our large group meetings who I met playing Ultimate Frisbee over the summer. He had never visited before so I made it a point to go greet him. When I asked how he was doing, he said, "Bad." I prodded for a reason. He realized recently that he was living a lie by trying to claim Christianity, but never really being a Christian. He told me that he pretty much cut out everything from his life like watching television and using Facebook in order to start reading his Bible to better understand what it means to be a Christian. It's very exciting for me to come across someone who is earnestly seeking the truth because they already want to do it. They already have conviction in their life that inspires them. We are going to start a one-on-one study in the next week and I have no doubt that God will use that to change his life tremendously. Please pray for this guy! His name is Kenneth.
In the past few weeks, the FOCUS interns have been studying Matthew with Ronnie, the pastor of the church that supports our college ministries. He has been helping us understand how to break down the book to see who Matthew was as a person, what his perception of Jesus was, who he was writing to and why, and what response he was trying to evoke out of his readers. One of Ronnie's biggest points is that we need to learn how to take the complex ideas of Christianity and translate them into simpler concepts that are easier to understand for people newer to the Bible. On top of that, I have amped up my devotional time by trying different creative methods and it has truly added incredible depth to my personal time in the word. I cannot express to you how glad I am to be developing these skills. It will improve my ability to teach others significantly, although I don't believe these skills are necessary for sharing the good news with anyone! Our God is big and can do anything we could dream of and much more.
These are just a few snapshots of my past month. I hope that in some way you are inspired through hearing what God has done through me. If you ever have any questions or just want to comment on anything, please feel free to post on my blog or contact me in any other way. I love hearing from you and I want to promote a healthy communication between us.
Please keep me in your prayers. Thanks again for your support!
Yours for the Campus,